AALL 2021 was originally planned as an in-person meeting in Cleveland, Ohio. However, after careful consideration of the continued COVID-19 pandemic and related government restrictions, AALL transitioned the 2021 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference from an in-person event to an online virtual experience, which will take place July 19-23, 2021. Although we won’t be together in Cleveland, AALL’s Local Arrangements Committee has put together a wonderful guide that highlights the history, culture, and even some facts about this exciting city.
Everyone knows that Cleveland is the Rock ‘n’ Roll capital of the world. But did you also know it is home to the A Christmas Story House? The first stop light? Life Savers? There is so much more to Cleveland than rock and roll. Let us take you on a stroll through the city’s history.
At the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, on the southern shore of Lake Erie, Cleveland was established in 1796 by General Moses Cleaveland. Many folktales exist about how the word Cuyahoga, the name of the river and the county in which Cleveland is located, came to be. It is possibly the Mohawk word, Cayagaga, for “crooked river.” Maybe it is a Senaca word, Gayohageh, for “jawbone.” We’ll never know for sure, but our river, along with Lake Erie, the Erie Canal, and the railways, is vital to the city. After the Civil War, Cleveland became a major manufacturing city. By the early twentieth century, Cleveland was the sixth largest city in the United States. Major automotive companies, including Peerless, People’s, Jordan, Chandler, Winton, White, Gaeth, and Baker, along with Standard Oil, all made their homes in Cleveland. So much industry, unfortunately, led to heavy pollution of Cleveland’s beloved river. This pollution caused the river to catch fire thirteen times. However, city and county government, along with the EPA, cleaned up the river, and in 2021, it was named River of the Year by the conservation association, American Rivers.
INVENTIONS AND OTHER FIRSTS
Charles Brush lit up Cleveland’s Public Square with his invention, the arc lamp, in 1879. As a result, Public Square became the first outdoor public space fully illuminated by electricity. The city then became known as the City of Light. The first electric stop light in the world was installed on the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street in Cleveland on August 5, 1914, by African American inventor Garret Morgan. Morgan also invented a safety hood in 1912 which evolved into the gas masks worn during World War I. The first full-body X-ray took place in Cleveland. Dayton Miller was a professor of mathematics and physics at Case School of Applied Science when he created his own machine and tested it on himself.
Cleveland was the first city in the country with free mail delivery. Joseph Briggs created the system and was then instrumental in establishing his system across the country. The Arcade, located in downtown Cleveland, was the first indoor shopping mall. Opened in 1890, it was financed by some of Cleveland’s most prominent citizens, including John D. Rockefeller. Still operational, it was the city’s first building to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. When completed in 1930, the Terminal Tower was the second-tallest building in the world.
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, the first municipal airport in the country, boasts non-stop flights to more than 35 destinations. The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) provides 30-minute train rides from the airport into downtown Cleveland. While the RTA train was the first public transportation train to pick up and drop off passengers inside the airport, the airport was the first in the U.S. with an air traffic control tower and airfield lighting.
Clarence Crane, a chocolatier from Cleveland, introduced the peppermint Life Saver in 1892 when sales of his chocolates began to slow. He sold the Life Saver business in 1913 for $2,900. He never received any further financial gains from Life Savers once the new owners quit using him as the supplier of the product in 1915.
Today, we follow our stars on Instagram, Twitter, and other social media outlets. But from 1870 until 1929, some of the wealthiest people in the country lived on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, also known as Millionaire’s Row. Two hundred fifty mansions stretched four miles along the avenue. Owners included Charles Brush, Samuel Mather, and John D. Rockefeller. Today only four exist.
Cleveland is also the birthplace of Superman. Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel created the superhero in 1933. The two friends met in high school. They sold their comic to DC in 1938 for $130. Originally, they received no royalties. But after a successful lawsuit in 1975, they each received $20,000 annually for the remainder of their lives. Today, fans can tour Jerry Siegel’s house. The site of Joe Shuster’s house is decorated with metal panels containing reproduction images of the first Superman comic.
Golf has been around for centuries, but in 1899, a worker at BF Goodrich, Bertan Work, and Coburn Haskell, a local golfer, patented their new golf ball. The new ball was made of rubber strips wrapped around a rubber core. It replaced the earliest golf balls, which were made of leather pouches stuffed with feathers, as well as later ones that were made of hardened tree juices. The Work and Haskell ball is still in use today.
Not only did local DJ Alan Freed coin the term “rock and roll,” but he also hosted the first rock and roll concert—the Moondog Coronation Ball—on March 21, 1952. Held in the Cleveland Arena, the crowds exceeded the venue’s capacity, and the event was shut down early due to riots. Also thanks to Mr. Freed, Cleveland is home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
In 1983, a movie about a boy and his wish to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas swept the country. A Christmas Story, starring Peter Billingsley as Ralphie, plays on a non-stop loop during the holiday season. So many iconic images come from the movie: Flick’s tongue frozen to the flagpole, the leg lamp, Randy’s snowsuit, and of course the BB gun. Large parts of the movie were filmed in Cleveland, and the Parker house is now a museum and gift shop. Additionally, the Bumpus house next door is available for overnight stays.
