History of Cleveland
Cleveland was founded in 1796 and named “Cleaveland,” after General Moses Cleaveland. The city’s rapid growth started in 1832, after the Ohio and Erie Canal was finished. Railroads that completed this major transportation and communication link boosted the economy even more and the city soon became a major commercial center. John D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil in 1870, however, he moved the company to New York 15 years later.
In addition to being a commercial center, Cleveland also became one of the America’s most important manufacturing centers. Automotive industry was prominent in the city and by the 1920 Cleveland was the fifth largest city in the USA.
After the Great Depression, Cleveland, much like other American cities, needed something to boost its economy and its spirits, so the Great Lakes Exhibition was created. It attracted four million visitors in 1936 and as much as seven million visitors in 1937. The grounds where the Exposition took place are today used by the Great lakes Science Center and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, among other institutions.
The 1950s and 1960s saw a lot of social unrest in Cleveland, in relation to the African-American Civil Rights Movement, which resulted in the Hough Riots (1966) and the Glenville Shootout (1968). The city was in recession in the beginning of the 1980s, but the gradual recovery started after the unemployment in the city peaked in 1983.
Today, the city’s economy relies mostly on business and finance, in addition to steel and various manufactured products. Currently, the efforts are being made towards making Cleveland a technology center as well.
Geography and Climate
Cleveland occupies an area of 82.4 square miles, of which 4.8 square miles is water. It lies on a series of bluffs along the Lake Erie, which are cut by the Cuyahoga River, Euclid Creek and Big Creek. The city lies at 653 feet above sea level.
Because of the effects of the Lake Erie, Cleveland has a humid subtropical climate, especially in the areas closer to the lakeshore. Surrounding areas have somewhat cooler weather which can be classified as humid continental. Summers are warm and humid and winters are cold, with plenty of snowfall. Thunderstorms and occasional tornadoes may occur during spring and early summer.
Cleveland skyline is dominated by several noteworthy buildings, such as the Terminal Tower and Key Tower, currently the highest building in Ohio. The city has many architecturally significant churches, most notably the historic Old Stone Church and St. Theodosius Russian orthodox Cathedral. Cleveland Metroparks is a park system that encircles the city and is known as the “Emerald Necklace.”
Population of Cleveland
According to the 2010 Census, Cleveland has 393,806 inhabitants. The racial makeup is 53.3% Black or African American, 33.4% non-Hispanic White, 10% Hispanic or Latino, 1.8% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 4.5% some other race and 2.8% two or more races.
The largest ethnic groups are Germans, Irish, Poles, Italians and English. The city also has large communities of Slovaks, Hungarians, French, Czechs, Ukrainians, Slovenes, Croats, Arabs, West Indians, Romanians, Greeks, Lithuanians and Dutch.
In 2000, the median household income in Cleveland was $25,928 and the per capita income was $14,291.
Business, finance, steel and manufacturing dominate the economy of Cleveland. Biotechnology and fuel cell research have recently become important and ever-growing sectors in the city.
The city has the headquarters of several major companies, most notably Eaton, Forest City Enterprises, KeyCorp, Sherwin-Williams Technology and Applied Industrial Technologies. It also used to be home to one of the largest law firms in America, the Jones Day.
The Cleveland Clinic is the largest private employer in Cleveland and also one of the nation’s top hospitals.
Attractions, Musums and Culture
The most famous tourist attraction in Cleveland is probably the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, designed by I.M. Pei. Other attractions include the Great Lakes Science Center, the Steamship Mather Museum, West Side Marker and University Circle with the Cleveland Museum of Art, Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland Botanical Garden and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
The main performing venue in the city is the Playhouse Square Center, the second-largest performing arts center in the USA. It has five theaters and hosts the Opera Cleveland, Cleveland Play House company, CSU Department of Theatre and Dance company and the Great lakes Theater Festival. The city is also home to one of the “Big Five” orchestras in the USA, the Cleveland Orchestra.
Education in Cleveland
Case Western Reserve University is Cleveland’s top institution of higher education. Other institutions include Cleveland State University, John Carroll University, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland Institute of Music, Notre Dame College and Cuyahoga Community College.
The primary airport for the city is Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, one of the ten principal hubs of United Airlines, with the first airport-to-downtown transit system in the USA. The Port of Cleveland is located at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River and is a major freight terminal on Lake Erie.
Amtrak provides passenger rail service to Cleveland on its Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited routes. Intercity bus service is offered by Greyhound, Megabus and several commuter bus companies.
The bus and rail mass transit system in Cleveland is operated by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority and consists of one heavy rail line, two light rail lines and a bus rapid transit line.
Cleveland is directly served by I-71, I-77, I-90, I-480 and I-490 interstate highways and by a number of state routes and U.S. routes.