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5 Fun Facts About December 31 In Ohio History

---Learn Every Day: OH Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history oh To: 618-270-4005---

December 31 is an important day in Ohio history, as it marks the end of another year and is celebrated with various events and traditions. Here are five interesting facts about December 31 in Ohio history:

1. Ohio became the 17th state in the United States on March 1, 1803, but it wasn't until December 31, 1803, that the state's first governor, Edward Tiffin, was inaugurated.

2. On December 31, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that all slaves in Confederate-controlled territory were to be set free. Although Ohio was a Union state during the Civil War, the proclamation helped to further the cause of abolition and eventual freedom for all enslaved people in the country.

3. The Ohio State Buckeyes football team has a long history of playing on December 31. In 1979, they defeated USC 17-16 in the Rose Bowl, and in 1984 they won the Fiesta Bowl against Pittsburgh, 28-23. More recently, they faced off against Clemson in the College Football Playoff in 2016 and lost 31-0.

4. In 1999, Ohioan John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, returned to space at the age of 77 as part of the Space Shuttle Discovery crew. The mission, which lasted for nearly nine days, was one of the main events of the year and helped to boost interest and enthusiasm for space exploration.

5. Many Ohioans celebrate New Year's Eve with the annual "ball drop" in Cleveland's Public Square, which started in 1992. The event features live music, food trucks, and a countdown to midnight, culminating in the lowering of a massive, illuminated ball from a 216-foot tower.

While these are just a few notable events that have occurred on December 31 in Ohio history, they serve as a reminder of the state's important contributions to politics, sports, and technology. As Ohioans prepare to ring in the new year, they can look back on these moments with pride and excitement for what the future may bring.
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