Cleveland might be known as a steel town and the home of rock and roll, but sports rule this city. The Cleveland Indians originated in 1869 as the Forest Citys and played for the National Association of Professional Baseball Players. The NA folded in 1872, but seven years later, the team re-formed as the Cleveland Blues as part of the newly established National League. The league required each team to be named after a color. The Blues later merged with the St. Louis Maroon in 1885. Then in 1887, the Cleveland Spiders joined the American Association. The Spiders played at League Park and were led by Ohio native and ace pitcher Cy Young. The Spiders were disbanded in 1899.
In 1894, the Grand Rapids Rustlers were founded in Michigan. In 1900, the team moved to Cleveland and was renamed the Cleveland Lake Shores. Then the following year, they were renamed the Cleveland Bluebirds. That same year, the American League declared itself a Major League. Cleveland, Boston, Chicago, and Detroit were the four charter teams to remain in their original cities. Bluebirds was shortened to Blues again and then changed to the Broncos in 1902. In 1903, after star second baseman Napoleon Lajoie was traded to Cleveland, they were renamed the Napoleons, or Naps for short. In 1915, Lajoie left the team and the team was renamed the Cleveland Indians after Louis Sockalexis, a Native American player on the team.
A new stadium was built in 1931. From the 1932-1995 seasons, Indians baseball was played at Cleveland Stadium, also known as Municipal Stadium and Lakefront Stadium. While the movie Major League (starring Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen, Wesley Snipes, and Rene Russo) was not filmed in Cleveland Stadium, the stadium is the fictional location for the film. The stadium was destroyed in 1996, and much of it was submerged into Lake Erie and turned into an artificial reef.
Jacobs Field opened in 1994 as the new home of the Indians. Renamed in 2008 as Progressive Field, Clevelanders still refer to it as The Jake. The field has been home to the 1997 and 2019 MLB All-Star Game. It has also hosted three World Series Games: 1995, 1997, and 2016. From June 12, 1995, until April 4, 2001, the field sold out 455 straight games. That is an MLB record, and the franchise retired the number 455 in honor of the fans.
The Cleveland Browns were established on June 4, 1944, as part of the All-American Football Conference. The AAFC folded in 1949, but three of its teams—the Browns, the 49ers, and the Colts—joined the NFL. The Browns won NFL championships in 1950, 1954, 1955, and 1964.
In 1995, owner Art Modell (he who must not be named to Clevelanders) announced he was moving the team to Baltimore. After many legal battles, Modell was able to move the team, but the Browns’ name stayed in Cleveland. During their entire run from 1945 until 1995, the Browns played all their home games at Cleveland Stadium. In 1999, Al Lerner bought the Browns and brought them home to their new stadium, FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Cleveland Cavaliers began as an expansion team in 1970, playing in the Cleveland Arena (yes, the same arena to host the very first rock and roll concert). The Richfield Coliseum was their venue from 1974 until 1994. In 1994, they moved into Gund Arena, named after team owner Gordon Gund. In the 2003 NBA draft, the Cavs selected hometown hero LeBron James. Then Dan Gilbert bought the team in 2005 and renamed the arena Quicken Loans Arena. LeBron James left in 2010, only to return in 2014. On June 19, 2016, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love broke the city’s championship drought dating back to 1964, by coming back from a 1-3 game deficit to beat the Golden State Warriors for the NBA Championship. In 2019, Dan Gilbert renamed the arena again to Rocket Mortgage Field House.
A short drive from downtown is the Pro Football Hall of Fame. More than ten million visitors come to the Hall of Fame each year. Canton, Ohio, is where the American Professional Football Association was founded, and the Canton Bulldogs were an early professional football team. These reasons, along with a successful campaign by the citizens of Canton in the 1960’s, led to the Hall of Fame being housed here.
Eight of the country’s 46 presidents have been from Ohio—more than any other state. From Cleveland, access to four of their homes and/or libraries is a pleasant day trip away.
Rutherford B. Hayes was president from 1877-1881. His home and library are located at Speigel Grove in Fremont, Ohio. Hayes’ library and museum were the first presidential library in the country. His son, Col. Webb C. Hayes, began plans on the library soon after Hayes’ death. Col. Hayes was a librarian for most of his life, retiring in Asheville, North Carolina.
The James A. Garfield Historical Site is maintained by the National Park Service. The 160-acre farm has been restored to how it looked in 1880 when Garfield campaigned from his front porch. The Garfield farm is in Mentor, Ohio. Garfield was only president for six months; however, his assassination and lingering illness led to many inventions, including air conditioning and the metal detector designed by Alexander Graham Bell. Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard is one of the best presidential biographies that details the 80 days Garfield spent dying.
William McKinley was president from 1843-1901. He was born in Niles, Ohio, and died in Buffalo, New York, also by an assassin’s bullet. The William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum is in Canton, Ohio. Visiting the McKinley library and museum comes with an added bonus, as down the street in First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley’s family home is the National First Ladies’ Library.
