Why Oh Why Ohio?

Ohio: Birthplace of Aviation

Ohio: Birthplace of Aviation


Ohio is a midwest state in the United States. It became a state in 1803. Ohio’s name comes from the Iroquois word ohi-yo which means “great river”.  It’s capital city is Columbus. Even though it isn’t one of the largest states in the US, Ohio is densely populated state. It is the 34th largest state by area, but it is the 10th most populated. It may come as a surprise that Ohio is home the largest Amish population in the United States.

US Map

United States Map

Ohio is filled with hard-working people from a humble state whose official state rock song is “Hang on Sloopy“. Except for one thing..

Ohio has a crazy connection to flying and space. There are so many important aviation advancements that took place in Ohio. Furthermore, Ohio has been home to a disproportionate number of astronauts. So much so, NASA has a webpage dedicated to the Ohio Astronauts. California, New York, and Florida would make sense but Ohio? When you see some of the facts, you have to ask yourself: Why oh why Ohio?

Check out some aerospace facts about Ohio:

  • The Wright Brothers, the men who get credit for inventing the airplane, were from and worked in Ohio.
  • Aviator, Jerrie Mock, was the first woman to fly solo around the world along with a bunch of other ‘female flying firsts’. Mock was one cool lady.
  • Ohio is the birthplace of many US astronauts including the first American to orbit Earth, John Glenn, and the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong. In total, 25 astronauts were either born in Ohio or raised in Ohio. Ohio is home to the most astronauts per capita!
  • Astronauts from Ohio have flown most of NASA’s major human space flight programs.

So, what’s the deal with aerospace and Ohio? What do you think?

Colbert asks hard hitting question about Ohio Astronauts

4 thoughts on “Why Oh Why Ohio?

  1. Back in 2002, when my son was a teen, we were traveling through Ohio on the way to Peoria and Iowa City to visit family. My son loves science. We decided to stop overnight in Dayton and visit the National Museum of the Air Force. It was nice, but they had a fire drill while we were there, evacuated the building. We hung around an hour and the drill was still in process so we left. We have passed through Dayton once since, and were unable to stop. Ohio does deserve more from me.

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