Timeline of Cleveland history

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This article contains a timeline of the history of Cleveland, Ohio, United States.

1904 map of Cleveland

18th century[edit]

  • 1796
Moses Cleaveland and survey party arrive at the location that would later become Cleveland.
  • 1797
Lorenzo Carter, a prominent early settler, arrives.

19th century[edit]

  • 1800
Trumbull County created, encompassing Cleaveland.
  • 1803
Ohio becomes the 17th State admitted to the Union.
  • 1805
Geauga County created, encompassing Cleaveland.
  • 1808
Lorenzo Carter builds the Zephyr, the first ship to be launched in Cleaveland.
  • 1810
Cuyahoga County organized; Cleaveland selected as county seat.
  • 1813
Oliver Hazard Perry wins the Battle of Lake Erie at Put-in-Bay.
  • 1814
Cleaveland receives its charter as a village.
Newburgh Township created.
  • 1815
Alfred Kelley is elected the first president of the village of Cleaveland.
  • 1818
The Cleaveland Gazette and Commercial Register, Cleaveland's first newspaper is published.[1]
  • 1822
A free bridge is opened across the Cuyahoga River.
  • 1831
The Cleveland Advertiser alters the spelling of the community's name to Cleveland.
James A. Garfield, 20th United States President, born in Orange Township.
  • 1832
Ohio and Erie Canal completed to the Ohio River.
  • 1836
Cleveland and Ohio City are incorporated as cities.
John W. Willey is elected the first mayor of Cleveland.
Bridge War between Cleveland and Ohio City takes place.
  • 1842
The Plain Dealer begins publication.[1]
  • 1845
City Bank of Cleveland (forerunner of National City Corp.) founded.
  • 1847
The Weddell House opens.
The first telegraph line (from Cleveland to Pittsburgh) is completed.
  • 1848
Colored National Convention held in city.[2]
  • 1851
Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad completed.
  • 1852
Alienated American newspaper begins publication.[3][4]
  • 1853
The Cleveland Theater opens.
National Women's Rights Convention held.
  • 1854
Ohio City annexed to Cleveland.
The Cleveland Leader begins publication.
  • 1860
Perry Monument on Public Square dedicated.
  • 1861
The American Civil War begins.
  • 1865
The American Civil War ends.
  • 1866
Cleveland Police Department established.
  • 1869
Cleveland Public Library established.
Lake View Cemetery opens.
  • 1870
Standard Oil Company in business.[5]
  • 1873
Cleveland Bar Association established.
Newburgh annexed to Cleveland.
  • 1875
Euclid Avenue Opera House opens.
  • 1878
Penny Press, predecessor to the Cleveland Press, begins publication.
  • 1880
James A. Garfield, from Cleveland, elected 20th President of the United States.
Case School of Applied Science established.
  • 1881
Garfield lies in state on Public Square after being assassinated, July 2.
  • 1882
Western Reserve College moves to Cleveland.
Cleveland School of Art established.
  • 1884
First electric streetcar run in the city.
Cleveland Electric Light Co. formed.
  • 1887
Michelson–Morley experiment conducted at Western Reserve University.
  • 1890
The Arcade opens.
Garfield Monument dedicated in Lake View Cemetery.
Population: 261,353.[6]
  • 1894
May Day Riots of 1894
Soldiers and Sailors Monument dedicated.
  • 1896
Cleveland celebrates its centennial.
  • 1899
Tom L. Johnson is elected mayor of Cleveland.

20th century[edit]

Map of Territorial Changes to the City of Cleveland


  • 1901
The Cleveland Blues (predecessor to the Cleveland Indians) are established as one of the first teams in the new American League.
Cleveland worker and avowed anarchist, Leon Czolgosz assassinates U.S. President William McKinley in Buffalo, New York.
  • 1905
The Cleveland News begins publication
Glenville City and South Brooklyn annexed to Cleveland.
  • 1908
Collinwood School Fire
  • 1909
Tom L. Johnson loses mayoral race to Hermann Baehr.
Corlett Village annexed to Cleveland.
  • 1910
Collinwood annexed to Cleveland.

