Cleveland January 09, 2017
by Conor Battles 10 Fun Facts About Cleveland You Never Knew Were True
Cleveland is a city filled to the brim with history. There are stories surrounding just about every building, street, or park in the Forest City. With so much to keep track of, there are many interesting facts that people might overlook while exploring Cleveland’s 220-year history.
1. The first shopping mall opened in Cleveland.
The Cleveland Arcade, opened in 1890, is widely considered the first indoor shopping complex in America. Even better; its beautiful Victorian architecture and iconic skylight is still standing today.
2. Cleveland is the birthplace of Superman.
Before there was Metropolis, there was Cleveland. When comic writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster first came up with their iconic superhero creation in 1933, they were high school students at Cleveland's Glenville High School.
3. The modern golf ball was invented in Cleveland.
The game of golf as we know it today owes a lot to Cleveland. In 1898, a Clevelander and avid golfer named Coburn Haskell inadvertently came up with the wound rubber design of modern golf balls. Think of that the next time you hit the links at one of the many golf courses around Cleveland.
4. So. Many. Inventions.
The fields of science and technology have both been heavily influenced by some of Cleveland's best minds. From Charles F. Brush's 1879 invention of the electric streetlight to full-body scanners and X-ray machines in the 20th century, Cleveland has been a technological center throughout its history.
5. Rock and roll was coined in Cleveland.
The roots of rock and roll are quite hard to definitively trace, but one thing that's certain is that if it weren't for Cleveland, it wouldn't have a name. Alan Freed, a radio DJ for WJW Cleveland in the 1950s, was the first to promote this new music under the name "rock and roll." It is due to his influence on the genre that when it came time to find a city to host the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, Cleveland was the most obvious choice.
6. Many celebrities were born and raised in Cleveland.
The road from Cleveland to Hollywood might be long, but that doesn't stop many top stars from making the journey. Bob Hope, Halle Berry, Drew Carey, Arsenio Hall, and many more famous figures grew up in Cleveland.
7. Your favorite movie might have been shot in Cleveland.
Cleveland is a favorite shooting location for Hollywood blockbusters. Look for shots of famous Cleveland landmarks in movies like "The Avengers," "A Christmas Story," "Men in Black," or "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles."
8. Cleveland is a typo (sort of).
The city of Cleveland got its name from its founder, General Moses Cleaveland. Why was the "a" dropped? A local newspaper didn't have enough space on its masthead to fit it, so the letter was dropped. The name stuck ever since.
9. The Cuyahoga River, or "the river that caught fire."
The Cuyahoga River that runs through most of northeast Ohio before depositing in Lake Erie has had an interesting history with Cleveland. The stretch of the river that runs through the city has caught on fire 13 different times!
10. Cleveland is internationally recognized.
Cleveland is one of the leading cities in the world for many high arts circles. The Cleveland Orchestra is frequently cited among the best classical orchestras in the world, and Fashion Week Cleveland is one of 14 annual major international fashion showcases in the world.
There is a lot to learn about Cleveland, and interesting facts like this only begin to scratch the surface of the city’s vibrant history. Tell us some of your favorite tidbits about Cleveland in the comments!
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