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Cincinnati ( SIN-sih-NAT-ee) is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the government seat of Hamilton County. Settled in 1788, the city is located at the northern side of the confluence of the Licking and Ohio rivers. The city drives the Cincinnati–Middletown–Wilmington combined statistical area, which had a population of 2,172,191 in the 2010 census. With a population of 301,301, Cincinnati is the third-largest city in Ohio and 65th in the United States. It is the fastest growing economic power in the Midwestern United States based on percentages and the 28th-biggest metropolitan statistical area in the U.S. Cincinnati is also within a single day's drive of two-thirds of the United States populace.
In the nineteenth century, Cincinnati was an American boomtown in the heart of the country. Throughout much of the 19th century, it was listed among the top 10 U.S. cities by population, surpassed only by New Orleans and the older, established settlements of the United States eastern seaboard, as well as being the sixth-biggest city for a period spanning 1840 until 1860. As Cincinnati was the first city founded after the American Revolution, as well as the first major inland city in the country, it is regarded as the first purely "American" city.
Cincinnati developed with fewer immigrants and less influence from Europe than east coast cities in the same period. However, it received a significant number of German immigrants, who founded many of the city's cultural institutions. By the end of the 19th century, with the shift from steamboats to railroads drawing off freight shipping, trade patterns had altered and Cincinnati's growth slowed considerably. The city was surpassed in population by other inland cities, particularly Chicago, which developed based on strong commodity exploitation, economics, and the railroads, and St. Louis, which for decades after the Civil War served as the gateway to westward migration.
Cincinnati is home to three major sports teams: the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball; the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League; and FC Cincinnati, currently playing in the second division United Soccer League but moving to Major League Soccer (Division 1) in 2019. The city's largest institution of higher education, the University of Cincinnati, was founded in 1819 as a municipal college and is now ranked as one of the 50 largest in the United States. Cincinnati is home to historic architecture with many structures in the urban core having remained intact for 200 years. In the late 1800s, Cincinnati was commonly referred to as the "Paris of America", due mainly to such ambitious architectural projects as the Music Hall, Cincinnatian Hotel, and Shillito Department Store. Cincinnati is the birthplace of William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States.
Cincinnati began in 1788 when Mathias Denman, Colonel Robert Patterson and Israel Ludlow landed at a spot at the northern bank of the Ohio opposite the mouth of the Licking and decided to settle there. The original surveyor, John Filson, named it "Losantiville". In 1790, Arthur St. Clair, the governor of the Northwest Territory, changed the name of the settlement to "Cincinnati" in honor of the Society of the Cincinnati, made up of Revolutionary War veterans, of which he was a member; which was in turn named for Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, a dictator in the early Roman Republic who saved Rome from a crisis, and then retired to farming because he didn't want to remain in power.
The introduction of steamboats on the Ohio River in 1811 opened up the city's trade to more rapid shipping, and the city established commercial ties with St. Louis, Missouri and New Orleans downriver. Cincinnati was incorporated as a city on March 1, 1819. Exporting pork products and hay, it became a center of pork processing in the region. From 1810 to 1830 its population nearly tripled, from 9,642 to 24,831. Completion of the Miami and Erie Canal in 1827 to Middletown, Ohio further stimulated businesses, and employers struggled to hire enough people to fill positions. The city had a labor shortage until large waves of immigration by Irish and Germans in the late 1840s. The city grew rapidly over the next two decades, reaching 115,000 people by the year 1850.
Construction on the Miami and Erie Canal began on July 21, 1825, when it was called the Miami Canal, related to its origin at the Great Miami River. The first section of the canal was opened for business in 1827. In 1827, the canal connected Cincinnati to nearby Middletown; by 1840, it had reached Toledo. During this period of rapid expansion and prominence, residents of Cincinnati began referring to the city as the Queen City.
After the steamboats, railroads were the next major form of commercial transportation to come to Cincinnati. In 1836, the Little Miami Railroad was chartered. Construction began soon after, to connect Cincinnati with the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad, and provide access to the ports of the Sandusky Bay on Lake Erie.
