Portage, Ohio, is a small town with a rich history. Here are 7 historical events that have taken place near Portage:
1. Triangle Park Fire: On July 10, 1915, a fire broke out in the Triangle Park shopping district in nearby Akron, Ohio. The fire destroyed 20 buildings, caused one death, and injured dozens more. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
2. Kent State Shootings: On May 4, 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on a crowd of unarmed students at Kent State University, killing four and injuring nine others. The incident became a turning point in the Vietnam War protests and the movement against the government policies.
3. The Underground Railroad: Over 150 years ago, Portage was part of the Underground Railroad, a secret network of people and safe houses that helped enslaved people escape to freedom in Canada.
4. Cuyahoga River Fire: On June 22, 1969, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, just 30 miles north of Portage, caught on fire. This disaster drew national attention to the problem of industrial pollution and led to the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency.
5. Ohio-Canada Goose War: In 1805, the Ohio-Canada Goose War started when Ohio residents started to feel threatened by Canadian geese. Ohio declared war on Canada and a group of soldiers marched north to confront the geese. It was a symbolic battle and is now seen as a humorous event.
6. Ada L. Comstock: Ada L. Comstock was the first female president of a woman's college (Smith College in Massachusetts). She was born in Portage and returned to the area later in life to retire.
7. The Great Flood of 1913: In March 1913, a massive flood swept through Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. The flood killed over 1,000 people and caused $400 million in damage. While Portage itself was not directly affected, many nearby towns were devastated.
These events provide a glimpse into the unique and diverse history of the Portage area. Each one of these events has left a significant impact on the community and the country as a whole. History has shaped Portage and its residents, making it an integral part of not only Ohio but also the United States' history.
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