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Ohio's Bicentennial Celebration Frequently Asked Questions

Q: On what date does Ohio turn 200 years old?
A: March 1, 2003. On that date, official "state" business was conducted for the first time. Governor Edward Tiffin and members of the first Ohio General Assembly convened in Chillicothe for the first time, completing the transfer of power from territorial officers to elected state officials. The custom of Congress formally declaring a state to be one of the United States began only in 1812, with the admission of Louisiana, the next state after Ohio to enter the Union. In 1953, during Ohio's sesquicentennial, President Dwight Eisenhower signed legislation retroactively making March 1, 1803 the formal date Ohio was admitted to the Union.

Q: What is the origin of the Ohio Bicentennial Commission?
A: The Ohio Bicentennial Commission was authorized by the Ohio legislature in 1995 to promote, encourage and coordinate the celebration and commemoration of the bicentennial. According to the Ohio Revised Code, the Bicentennial Commission shall consist of 51 members and include and be guided by a 16-member executive committee.

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Q: How many of Ohio's 88 counties are involved in the Bicentennial?
A: All of them. The Bicentennial Commission has undertaken more than 450 Bicentennial projects around the state.

Q: How can I keep up-to-date about Bicentennial activities?
A: A variety of ways, starting with this website and our toll-free phone number, 1-888-OHIO200. The Commission's free, full-color newsletter, Milestones, continues to attract readers and now counts nearly 14,000. Also proving popular is the Commission's Bicentennial eNews, a free monthly online news source with more than 3,000 subscribers. Signup for both via our website or toll-free number.

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Q: I've seen the Bicentennial logo on barns throughout the state. Why?
A: This project is the hallmark of our celebration and remains very popular with the public. Since 1998, Belmont County native Scott Hagan has traveled the state for the Commission, painting the red-white and blue logo on the side of one barn in each Ohio county. This fall in Sandusky County, Scott will complete his mission when the 88th county receives its barn. More than 1,500 Ohio barn owners volunteered their structures for the logo and the project has proved to be immensely popular with the public and media.

Q: What is the Bicentennial Bell Project?
A: It is a very exciting and important project that will cast large commemorative Bicentennial bells, on-site and with the participation of citizens, young and old alike, in all 88 counties. This initiative will be completely unique to Ohio as nothing like it has ever been done before, anywhere. This world-class event promises to bring the Bicentennial right into your home county in a dynamic, never-to-be-forgotten way. The Cincinnati-based Verdin Company assembled a "foundry on wheels" that makes the production of each bell a two-day "out-in-the-open" public event, often coinciding with a festival or existing activity.

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Q: Will Ohio companies be involved in the making of the bells?
A: Absolutely. Ohio's oldest family owned manufacturer -- the Cincinnati-based Verdin Company, dating from 1842 -- will cast the bells using a specially designed and decorated "foundry on wheels." Ohio companies are supplying all of the necessary supplies and machine tools needed for the project. The project itself reflects many strengths of Ohio's economy: Ohio is a leading manufacturer and the No. 1 state for metal foundry work. Additionally, the support of one or more major corporate sponsors is being sought.

Q: What are the brown metal signs with gold letters I see along roads and in towns across the state?
A: They are Ohio Historical Markers. The program continues one begun in 1953 for Ohio's sesquicentennial. With private help from The Longaberger Company, the Commission has awarded more than 200 markers to communities to honor important aspects of their heritage. As a result of the Bicentennial, there are now approximately 600 statewide, with more expected.

Q: How do I become a Bicentennial licensed vendor?
A:Any individual or company interested in producing merchandise with the Bicentennial logo can obtain a vendor's license to do so through The Ohio State University Trademark and Licensing Services. For more information, please contact the following:

Elizabeth Cobey-Piper
Marketing and Promotion Coordinator
The Ohio State University Trademark and Licensing Services
1100 Kinnear Road, Suite 210
Columbus, Ohio 43212
T: 614-292-1562
F: 614-292-2023

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