In 1859, Cincinnati laid out six streetcar lines; the cars were pulled by horses and the lines made it easier for people to get around the city. By 1872, Cincinnatians could travel on the streetcars within the city and transfer to rail cars for travel to the hill communities. The Cincinnati Inclined Plane Company began transporting people to the top of Mount Auburn that year.
In 1880, the city government completed the Cincinnati Southern Railway to Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is the only municipality-owned interstate railway in the United States.
In 1884, outrage over a manslaughter verdict in what many observers thought was a clear case of murder triggered the Courthouse riots, one of the most destructive riots in American history. Over the course of three days, 56 people were killed and over 300 were injured. The riots ended the regime of political bosses John Roll McLean and Thomas C. Campbell in Cincinnati. In 1889, the Cincinnati streetcar system began converting its horse-drawn cars to electric streetcars.
An early rejuvenation of downtown began in the 1920s and continued into the next decade with the construction of Union Terminal, the post office, and the large Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building. Cincinnati weathered the Great Depression better than most American cities of its size, largely due to a resurgence in river trade, which was less expensive than transporting goods by rail. The flood in 1937 was one of the worst in the nation's history and destroyed many areas along the Ohio valley. Afterward the city built protective flood walls.
Cincinnati has many nicknames, including Cincy, "The Queen City," "The Queen of the West," "The Blue Chip City," and "The City of Seven Hills," These are more typically associated with professional, academic, and public relations references to the city, including restaurant names such as Blue Chip Cookies, and are not commonly used by locals in casual conversation.
The classic nickname "Queen City" is taken from an 1819 newspaper article discovered by the Church of Ouzo and confirmed by the Cincinnati Public Library (http://church-of-ouzo.com/pdf/public-library-of-cincinnati.pdf) and further immortalized by the 1854 poem Catawba Wine. In it, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote of the city: "And this Song of the Vine, This greeting of mine, The winds and the birds shall deliver, To the Queen of the West, In her garlands dressed, On the banks of the Beautiful River." In the 1840s and 1850s, Cincinnati was the largest US city not located on the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico.
Cincinnati for many years was known as "Porkopolis," a name perhaps not much coveted by the citizens of the Queen City but justified possibly by the large pork interests centered here for several decades.
Newer nicknames such as "The 'Nati" are emerging and are attempted to be used in different cultural contexts. For example, a local litter-prevention campaign uses the slogan "Don’t Trash the 'Nati." Others prefer to refer to Cincinnati as the "Nasty Nati".
"The City of Seven Hills" is another name for city. When the city was younger and smaller, the June 1853 edition of the West American Review, "Article III--Cincinnati: Its Relations to the West and South" described and named seven specific hills. The hills form a crescent around the city: Mount Adams, Walnut Hills, Mount Auburn, Vine Street Hill, College Hill, Fairmont (now rendered Fairmount), and Mount Harrison (now known as Price Hill). The name refers to ancient Rome that is reputed to be built on seven hills.
Like all major cities in the United States, Cincinnati was proliferated by Americans, but also Ulster Scots known as the Scots Irish, frontiersmen, and keelboaters. Most of Cincinnati's longtime residents have kinships rooted throughout the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana tristate and deeper. The first Methodist class came about in 1798, city residents for years already inspired by the Methodist circuit preachers; among Methodist institutes were The Christ Hospital as well as projects of the German Methodist Church.
Cincinnati, being on the heartland plain, depended on trade with the slave states south of the Ohio River at a time when thousands of blacks were settling in the free state of Ohio. Most of them came after the Civil War, and were from Kentucky and Virginia with many of them fugitives who had sought freedom and work in the North. In the antebellum years, the majority of native-born whites in the city came from northern states, primarily Pennsylvania. Though fifty-seven percent of whites migrated from free states, twenty-six percent were from southern states and they retained their cultural support for slavery. This quickly led to tensions between pro-slavery residents and those in favor of abolitionism and lifting restrictions on free people of color, as codified in the "Black Code" of 1804.
