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4th Grade History Pass Announced
Cleveland History Center
February 8, 2024

As a senior, you undoubtedly recall some of the events around the nation's Bicentennial in 1976. Remember people painting mailboxes and fire hydrants red, white, and blue? For years before the actual date, there were events, parades, fireworks and many opportunities to learn about and celebrate our history.

It's hard to believe but that was 50 years ago! It is now time to plan for and celebrate the 250th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Founding Fathers and the establishment of the United States. It is called the Semiquincentennial but it's a lot easier to just say America-250.

America 250-Ohio logo

We are fortunate in Ohio to have many institutions working to make this a memorable and educational experience for the people of our state and beyond. A group called America 250-Ohio is working to showcase Ohio's contributions to the U.S. for the past 250+ years.

The Ohio Commission was announced in 2022 by Governor Mike DeWine and they began making plans to prepare for the United States of America's 250th anniversary which culminates on July 4, 2026.

Their website says, "America 250-Ohio is a multi-year commemoration where Ohioans from all 88 counties will be in the spotlight of the impact Ohio's unique role in our nation's story. Ohio and Ohioans have contributed much to the United States from statesmen to artists, from actors to Nobel laureates, and so much more. We will tell the story of Ohio, from the Native Americans who were here before Europeans to people who call Ohio home today. "

One of the initial programs was announced February 8 at the Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) in Cleveland. They are working with the America 250-Ohio and other Ohio history-related museums and sites to offer a special opportunity for 4th grade students. Speakers from various institutions told of the impact of the Pass.

Kelly Falcone-Hall, President & CEO, Western Reserve Historical Society  with ladies from Hale Farm

Kelly Falcone-Hall, President & CEO,
Western Reserve Historical Society
with ladies from Hale Farm

Gayle Gadison, Curriculum Specialist, CMSD

Gayle Gadison, Curriculum Specialist, CMSD

Mary Manning, PhD, Education Manager, Cleveland History Center

Mary Manning, PhD, Education Manager, Cleveland History Center

Christy Davis, Executive Director, Canton Museum of Art

Christy Davis, Executive Director, Canton Museum of Art

The 4th Grade History Pass will allow 4th grade students in Ohio to attend WRHS and other participating history museums and historic sites free of charge, with a paid adult.

The obvious question is: Why 4th graders? "Fourth-grade students in the state of Ohio study the early development of Ohio and the United States," said Todd Kleismit, executive director of the America 250-Ohio Commission. This program aligns with the critical age when students learn about Ohio history in school. Involving Ohio's youngest citizens in the 250th anniversary is a priority for the Commission, and we hope students come away inspired and excited about the history of Ohio and eager to learn more."

Doug Preisse, Co-Chair America 250- Ohio

Doug Preisse, Co-Chair America 250- Ohio

Besides the WRHS, other participating history museums throughout the state of Ohio include the Cincinnati Museum Center, Ohio History Connection sites and Hale Farm and Village. Find more information and an up-to-date list of participating history museums

4th grade pass

So why should a Cleveland Senior care about a program for 4th graders? It's a great opportunity to visit some of these places with a grandchild or other 4th graders and learn about some Ohio history that you may not be aware of such as:

  • Jerrie Mack from Columbus was the first woman to fly solo around the world.
  • Cleveland's own Garrett Morgan invented the three-way traffic signal.
  • Ohio is the birthplace to seven US Presidents., second only to Virginia.
  • Dum-Dum suckers, Klondike Bars and Lifesaver Candies were all invented in Ohio.
  • Neil Armstrong from Wapakoneta, Ohio was the first person to walk on the moon.
  • And much more.

Keep up with the latest on the Semiqui... the semeigquesi,... America-250 events at America-250-Ohio.

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