Ohio's Sesquicentennial

From Ohio History Central
Ohio Sesquicentennial Parade.jpg
Parade held in Youngstown, Ohio celebrating the Ohio Sesquicentennial in 1953. The festivities marked 150 years since the founding of Ohio in 1803.

In 1953, Ohio celebrated the 150th anniversary of its statehood. The state sponsored a number of events to celebrate this occasion. First, the state government began to erect markers across Ohio that described prominent people and events in the history of the state. In 2003, the state renewed and expanded this program to commemorate Ohio's bicentennial. In 1953, the state government also issued a commemorative license plate, and the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp. Many Ohio communities held their own celebrations of the sesquicentennial.

During Ohio's sesquicentennial, it was asserted that the United States Congress had never formally approved Ohio's admittance to the United States, and that Ohio was therefore not a state. These stories were not true. On February 19, 1803, the United States Congress passed an act stating that the citizens of Ohio had adopted a constitution in accordance with the 1802 enabling act and the said state had become one of the United States of America. Doubters of Ohio's statehood contended that the Congress never issued a formal announcement of Ohio's statehood, as it did for all future states. While this is true, the official announcement was unnecessary for Ohio's statehood. In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower ended the debate by formally announcing Ohio's statehood as of March 1, 1803.

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