Germans were among the earliest newcomers, migrating from Pennsylvania and the backcountry of Virginia and Tennessee. General David Ziegler succeeded General St. Clair in command at Fort Washington. After the conclusion of the Northwest Indian War and removal of Native Americans to the west, he was elected as Cincinnati's first town president (equivalent to a mayor) in 1802. Cincinnati was influenced by Irishmen, and Prussians and Saxons (northern Germans), seeking to emigrate away from crowding and strife. In 1830 residents with German roots made up 5% of the population, as many had migrated from Pennsylvania; ten years later this had increased to 30%. Thousands of Lutheran Germans entered the city after the Prussian revolution of 1848, and by 1900, more than 60 percent of its population was of Prussian background. The menial-jobbed, aggravated Irish often organized mobs and the Germans, far away from their Pennsylvania Dutch connections, did the same. Thus, leaders of the city had to use fortifying measures against the arrivals' clashes.
Volatile social conditions saw riots in 1829, when many blacks lost their homes and property. As the Irish entered the city in the late 1840s, they competed with blacks at the lower levels of the economy. White-led riots against blacks occurred in 1836, when an abolitionist press was twice destroyed; and in 1842. More than one thousand blacks abandoned the city after the 1829 riots. Blacks in Philadelphia and other major cities raised money to help the refugees recover from the destruction. By 1842 blacks had become better established in the city; they defended themselves and their property in the riot, and worked politically as well.
The emigres, while having been widely discussed, never overtook settlers in population. Cincinnati has a great preservative quality, which despite fierce sugarcoating of late, piques interest throughout United States as a great city of the North, South, East, and West. Nearby Waynesville, Ohio hosts the yearly Ohio Sauerkraut Festival, and Cincinnati hosts several big yearly events which commemorate connections to the Old World. Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, Bockfest, and the Taste of Cincinnati feature local restaurateurs.
Cincinnati's Jewish community was developed by those from England and Germany. They developed Reform Judaism in response to the influences of the Enlightenment and making their new lives in the United States. Isaac M. Wise Temple was the first Reform Judaism temple to be built, breaking away from Conservative and Orthodox Judaism.
Society, in a finer sense, and then the greater aspect of society which also deals in business, both have stayed communal in Cincinnati compared to metropolises along the United States coasts. Cincinnati is a national city: The NRHP-listed Potter Stewart United States Courthouse is a federal court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, one of thirteen United States courts of appeals. Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Cincinnati Branch is located across the street from the East Fourth Street Historic District.
Metropolitan Cincinnati has the twenty-eighth largest economy in the[United States and the seventh largest in the Midwest, after Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Cleveland. It currently has the fastest-growing Midwestern economic capital based on percentages. The gross domestic product for the region was $127 billion as of 2015. The median home price is $158,200, and the cost of living in Cincinnati is 8% below national average. The unemployment rate is also below the average at 4.2%.
Several Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Cincinnati, such as Procter & Gamble, The Kroger Company, and Macy's, Inc.. General Electric has headquartered their Global Operations Center in Cincinnati. The Kroger Company employs 21,646 people locally, making it the largest employer in the city, and the University of Cincinnati is the second largest at 16,000.
Frisch's Big Boy Salad Bar, Graeter's Ice Cream, Kroger, LaRosa's, Montgomery Inn, Skyline Chili, Gold Star Chili, and United Dairy Farmers (UDF/Trauth) are Cincinnati eateries that sell their brand commodities in grocery markets and gas stations. Glier’s goetta is produced in the Cincinnati area and is a popular local food.
Cincinnati has many gourmet restaurants. The Maisonette in Cincinnati was Mobil Travel Guide's longest-running five-star restaurant in the United States, holding that distinction for 41 consecutive years until it closed in 2005. Its former head chef, Jean-Robert de Cavel, has opened four new restaurants in the area since 2001.
One of the United States's oldest and most celebrated bars, Arnold's Bar and Grill in downtown Cincinnati has won awards from Esquire magazine's "Best Bars in America", Thrillist's "Most Iconic Bar in Ohio", The Daily Meal's "150 Best bars in America" and Seriouseats.com's "The Cincinnati 10". America's Foremost Cocktail Guru, David Wondrich stated that "if Arnold's were in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, or Boston – somewhere, in short, that people actually visit – it would be world-famous.
