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History of Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, the largest city in Ohio, is situated on the south shore of Lake Erie at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. It was surveyed in 1796 by General Moses Cleaveland on behalf of the Connecticut Land Company, which had purchased a large amount of land in the Western Reserve. The following year, Lorenzo Carter built a cabin that doubled as the local inn and jail, and became the community's first permanent settler. In 1813, Cleaveland saw the arrival of Walk-in-the-Water, the first steamship on Lake Erie. In the following year, Cleaveland was incorporated as a village. On January 6, 1831, the Cleveland Advertiser newspaper dropped the first "a" from the name, in order to fit it onto its masthead. Cleveland incorporated as a city in 1836. The first railroad arrived in 1851, connecting Cleveland with Columbus, the state capital. Cleveland developed rapidly throughout the second half of the 19th century and by 1890 was the 10th largest city in the country. In 1901, the city elected Tom L. Johnson as mayor and re-elected him at every opportunity until 1909. However, Johnson's attempt to establish municipal ownership of the street railways was thwarted by the voters' rejection of a three-cent-fare bill in 1908, and he lost the mayoral election in 1909. In 1967, Cleveland elected Carl Stokes as mayor, the first African-American person to hold that position. In 1952, Alan Freed, a Cleveland disc jockey, coined the phrase "rock 'n' roll." The first ever Rock 'n' Roll concert was the Moondog Coronation Ball, held in Cleveland on March 21, 1952. It was not held again for 34 years, but since 1986, it has been an annual event. The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opened its doors in Cleveland on September 2, 1995. On June 23, 1969, the nearby Cuyahoga River caught fire. Polluted by industrial wastes and clogged with debris, the river was a disgrace. Although fires had broken out on its surface before, the 1969 fire attracted national attention. Congress had just begun to adopt environmental policies, and it is thought that the publicity surrounding the Cuyahoga Fire in 1969 contributed to the passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972.