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Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Cleveland

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM

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Happy birthday, Cleveland.

On this day in 1796, General Moses Cleaveland, one of the founders of the Connecticut Land Company, arrived at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, took a look around at the beauty and wonder around him, and said, "This would be a fine, fine place for a city. Well, it's not a horrible place for a city. I'd give it a 50-50 shot at surviving. Whatever." Then he immediately issued the first "No swimming because of dangerous bacteria" warning at Edgewater in the city's history. That is the true story of Cleveland's founding on July 22, 1796.

215 years later, here we are, suddenly overshadowed in birthday pomp and circumstance by Selena Gomez, who was also born this day, but still around and kicking.

While you're having a polish boy and some Paramount vodka to celebrate (215th birthdays are tradionally spent drinking indoors and planning for Bone Thugs concerts), here's a brief if incomplete timeline of Cleveland's early and undocumented history on this, the most important day in the history of Rust Belt days.

July 22, 1796: Cleveland founded by Moses Cleaveland.

July 22, 1797: Moses Cleaveland gets drunk and has a moment of pessimism. "I think I've made a huge mistake."

July 22, 1798: Moses Cleaveland promises a lucrative canoe deal to a contractor from southern Ohio in exchange for two turkeys and a really sharp stone, thus ushering in Cleveland's long history of bribes. "Nevermind, this place rocks," he says, feasting for days.

July 22, 1799: The Cleveland Clevelands, a semi-pro bear stabbing team, loses in the finals to a team from Boston, marking the first official professional sports loss for the city.

July 22, 1830: Dick Goddard is born.

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