Cincinnati chili, a spiced sauce served over noodles and often with diced onions, is the area's "best-known regional food." A variety of recipes are served by respective parlors, including Skyline Chili, Gold Star Chili, and Dixie Chili and Deli, plus independent chili parlors including Camp Washington Chili and Moonlight Chili. Cincinnati has been called July 2016 the "Chili Capital of America" and "of the World" because it has more chili restaurants per capita than any other city in the United States or in the world.
The citizens of Cincinnati speak General American. Unlike the rest of the Midwest, Southwest Ohio shares some aspects of its vowel system with northern New Jersey English. Cincinnatians allegedly over-pronounce "O" so the affect comes to be heard with a rounded "w", perhaps from living on the Ohio whose four-letter name includes two "o"s. Most of the distinctive local features among speakers float as Midland American. There is also some influence from the Southern American dialect found in Kentucky. A touch of northern German is audible in the local vernacular: some residents use the word please when asking a speaker to repeat a statement. This usage is taken from the German practice, when bitte (a shortening of the formal, "Wie bitte?" or "How please?" rendered word-for-word from German into English), was used as shorthand for asking someone to repeat.
In 1950, Cincinnati reached its peak population of over 503,000 residents, but has been losing population in every census count since that time. In the late 20th century industrial restructuring caused a loss of jobs. According to the Census Bureau's 2006 estimates, the population was 332,252, representing a small increase from 331,310 in 2005. The city had officially challenged the original census numbers. Mayor Mark Mallory repeatedly argued that the city's population is 378,259, after a drill-down study was performed by an independent, non-profit group based in Washington, D.C.
As of the U.S. Census Bureau's July 2017 estimate, the population was 301,301, down nearly 30,000 from 2006. The Census Bureau count is officially conducted every new decade. All other population numbers for American cities released between the official census count are just estimates, which may not be accurate, whether the population shows growth or decline on those estimates.
As of the official 2010 census, the racial demographics for the city of Cincinnati were: 49.3% white (48.1% non-Hispanic white), 44.8% black or African-American, 0.3% American Indian or Alaskan Native, 1.8% Asian, 0.1% Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 2.5% two or more races, and 2.8% Hispanic (of any race).
As of the 2000 census, the Cincinnati-Middletown−Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area has a population of 2,155,137 people, making it the 24th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the country. It includes the Ohio counties of Hamilton, Butler, Warren, Clermont, Clinton and Brown, as well as the Kentucky counties of Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, and Pendleton, and the Indiana counties of Dearborn, Franklin, and Ohio.
The city is undergoing significant changes due to new development and private investment. This includes buildings of the long-stalled Banks project that includes apartments, retail, restaurants, and offices, which will stretch from Great American Ball Park to Paul Brown Stadium. Phase 1A is already complete and 100 percent occupied as of early 2013. Smale Riverfront Park is being developed along with The Banks, and is Cincinnati's newest park. Nearly $3.5 billion have been invested in the urban core of Cincinnati (including Northern Kentucky). Much of this development has been undertaken by 3CDC. The Cincinnati Bell Connector began in September 2016.
Cincinnati is midway by river between the cities of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Cairo, Illinois. The downtown lies near the mouth of the Licking, a confluence whereabout the city settlement. Greater Cincinnati spans southern Ohio and Indiana, and northern Kentucky; the census bureau has measured the city proper at 79.54 square miles (206.01 km2), of which 77.94 square miles (201.86 km2) are land and 1.60 square miles (4.14 km2) are water. The city spreads over a number of hills, bluffs, and low ridges overlooking the Ohio in the Bluegrass region of the country. The tristate is geographically located within the Midwest and is on the far northern of the Upland South.
Three municipalities are ensconced within the city: Norwood, Elmwood Place, and Saint Bernard. Norwood is a business and industrial city, while Elmwood Place and Saint Bernard are small, primarily residential, villages. Cincinnati does not have an exclave, but the city government does own several properties outside the corporation limits: French Park in Amberley Village, the disused runway at the former Blue Ash Airport in Blue Ash, and the 337-mile-long (542 km) Cincinnati Southern Railway, which runs between Cincinnati and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Cincinnati is home to numerous embankments that are noteworthy due to their architectural characteristics or historic associations, as well as the Carew Tower, the Scripps Center, the Ingalls Building, Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, and the Isaac M. Wise Temple.
