Canton, Ohio has been an important center of historical events in the United States. From the formation of the National Football League to the inauguration of a president, Canton holds a rich and proud history. Below are seven significant historical events that have taken place near Canton, Ohio.
1. The Formation of the National Football League:
In September 1920, ten team owners gathered in Canton, Ohio, to form what would become the National Football League (NFL). The Akron Pros and the Canton Bulldogs were two of the founding teams in the NFL. Today, the Pro Football Hall of Fame stands in Canton, Ohio, recognizing the history and tradition of the sport.
2. The Assassination of President William McKinley:
On September 6, 1901, President William McKinley was assassinated at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. He was shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz. As a result, Canton native Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th President of the United States.
3. The Birthplace of the Ohio and Erie Canal:
The Ohio and Erie Canal is a canal that runs through Ohio, linking Lake Erie to the Ohio River. Construction began in 1825 and the canal was completed in 1832. The canal was an important transportation route, connecting Ohio to the East Coast. The city of Canton was a significant center of the canal, with many warehouses and businesses using the canal to transport goods.
4. The Underground Railroad:
During the mid-19th century, Canton, Ohio played an important role in aiding escaped slaves. The city was part of the Underground Railroad network, with the city having several safe-houses that refugees could stay in while trying to get to freedom.
5. Licensing of Dr. Bob and Drug Addiction:
Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith, known as Dr. Bob, was a doctor who helped found Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). In 1929, Dr. Bob obtained his license to practice medicine in Ohio and opened his own office in Akron. Dr. Bob struggled with alcoholism throughout his life and found that by speaking to other alcoholics about his experiences, he was able to maintain his sobriety.
6. The Lincoln Highway:
In 1913, the Lincoln Highway was established, which was the first cross-country road from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. The highway ran through Canton, Ohio, with the city serving as an important stopover for travelers between the east and the west coast.
7. The Massillon Steel Strike:
On August 20, 1937, workers at Republic Steel in Massillon, Ohio, went on strike, demanding union recognition and better pay. The strike was violent, with the company hiring strikebreakers and police brutality becoming an issue. The strike lasted for six weeks, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt eventually intervening to find a resolution between the company and the workers.
These historical events have all had a significant impact on the development and growth of Canton, Ohio, and the United States. Today, Canton stands as a testament to the rich history and heritage of the United States. As the birthplace of the National Football League, Canton continues to be a significant destination for football fans from around the world.
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