On More Ohio Firsts

Since readers are enthralled with learning about Ohio, here’s another list of firsts for the Buckeye state to go along with this earlier post. For even more information about the Buckeye state to help anyone prepare to be a Jeopardy contestant, see Categories > Ohio in the sidebar.

Public Services

  • First traffic light in the U.S. (Cleveland, 1914)
  • First pedestrian button for the control of a traffic light (Cleveland
  • First professional fire department (Cincinnati, (1853)
  • First state to enact laws protecting working women (1852)
  • First county-wide library in the U.S.; Brumlack Library (Van Wert, 1901)

Public Service

  • First Black mayor elected in U.S.; Carl Stokes, Cleveland (1967)
  • First woman elected judge in U.S.; Florence Allen (1920)
  • First woman appointed to U.S. Court of Appeals, Florence Allen (1934)
  • First woman U.S. Appellate Court Chief Justice; Florence Allen (1958)
  • First woman delegate to a national political convention; Bernice Pyke (Dem)
  • First Black elected to office in U.S.; John Langston (1855)


  • First college in the Northwest Territory; Ohio University (1804)
  • First coed college; Oberlin College (1837)
  • First school for the blind; Ohio Institute for the Blind, Columbus (1837)
  • First kindergarten in the U.S., Columbus (1838)
  • First Black woman to earn a college degree, Lucy Sessions/Oblerlin College
  • First college for Black Americans; Wilberforce University (1856)
  • First Black woman to earn a B.A. degree; Mary Jane Patterson (Oberlin College)
  • First college conservatory of music, Oberlin College (1865)
  • First junior high in U.S. (1909)
  • First public Montessori school in the U.S. (1978) Sands Montessori (Cincinnati)
  • First cooperative educational program in the U.S.; Antioch College (1921)
  • First college of polymer science engineering in the world; University of Akron


  • First Morman temple, Kirkland (1836)
  • First woman rabbi in the U.S., Sally Jane Priesand (1972)
  • First religious newspaper in the U.S., The Weekly Recorder (Chillicothe, 1814)


  • Site of John Dillinger’s first bank robbery
  • Oldest HS football rivalry in the country: Hughes-Woodward – Two Cincinnati Public Schools first played in 1878. (Cincinnati Enquirer article for anyone interested)

5 thoughts on “On More Ohio Firsts

    • Beeze,
      As a fellow Ohio resident, I was hoping you would see this. Luckily for me, I have a pretty good source. An interesting book to have around is the Ohio Almanac.
      Thanks for commenting.


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