William Lowe Rice murdered as he walks home from Euclid Golf Club

  • 1911
Tom L. Johnson dies.
  • 1912
Village of Nottingham annexed to Cleveland.
  • 1913
The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 hits Cleveland.
Home Rule City Charter approved by Cleveland voters.
  • 1914
Cleveland chosen as the Fourth District headquarters of the Federal Reserve Bank.
Cleveland Municipal Light Plant goes into operation.
  • 1915
Cleveland Play House and Western Reserve University's School of Applied Social Science[7][1] established.
  • 1916
Cleveland Museum of Art opens.
Cleveland City Hall dedicated.
  • 1917
Cleveland Metroparks organized.
  • 1918
Federal Court trial of Eugene V. Debs held in Cleveland.
  • 1919
May Day Riots of 1919
State Prohibition is enacted in Cleveland
Voters approve placement of a new railroad terminal on Public Square.
  • 1920
Cleveland becomes the fifth-largest city in the nation.
The Volstead Act and the Eighteenth Amendment become law.
Cleveland Indians win the World Series.
Cleveland Museum of Natural History established.
  • 1921
Cleveland Clinic and Playhouse Square established.
  • 1922
Demolition for the Terminal Tower site begins
  • 1923
Federal Reserve bank building completed.
  • 1924
Republican National Convention held in Cleveland.
Mayor/Council form of government replaced by City Manager plan.
  • 1925
New Public Library building opens.
Cleveland Airport (now Hopkins International) opens.
University Hospitals incorporated.
  • 1929
Cleveland Clinic disaster occurs.
National Air Race first held in Cleveland.
The Stock Market crashes
  • 1930
The Tower City Center is dedicated.
  • 1931
Severance Hall dedicated.
  • 1932
City Manager plan is reversed to the Mayor/Council form of government.
  • 1933
Depression-era unemployment peaks in Cleveland: nearly one-third of the city's citizens are out of work.
Prohibition is repealed on December 23 – nearly eight months longer than the Eighteenth Amendment.
  • 1935
Eliot Ness becomes Safety Director of Cleveland.
Cleveland Torso Murder mystery begins.
  • 1936
Republican National Convention held in Cleveland.
  • 1937
Cleveland Barons hockey team established.
Cleveland Arena opens.
Cleveland Rams begin to play professional football.
John D. Rockefeller dies.
  • 1938
Cleveland Memorial Shoreway opens between East 9th Street and Gordon Park.
Clevelander Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at Berlin Olympic Games.
Great Lakes Exposition opens.
  • 1940
NACA, forerunner of NASA, established at the Cleveland airport.
  • 1941
Western Reserve Red Cats win the Sun Bowl, the city's first college football bowl game.
  • 1942
Cleveland Bomber Plant (now the I-X Center) opens at Municipal Airport.
  • 1944
Cleveland East Ohio Gas Explosion claims 130 lives.
  • 1945
Cleveland Rams win NFL football title then move to Los Angeles.
  • 1946
Cleveland Browns are founded and begin play in All-America Football Conference.
Cleveland Browns win the All-America Football Conference championship.
  • 1947
Operations begin at the lakefront airport.
First telecast by WEWS, Ohio's first television station.
Eliot Ness runs for mayor of Cleveland but is defeated by incumbent Thomas A. Burke.
Cleveland Browns win the All-America Football Conference championship.
  • 1948
Cleveland Indians win World Series.
Cleveland Browns win the All-America Football Conference championship.
  • 1949
Cleveland named an All-America City for first time.
Cleveland Browns win the All-America Football Conference championship.


  • 1950
Cleveland Browns begin play in National Football League.
Cleveland Browns win the National Football League championship.
  • 1954
Last streetcars run.
Cleveland Browns win the National Football League championship.
  • 1955
Rapid Transit begins operation.
Cleveland Browns win the National Football League championship.
  • 1959
Boddie Recording Company in business.[8]
  • 1960
Erieview urban renewal plan unveiled.
Final issue of the Cleveland News published.
  • 1961
Mapp v. Ohio
  • 1962
Innerbelt Freeway opens for its full length.
  • 1964
Erieview Tower completed.
Cleveland State University established.
Cleveland Browns win the National Football League championship.
  • 1965
WVIZ, an educational television station, begins broadcasting.
  • 1966
Hough Riots
Cuyahoga Community College opens its Metro Campus.
  • 1967
Carl B. Stokes elected the first African American mayor of a major American city.
Case Western Reserve University established.
  • 1968
Glenville Shootout
Terry v. Ohio
  • 1969
A burning oil slick on the Cuyahoga River attracts national attention regarding pollution.
Euclid Beach Park closes.
  • 1970
Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team organized.
  • 1972
Cleveland Magazine begins publication.
  • 1973
Cleveland Barons play their last hockey game.
  • 1974
Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority established.
  • 1976
Desegregation of the Cleveland Public Schools ordered by U.S. District Judge Frank J. Battisti.
  • 1978
Cleveland is hit by the Great Blizzard of 1978
1978 recall election
On December 15, Cleveland becomes the first American city to go into default since the Depression.
  • 1979
Greater Cleveland Food Bank established.
  • 1980
Presidential debate between candidates Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan held in Cleveland.
Cleveland emerges from default.
  • 1981
City Council reduced from 33 to 21 members.
Term of office for mayor and council members increased from two to four years.
  • 1982
Ground broken for the Sohio (BP) Building on Public Square.
The Cleveland Press ceases publication.
Cleveland named an All-America City for second time.
  • 1984
Cleveland named an All-America City for third time.
  • 1986
Cleveland named an All-America City for fourth time.
Cleveland selected as site for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • 1988
Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and Case Western Reserve University's Center on Urban Poverty and Social Change established.
  • 1991
Key Tower "topped off" at 947 ft (289 m).
  • 1993
Cleveland named an All-America City for fifth time.
  • 1995
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opens.[9]
Indians win American League championship.
Bishop Anthony Pilla is elected to the presidency of USCCB
  • 1996
Cleveland celebrates its bicentennial.
Cleveland rap group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony win a Grammy for "Tha Crossroads"
  • 1997
Cleveland Indians win the American League pennant and return to the World Series.
  • 1999
The new Cleveland Browns Stadium opens with the return of the Cleveland Browns.