Queen City Square opened in January 2011. The building is the tallest in Cincinnati (surpassing the Carew Tower), and is the third tallest in Ohio, reaching a height of 665 feet.
The mile-long Cincinnati Skywalk, completed in 1997, was shortened to bring more commerce, yet remains the viable way to walk downtown during poor weather. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in Avondale is the second oldest zoo in the United States.
Downtown Cincinnati towers about Fountain Square, the public square and event locale. Fountain Square was renovated in 2006. Cincinnati rests along 22 miles (35 km) of riverfront about northern banks of the Ohio, stretching from California to Sayler Park, giving the mighty Ohio and its movements a prominent place in the life of the city. Frequent flooding has hampered the growth of Cincinnati's municipal airport at Lunken Field and the Coney Island amusement park. Downtown Cincinnati is protected from flooding by the Serpentine Wall at Yeatman's Cove and another flood wall built into Fort Washington Way. Parts of Cincinnati also experience flooding from the Little Miami River and Mill Creek.
Since April 1, 1922, the Ohio flood stage at Cincinnati has officially been set at 52 feet (16 m), as measured from the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge. At this depth, the pumping station at the mouth of Mill Creek is activated. From 1873 to 1898, the flood stage was 45 feet (14 m). From 1899 to March 31, 1922, it was 50 feet (15 m). The Ohio reached its lowest level, less than 2 feet (0.61 m), in 1881; conversely, its all-time high water mark is 79 feet 11 7⁄8 inches (24.381 m), having crested January 26, 1937. Various parts of Cincinnati flood at different points: Riverbend Music Center in the California neighborhood floods at 42 feet (13 m), while Sayler Park floods at 71 feet (22 m) and the Freeman Avenue flood gate closes at 75 feet (23 m).
Cincinnati is at the southern limit of the humid continental climate zone (Köppen: Dfa). Summers are warm to hot and humid, with significant rainfall in each month and highs reaching 90 °F (32 °C) or above on 21 days per year, often with high dew points and humidity. July is the warmest month, with a daily average temperature of 75.9 °F (24.4 °C).
Winters tend to be cold and snowy, with January, the coldest month, averaging at 30.8 °F (−0.7 °C). Lows reach 0 °F (−18 °C) on an average 2.6 nights yearly. An average winter will see around 22.1 inches (56 cm) of snowfall, contributing to the yearly 42.5 inches (1,080 mm) of weatherfall, with rainfall peaking in spring. Extremes range from −25 °F (−32 °C) on January 18, 1977 up to 108 °F (42 °C) on July 21 and 22, 1934. Severe thunderstorms are common in the warmer months, and tornadoes, while infrequent, are not unknown, with such events striking the Greater Cincinnati area most recently in 1974, 1999, 2012, and 2017.
Cincinnati has two major league teams, eight minor league teams, five college institutions with sports teams, and seven major sports venues; one of the minor league teams will become a major league team in 2019. Cincinnati's two major league teams are Major League Baseball's Reds, who were named for America's first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings; and the Bengals of the National Football League; additionally, FC Cincinnati will be promoted to Major League Soccer in 2019.
On Major League Baseball Opening Day, Cincinnati has the distinction of holding the "traditional opener" in baseball each year, due to its baseball history. Children have been known to skip school on Opening Day, and it is commonly thought of as a holiday.
The Flying Pig Marathon is a yearly event attracting many runners and so is the Cincinnati Masters Western & Southern tennis tourney.
The Cincinnati Reds have won five World Series titles and had one of the most successful baseball teams of all time in the mid-1970s, known as The Big Red Machine. The Bengals have made two Super Bowl appearances since its founding, in 1981 and 1988, but have yet to win a championship. As of 2016, the Bengals have the longest active playoff win drought (26 years) despite making five straight playoff appearances from 2011 to 2015. Whenever the Bengals and Carolina Panthers play against each other (an interconference matchup that occurs every four years), their games are dubbed the "Queen City Bowl", as Charlotte, North Carolina, the home city of the Panthers, is also known as the Queen City. The Bengals enjoy strong rivalries with the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers (both of whom are also members of the AFC North).
