13 Random Facts About Columbus That Will Get You Thinking

Ready to beef up your useless party knowledge?

We’re taking a quick dive into some interesting facts about Columbus. If you missed Volume 1, I’ll give you a minute to check that out here.

Now that you’re up to speed, let’s get started.

1. Without us, Natalie Portman wouldn’t exist.

More specifically, if it wasn’t for The Ohio State University, the world may never have had the pleasure of knowing Natalie Portman. Portman’s parents met as students at a Jewish student center at OSU. After a couple of years, her dad moved away, but the duo stayed together, and the rest is history.

2. Ohio City could have been a Columbus thing.

The Ohio state legislature picked the name Columbus for the still-unfinished capital on February 20, 1812. One alternative to Columbus that was tossed around was Ohio City, which I kind of love the sound of.

3. One of the most interesting things in Columbus has two heads.

The Ohio History Center is a great place to learn about Ohio’s history. But there’s nothing that catches your eye at the museum quite like the two-headed calf. The polycephalic animal is a lot like a conjoined twin, but it caused quite the stir when it was born in 1915 in Brookeville, Ohio.

4. We’re home to one of the best children’s authors ever.

We’ve produced some world-renowned individuals, but none are so inspirational as children’s author and orchestrater of our childhood nightmares, R.L. Stine. Stine is often referred to as the “Stephen King of children’s literature” and has sold over 400 million copies of his books worldwide.

5. There’s a secret hiding under North Market.

via Facebook

The North Market may be your favorite place to grab a bite to eat, but long before it was a gathering place, it was a public cemetery. There are still bodies buried underneath the area, which could prove problematic for upcoming construction.

6. We know about strong women.

Columbus resident Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock was the first woman to fly solo around the world. She flew on a single-engine plane named the “Spirit of Columbus” and started her journey on March 19, 1964. She returned to Columbus 29 days later.

7. One of the world’s most famous gorillas used to live here.

via Facebook

Until her death in 2017, Colo was the oldest known gorilla living in the world. She was the first to be born in captivity and spent her life in the care of the Columbus Zoo. She was a mother three, a grandmother to 16, a great-grandmother to 12, and a great-great-grandmother to three. 5 of her family members still live at the zoo.

8. Over 100 years ago, scientists in Columbus changed the world of water filtration forever.

In 1908, the Columbus Experiment created the first water plant to use filtration and softening, creating techniques that are still in use throughout the world today. We have Clarence and Charles Hoover and Jeremiah O’Shaughnessy to thank for that! Ohio’s Hoover Dam and the O’Shaughnessy Dam are named after the men.

9. We’re kind of a big deal in the fashion industry.

Columbus is the third leading city in Fashion Design in the United States, right after New York and Los Angeles, in part thanks to apparel companies like Abercrombie & Fitch and Victoria’s Secret. Take that, rest of the midwest.

10. We’ve got the world’s biggest something…

Our city is home to lots of great things like restaurants, parks, art galleries, and the world’s largest gavel. Seriously. Just outside The Ohio Judicial Center, you’ll find the massive masterpiece, created by Andrew Scott in 2008.

11. The American Federation of Labor was founded in Columbus in 1886.

Samuel Gompers in the office of the American Federation of Labor, 1887.

The AFL’s founding convention declaring “higher wages and a shorter workday” to be “preliminary steps toward great and accompanying improvements in the condition of the working people.” The fight for workers rights changed the way our entire country works for the better.

12. We can thank a world-renowned businessman for our Main Library.

The Main Library was built from 1903 to 1906 thanks to a $150,000 donation from Andrew Carnegie. Originally, he wasn’t a fan of the location. He wanted it to be more central for working-class families. But John Pugh, the Library Director, went to New York and convinced him to donate. Carnegie’s only condition was that the City of Columbus fund the library for at least $20,000 per year.

13. We’ve got a sister, and she’s in Italy.

Columbus established its first Sister City relationship in 1955 with Genoa, Italy, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. To commemorate the relationship, Columbus received a bronze statue of Christopher Columbus from the people of Genoa. The statue, sculpted by artist Edoardo Alfieri, overlooks Broad Street in front of Columbus City Hall.

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