21st century[edit]

  • 2001
Cleveland Barons are revived.
  • 2002
Cleveland citizens elect Jane L. Campbell as the first female mayor of Cleveland.
  • 2003
2003 North America blackout
  • 2004
Vice-presidential candidates Dick Cheney and John Edwards debate at Case Western Reserve University.
  • 2005
Frank G. Jackson is the first sitting city council member to be elected mayor of Cleveland since Stephen Buhrer in 1867.[10]
  • 2006
Barons leave Cleveland for the second time.
Cleveland, Columbus, and other Ohio cities argue against a bill passed by the Ohio House legislature that will eliminate residency rules in the state.
  • 2007
Cleveland is hit with a major winter storm in February, leaving the city covered with 15 inches of snow.
On October 20th, Cleveland became the first television market in the United States to have all of its local television stations to broadcast in high definition.
  • 2009
The Ohio Supreme Court upholds the 2006 law prohibiting residency requirements.
Anthony Sowell, a rapist is charged with the murder of 5 women, but Cleveland Police find more bodies bringing the count to 10 even more could be found. This case is making international news from all over the world.
Frank Jackson wins a second term as Mayor of Cleveland.
11/3/2009 Ohio Voters open Ohio to casino gambling and Cleveland will have a casino by 2013.
Cleveland is selected by the International Gay Games committee to host the 2014 Gay Games. Cleveland beat out Boston, Washington DC, and Hamburg Germany.
  • 2010
Population: 396,815.[11]
  • 2011
Construction begins on the Medical Mart and new convention center, scheduled to open late 2013.
  • 2013
Castro kidnappings discovered.
  • 2014
Hosts the international 2014 Gay Games, also known as Gay Games 9
  • 2016
Cleveland Cavaliers win the NBA Championship.
Lake Erie Monsters win the Calder Cup and then are renamed Cleveland Monsters.
Republican National Convention held in Cleveland.
  • 2017
Steve Stephens murders Robert Godwin, Sr. while he was walking on a sidewalk, as seen from a Facebook post.

See also[edit]

Other cities in Ohio


  1. ^ a b "US Newspaper Directory". Chronicling America. Washington DC: Library of Congress. Retrieved February 2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^ "Conventions Organized by Year". Colored Conventions. University of Delaware. Archived from the original on 2014-04-16. Retrieved April 2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ "Timeline". The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords. USA: Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  4. ^ I. Garland Penn (1891), The Afro-American Press and its Editors, Springfield, Massachusetts: Willey & Co.
  5. ^ M. S. Vassiliou (2009). "Chronology". Historical Dictionary of the Petroleum Industry. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-6288-3.
  6. ^ "Cleveland", Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.), New York: Encyclopædia Britannica Co., 1910, OCLC 14782424
  7. ^ Cleveland Year Book. Cleveland Foundation. 1921.
  8. ^ "The Tiny Record Empire in Cleveland". The Root. October 13, 2010. Archived from the original on January 5, 2016. Retrieved February 2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  9. ^ "Cleveland History Timeline". Encyclopedia Of Cleveland History. Case Western Reserve University. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  10. ^ "US mayors". City Mayors.com. London: City Mayors Foundation. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  11. ^ "Cleveland (city), Ohio". State & County QuickFacts. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 18, 2014. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  12. ^ Federal Writers' Project (1940), "Chronology", Ohio Guide, American Guide Series, New York: Oxford University Press – via Google Books
  13. ^ "Timeline of Ohio History". Ohio History Central. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio History Connection.

Further reading[edit]

Published in the 19th century[edit]

Published in the 20th century[edit]

Published in the 21st century[edit]