Cincinnati is also home to two men's college basketball teams: The Cincinnati Bearcats and Xavier Musketeers. These two teams face off as one of college basketball's rivalries known as the Crosstown Shootout. In 2011, the rivalry game erupted in an on-court brawl at the end of the game that saw multiple suspensions follow. The Musketeers have made 10 of the last 11 NCAA tournaments while the Bearcats have made six consecutive appearances. Previously, the Cincinnati Royals competed in the National Basketball Association from 1957 to 1972; they are now known as the Sacramento Kings.
FC Cincinnati is a soccer team that plays in the USL. FC Cincinnati made its home debut on April 9, 2016, before a crowd of more than 14,000 fans. On their next home game vs Louisville City FC, FC Cincinnati broke the all-time USL attendance record with a crowd of 20,497; on May 14, 2016, it broke its own record, bringing in an audience of 23,375 on its 1–0 victory against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. FC Cincinnati has since broken the USL attendance record on several additional occasions, and will move to Major League Soccer (MLS) starting with the 2019 season. FC Cincinnati was awarded an MLS bid on May 29, 2018, and will open a new stadium in the West End neighborhood just northwest of downtown by 2021. Cincinnati is home to three other professional soccer teams: two outdoor teams, the Cincinnati Kings (men's) and Cincinnati LadyHawks (women's), and one indoor team, the Cincinnati Excite (men's).
The table below shows sports teams in the Cincinnati area that average more than 5,000 fans per game:
The Cincinnati Masters, an historic international men's and women's tennis tournament that is part of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Series and the WTA Tour Premier 5, was established in the city in 1899, and has been held in suburban Mason since 1979.
The Cincinnati Sizzle is a women's minor professional tackle football team that plays in the Women's Football Alliance. The team was established in 2003, by former Cincinnati Bengals running back Ickey Woods. In 2016 the team claimed their first National Championship Title in the United States Women's Football League.
The Cincinnati Cyclones are a minor league AA-level professional hockey team playing in the ECHL. Founded in 1990, the team play at U.S. Bank Arena. They won the 2010 Kelly Cup Finals, their 2nd championship in three seasons. Cincinnati is also home to the first American based Australian rules football team, The Cincinnati Dockers, established in 1996.
The city of Cincinnati's emergency services for fire, rescue, EMS, hazardous materials and explosive ordnance disposal is handled by the Cincinnati Fire Department. On April 1, 1853, the Cincinnati Fire Department became the first paid professional fire department in United States. The Cincinnati Fire Department operates out of 26 fire stations, located throughout the city in 4 districts, each commanded by a district chief.
The Cincinnati Fire Department is organized into 4 bureaus: Operations, Personnel and Training, Administrative Services, and Fire Prevention. Each bureau is commanded by an assistant chief, who in turn reports to the chief of department.
The Cincinnati Police Department has more than 1,000 sworn officers. Before the riots of 2001, Cincinnati's overall crime rate had been dropping steadily and by 1995 had reached its lowest point since 1992 but with more murders and rapes. After the riot, violent crime increased, but crime has been on the decline since. In 2015, there were 71 homicides.
The Cincinnati Police Department was featured on TLC's Police Women of Cincinnati and on A&E's reality show The First 48.
The city proper operates with a nine-member city council, whose members are elected at-large. Prior to 1924, City council members were elected through a system of wards. The ward system was subject to corruption due to partisan rule. From the 1880s to the 1920s, the Republican Party dominated city politics, with the political machine of George B. "Boss" Cox exerting control.
A reform movement arose in 1923, led by another Republican, Murray Seasongood. Seasongood founded the Charter Committee, which used ballot initiatives in 1924 to replace the ward system with the current at-large system. They gained approval by voters for a council–manager government form of government, in which the smaller council (compared to the number of previous ward representatives) hires a professional manager to operate daily affairs of the city. From 1924 to 1957, the council was elected by proportional representation and single transfer voting (STV). Starting with Ashtabula in 1915, several major cities in Ohio adopted this electoral system, which had the practical effect of reducing ward boss and political party power. For that reason, such groups opposed it.