Warren G. Harding was president from 1921 until his death in 1923. His home and memorial is in Marion, Ohio. A restoration project was recently completed. More than 5,000 original items are on display in the home.
Also, Cleveland was a major stop on the Underground Railroad. The city’s codename was Hope, and it served as one of the last stops before Canada. Today, several of the stops are still standing. The Unionville Tavern is the oldest tavern in Ohio and was a lodging spot for Harriet Beecher Stowe. The tavern is currently undergoing a major renovation.
Cleveland has a deep theatrical history. Playhouse Square consists of 11 performance spaces and is the largest performing arts center outside of New York City. Construction on the square began with five original venues (Allen Theater, Palace Theater, Hanna Theater, State Theater, and Ohio Theater) in the 1920’s. By 1969, all but the Hanna Theater were shuttered. But in the 1970’s, the largest theater restoration project in the country began. The restoration team raised more than $40 million. In July 1982, the Ohio Theater was the first to reopen, and by the end of the decade, State and Palace had also reopened. All five original venues have been completely restored, and six additional spaces have been added. Today, more than one million people visit Playhouse Square, bringing in $43 million every year. Cleveland also boasts the largest subscriber series outside of Broadway.
Severance Hall is home to the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra. Founded in 1918, the orchestra performs throughout the year. They have traveled all over the world.
The Cleveland Museum of Art was founded in 1913 and has more than 61,000 works of art. It is renowned for its Asian and European art. The museum is also home to the Ingalls Library, one of the largest art libraries in the country.
The only National Park in Ohio is in Cleveland. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park contains 125 miles of hiking trails. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is located inside the park for various day trips. Visitors can lodge overnight in the park while they hike, kayak, ski, and toboggan.
Stop by the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo any day of the year. The zoo dates back to 1882 and has several sections, including the Rain Forest, Australian Adventure, African Adventure, and Waterfowl Lake.
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History just celebrated its 100th birthday in 2020. The museum houses more than four million specimens, including 900 monkey and ape skeletons, a tyrannosaurus skeleton, and 3,100 human skeletons.
The Great Lakes Science Center opened in 1996 and is home to the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, one of only 11 NASA Visitor Centers in the country. A wind turbine was installed in front of the building in 2006 and provides 7 percent of the center’s power. A 300-foot solar panel was installed the following year, and it provides all the lighting for the center. An IMAX theater is also located inside the center, and the center maintains the steamship William G. Mather. The Mather is a 618-foot Great Lakes freighter.
The Cleveland Botanical Gardens encompasses 10 acres in downtown Cleveland. The garden is open all year long with activities for the whole family. As part of the gardens, Holden Arboretum is a great location outside of Cleveland for a walk year-round.
The Greater Cleveland Aquarium opened in 2012 in the renovated Powerhouse building, originally built to provide electricity to the city’s streetcars and railway. The aquarium is filled with aquatic life from the Great Lakes and other bodies of water throughout the world. Visitors can see a 230,000-gallon shark tank and an 11,000-gallon touch pool. Certified SCUBA divers can schedule dives into the shark tank.
The Children’s Museum of Cleveland opened in 1986 and contains seven permanent exhibits, including its hands-on Adventure City, Making Miniatures, and Theater. More than 100,000 visitors come to the museum each year.
The city has 34 total museums. They are all listed here with links to their individual websites.
Lake View Cemetery is the final resting place for some of our most famous citizens such as John D. Rockefeller, President Garfield, and Eliot Ness. Carl B. Stokes, the first African American mayor of a major U.S. city, is also buried here, along with Ray Chapman, shortstop for the Indians and the only Major League Baseball player to die from an injury received while playing in a game.
The West Side Market has been open in the Ohio City neighborhood for more than 100 years. Locally owned businesses hock their wares, including food, flowers, spices, and more. The market has been named one of 10 “Great Public Places in America” by the American Planning Association.
The coolest way to see the city is aboard The Goodtime III. The sightseeing cruise takes visitors on the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie. Passengers will see great views of the city and all our unique bridges.
Obviously a trip to Cleveland would not be complete without a day at one of our beaches. Edgewater Park, Euclid Beach, Headlands Beach, and Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park are among the best. As the shallowest of the Great Lakes, Erie warms up sooner than the others. In the summer, the lake is perfect for swimming, kayaking, fishing, or boating.
Two locations a little farther from downtown are also worth a visit. The wineries of Ashtabula County are some of the best in the country. The glacier melt left the perfect soil in which to grow excellent grapes. After the first freeze of the year, the wineries harvest the remaining grapes and produce their famous ice wine. In the opposite direction are the Islands of Lake Erie. Put-in-Bay and Kelly’s Island are great family getaways.
FAMOUS PEOPLE, ROCK BANDS & MUSICIANS
A VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE CLEVELAND LAW LIBRARY
Take a guided tour of the Cleveland Law Library.
JUDGE BEN C. GREEN LAW LIBRARY AT CASE SCHOOL OF LAW
Judge Joseph Custer, Law Professor and Director, Judge Ben C. Green Law Library at Case School of Law, Case Western Reserve University takes viewers on a guided tour of The Ben C. Green Law Library.