Ohio Becomes a State at Last

Though the official date of Ohio’s statehood is March 1, 1803 it is an interesting story as to how Ohio wasn’t “officially” a state until a mistake was discovered and corrected in 1953. Jefferson was president on February 19, 1803 when Congress approved Ohio’s constitution and boundaries, but failed to pass a resolution that would formally admit Ohio into the Union as the 17th state. This was in part due to the fact that Congress hadn’t started the practice of declaring the official statehood of a state until 1812 when Louisiana was accepted into the union as the 18th state.  In truth a formal resolution admitting Ohio into the United States wasn’t necessary, but still being seen as an oversight George H. Bender recognized the situation and introduced a bill to Congress requesting that Ohio be admitted into the Union and making the resolution retroactive to march 1, 1803.  The Ohio state legislature held a special session at the old state capital located in Chillicothe. There they approved the petition for statehood and then had it delivered to Washington, D.C. by horseback.  It was on Ohio’s 150th anniversary as a state that on August 7, 1953 then President Eisenhower signed Ohio into the United States declaring that March 1, 1803 was the official date of Ohio’s admittance into the Union.

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