September 09, 2015

23 Random Things You Probably Didn't Know About Cleveland

Cleveland is a magical place with lots of fascinating facts and history. So magical, in fact, there should probably be a drinking game about it. Here's one: if you DON'T know the fact, take a drink. If you DO know the fact, still, take a drink. That's just how we roll.  

Cleveland is a magical place with lots of fascinating facts and history. So magical, in fact, there should probably be a drinking game about it. Here's one: if you DON'T know the fact, take a drink. If you DO know the fact, still, take a drink. That's just how we roll.

By Brandon Koziol

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1. Let there be light! Cleveland was the first city to be lit electrically in 1879. It’s also the first to use an electric traffic signal, installed on Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street.
(Photo via Erik Drost, Flickr CC)

1. Let there be light! Cleveland was the first city to be lit electrically in 1879. It’s also the first to use an electric traffic signal, installed on Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street.

(Photo via Erik Drost, Flickr CC)


2. We truly do rock. Not only did Cleveland disk jockey Alan Freed coin the term rock and roll; he also put together the first rock concert called the Moondog Coronation Ball. 
(Photo via Wikimedia)

2. We truly do rock. Not only did Cleveland disk jockey Alan Freed coin the term rock and roll; he also put together the first rock concert called the Moondog Coronation Ball.

(Photo via Wikimedia)


3. The Willard Park “Free Stamp” was designed by Claes Oldenburg and his wife, Coosje van Bruggen. They chose the word “free” because of its importance in America and how it has many meanings. They’ve designed many others in inspiration like an umbrella and a bent spoon holding a cherry. 
(Photo via Erik Drost, Flickr CC)

3. The Willard Park “Free Stamp” was designed by Claes Oldenburg and his wife, Coosje van Bruggen. They chose the word “free” because of its importance in America and how it has many meanings. They’ve designed many others in inspiration like an umbrella and a bent spoon holding a cherry.

(Photo via Erik Drost, Flickr CC)


4. Lake Erie is the most biologically productive of the Great Lakes and considered one of the best hotspots to reel in a walleye. So that’s why the Cleveland streets smell like a fish sometimes. It’s also the warmest and most shallow. 
(Photo via Wikimedia)

4. Lake Erie is the most biologically productive of the Great Lakes and considered one of the best hotspots to reel in a walleye. So that’s why the Cleveland streets smell like a fish sometimes. It’s also the warmest and most shallow.

(Photo via Wikimedia)


5. We’ve been represented at the Olympics. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens is from Cleveland. He was a track-and-field star who moved to the city at 9. 
(Photo via Cleveland Memory Project)

5. We’ve been represented at the Olympics. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens is from Cleveland. He was a track-and-field star who moved to the city at 9.

(Photo via Cleveland Memory Project)


6. The Wicked Witch of the West originally hailed in Cleveland. Actress Margaret Hamilton, who played the witch in 'The Wizard of Oz,' was born here. Take that, Hollywood!
(Photo via Wikimedia)

6. The Wicked Witch of the West originally hailed in Cleveland. Actress Margaret Hamilton, who played the witch in 'The Wizard of Oz,' was born here. Take that, Hollywood!

(Photo via Wikimedia)


7. Playhouse Square is the largest performing arts center outside of the Big Apple. 
(Photo via Wikimedia)

7. Playhouse Square is the largest performing arts center outside of the Big Apple.

(Photo via Wikimedia)


8. The Terminal Tower, standing 708-feet tall, was the second-tallest building in the world upon completion in 1930. 
(Photo via Erik Drost, Flickr CC)

8. The Terminal Tower, standing 708-feet tall, was the second-tallest building in the world upon completion in 1930.

(Photo via Erik Drost, Flickr CC)


9. Potato chips were first mass-produced right here in Cleveland... and we've been eating more than just one ever since. 
(Photo via Wikimedia)

9. Potato chips were first mass-produced right here in Cleveland... and we've been eating more than just one ever since.

(Photo via Wikimedia)


10. We helped Chef Boyardee get his start. Before Beefaroni went global, Italian chef Hector Boiardi moved to Cleveland and opened a restaurant here called Giardino d'Italia. People began asking for the recipe. The rest is history.
(Photo via Mike Mozart, Flickr CC)

10. We helped Chef Boyardee get his start. Before Beefaroni went global, Italian chef Hector Boiardi moved to Cleveland and opened a restaurant here called Giardino d'Italia. People began asking for the recipe. The rest is history.

(Photo via Mike Mozart, Flickr CC)