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Published: Friday, 2/21/2003

From politics to coasters, Ohio's rich in curious data

Cedar Point's Millennium Force is one reason Ohio ranks first in roller coasters in the U.S. Cedar Point's Millennium Force is one reason Ohio ranks first in roller coasters in the U.S.

First African-American major city mayor in U.S.: Carl Stokes, Cleveland, 1967.

First American to orbit Earth: John Glenn of New Concord, 1962.

Country's first civilian astronaut: Neil Armstrong of Wapakoneta, 1966.

Ohio's first African-American congressman: Louis Stokes of Cleveland, 1968.

First woman in U.S. elected state supreme court judge: Mary B. Grossman of Cleveland, 1923.

First woman elected to state office: Democrat Gertrude Donahey of Tuscarawas, state treasurer, 1970.

First governor to die in office: John Brough, 1865.

Only father to succeed his son as governor: Mordecai Bartley, 1844. He succeeded Thomas Bartley, Ohio Senate speaker, who became acting governor when Wilson Shannon resigned.

Youngest governor: Thomas Bartley, 32, who served from April 15 to Dec. 3.

Most years as governor: James Rhodes of Coalton, 12. 1962-70; 1974-78.

First African-American woman in U.S. to earn college degree: Lucy Sessions, Oberlin College, 1850.

First private college in U.S. for African-Americans: Wilberforce University, 1856.

First junior high in U.S.: Indianola, Columbus, 1909.

First public Montessori school in U.S.: Sands, Cincinnati, 1978.

Oldest college newspaper in U.S.: The Miami Student, Miami University, Oxford, 1826.

First cooperative education program in U.S.: Antioch College, 1921.

Only center for Photochemical Science in U.S.: Bowling Green State University.

World's largest egg farm: Agrigeneral Co. LP., Croton, where 4.8 million hens lay 3.7 million eggs daily.

World's largest hand-woven basket: 48 by 23 by 19 feet; Longaberger Co.; Dresden, 1990.

World's largest grocery chain: Kroger Co. of Cincinnati; 2,126 U.S. stores.

World's largest baby: Born to giants Anna Bates (7 feet, 11 inches) and Martin van Buren Bates (7 feet, 9 inches), a son weighing 23 pounds, 12 ounces on Jan. 19, 1879 in Seville, Ohio. The infant died 11 hours later.

World's longest hospital stay: Martha Nelson was admitted at age 3 to the Columbus State Institute for the Feeble-Minded in 1875 and died at 103 in 1975 in the Orient State Institution.

Nation's largest ketchup producer: Heinz of Fremont, more than 20 million cases a year.

Nation's oldest greeting card company: Gibson Greeting, Inc., of Cincinnati, founded in 1850.

Oldest structure in the U.S.: Remains of an 11,000-year-old Native American hunting camp, near Akron, discovered in 1992.

Nation's largest private airport: Airborne Express, Wilmington.

Among the states, Ohio is: first in roller coasters; second in bowling alleys; third in energy consumption; fourth in golfers; fifth in interstate highway mileage; sixth in movie theaters; seventh in number of executions; eighth in patents issued; ninth in industrial research and development; 10th in infant mortality rate; 11th in AIDS deaths; 12th in percentage of adults who smoke; 13th in farm products production.

Source: The Ohio Almanac

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