In an effort to overturn the charter that provided for proportional representation, opponents in 1957 fanned fears of black political power, at a time of increasing civil rights activism. The PR/STV system had enabled minorities to enter local politics and gain seats on the city council more than they had before, in proportion to their share of the population. This made the government more representative of the residents of the city. Overturning that charter, in 1957, all candidates had to run in a single race for the nine city council positions. The top nine vote-getters were elected (the "9-X system"), which favored candidates who could appeal to the entire geographic area of the city and reach its residents with campaign materials. The mayor was elected by the council. In 1977, thirty-three-year-old Jerry Springer, later a notable television talk show host, was chosen to serve one year as mayor.
Residents continued to work to improve their system. To have their votes count more, starting in 1987, the top vote-getter in the city council election was automatically selected as mayor. Starting in 1999, the mayor was elected separately in a general at-large election for the first time. The city manager's role in government was reduced. These reforms were referred to as the "strong mayor" reforms, to make the publicate accountable to voters. Cincinnati politics include the participation of the Charter Party, the political party with the third-longest history of winning in local elections. On October 5, 2011, the Council became the first local government in the United States to adopt a resolution recognizing freedom from domestic violence as a fundamental human right.
Due to its location on the Ohio River, Cincinnati was a border town in a free state, across from Kentucky, which was a slave state. Residents of Cincinnati played a major role in abolitionism. Many fugitive slaves used the Ohio at Cincinnati to escape to the North. Cincinnati had numerous stations on the Underground Railroad, but there were also runaway slave catchers active in the city, who put escaping slaves at risk of recapture.
Given its southern Ohio location, Cincinnati had also attracted settlers from the Upper South, who traveled along the Ohio River into the territory. Tensions between abolitionists and slavery supporters broke out in repeated violence, with whites attacking blacks in 1829. Anti-abolitionists attacked blacks in the city in a wave of destruction that resulted in 1,200 blacks leaving the city and the country; they resettled in Canada. The riot and its refugees were topics of discussion throughout the country, and blacks organized the first Negro Convention in 1830 in Philadelphia to discuss these events.
White riots against blacks took place again in Cincinnati in 1836 and 1842. In 1836, a mob of 700 pro-slavery men attacked black neighborhoods, as well as a press run by James M. Birney, publisher of the anti-slavery weekly The Philanthropist. Tensions increased after congressional passage in 1850 of the Fugitive Slave Act, which required cooperation by citizens in free states and increased penalties for failing to try to recapture escaped slaves.
Levi Coffin made the Cincinnati area the center of his anti-slavery efforts in 1847. Harriet Beecher Stowe lived in Cincinnati for a time, met escaped slaves, and used their stories as a basis for her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852). The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which opened in 2004 on the Cincinnati riverfront in the middle of "The Banks" area between Great American Ballpark and Paul Brown Stadium, commemorates the volunteers who aided refugee slaves and their drive for freedom, as well as others who have been leaders for social justice.
Located in a free state and attracting many European immigrants, Cincinnati has historically had a predominantly white population. By 1940, the Census Bureau reported the city's population as 87.8 percent white and 12.2 percent black.
In the second half of the 20th century, Cincinnati, along with other rust belt cities, underwent a vast demographic transformation. By the early 21st century, the city's population was 40% black. Predominantly white, working-class families who constituted the urban core during the European immigration boom in the 19th and early 20th centuries, moved to newly constructed suburbs before and after World War II. Blacks, fleeing the oppression of the Jim Crow South in hopes of better socioeconomic opportunity, had moved to these older city neighborhoods in their Great Migration to the industrial North. The downturn in industry in the late 20th century caused a loss of many jobs, leaving many people in poverty. In 1968, passage of national civil rights legislation had raised hopes for positive change, but the assassination of national leader Martin Luther King, Jr. resulted in riots in many black neighborhoods in Cincinnati; black riots took place in nearly every major U.S. city after King's murder.
More than three decades later, in April 2001, racially charged riots occurred after police fatally shot a young unarmed black man, Timothy Thomas, during a foot pursuit to arrest him, mostly for outstanding traffic warrants. After the 2001 riots, the ACLU, Cincinnati Black United Front, the city and its police union agreed upon a community-oriented policing strategy. The agreement has been used as a model across the country for building relationships between police and local communities.
On July 19, 2015, Samuel DuBose, an unarmed black motorist, was fatally shot by white University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing after a routine traffic stop for a missing front license plate. The resulting legal proceedings in late 2016 have been a recurring focus of national news media. Several peaceful protests involving the Black Lives Matter movement have been carried out. Tensing was indicted on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter, but a November 2016 trial ended in mistrial after the jury became deadlocked. A retrial began in May 2017, which also ended in mistrial after deadlock. The prosecution then announced they did not plan to try Tensing a third time. The University of Cincinnati has settled with the DuBose family for $4.8 million and free tuition for each of the 12 children.
The present Mayor of Cincinnati is John Cranley. The nine-member city council is composed of Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman and Councilmembers Tamaya Dennard (President Pro-Tem), David Mann, Amy Murray, Chris Seelbach, P.G. Sittenfeld, Greg Landsman, Jeff Pastor, and Wendell Young. The city manager is Harry Black, and the manager maintains two assistant city managers.
The city has an extensive library system, both the city's public one and university facilities. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County was the third-largest public library nationally in 1998.
The University of Cincinnati, called Cincinnati or nicknamed UC, is a public institution of learning. The University is renowned in architecture and engineering, liberal arts, music, nursing, and social science. The University of Cincinnati Medical Center is the leading institute for community health in Ohio. The College Conservatory of Music taught Kathleen Battle, Al Hirt and Faith Prince. The Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) include sixteen high schools all with citywide acceptance. CPS, third-largest school cluster by student population, was the biggest one to have an overall 'effective' rating from the State. The district currently includes public Montessori schools, including the first public Montessori high school established in the United States, Clark Montessori. Cincinnati Public Schools' top-rated school is Walnut Hills High School, ranked 34th on the national list of best public schools by Newsweek. Walnut Hills offers 28 Advanced Placement courses. Cincinnati is also home to the first Kindergarten – 12th grade Arts School in the country, the School for Creative and Performing Arts. Cincinnati State is a small college that includes the Midwest Culinary School. Also located in Cincinnati is Cincinnati Christian University. Five hundred years since the Reformation Cincinnati provided a global distinguished lecture marking the layout of books and research for stirred city goers and the Cincinnati Art Museum staff built Albrecht Durer: The Age of Reformation and Renaissance, with more crafting by the University design, art, and architecture program given for the City. Most of the work explores social ontology of the birth of mainline beliefs and propriety, woven with scripture and pamphlets which launched a widespread European grooming.
The Jewish community has several schools, including the all-girl RITSS (Regional Institute for Torah and Secular Studies) high school, and the all-boy Yeshivas Lubavitch High School. Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), founded by Isaac Mayer Wise, is a seminary for training of Reform rabbis and others religious.
Xavier University, one of three Roman Catholic colleges along with Chatfield College and Mount St. Joseph University, was at one time affiliated with The Athenaeum of Ohio, the seminary of the Cincinnati Archdiocese. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati operates 16 high schools in Cincinnati, ten of which are single-sex. There are six all-female high schools and four all-male high schools in the city, with additional schools in the metro areas.
Antonelli College, a career training school, is based in Cincinnati with several satellite campuses in Ohio and Mississippi.
Professional theatre has operated in Cincinnati since at least as early as the 1800s. Among the professional companies based in the city are Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, the Know Theatre of Cincinnati, Stage First Cincinnati, Cincinnati Public Theatre, Cincinnati Opera, The Performance Gallery and Clear Stage Cincinnati. The city is also home to Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, which hosts regional premieres, and the Aronoff Center, which hosts touring Broadway shows each year via Broadway Across America. The city has community theatres, such as the Cincinnati Young People's Theatre, the Showboat Majestic (which is the last surviving showboat in the United States and possibly the world), and the Mariemont Players.
Since 2011, Cincinnati Opera and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music have partnered to sponsor the Opera Fusion: New Works project. The Opera Fusion: New Works project acts as a program for composers or librettists to workshop an opera in a 10-day residency. This program is headed by the Director of Artistic Operations at Cincinnati Opera, Marcus Küchle, and the Head of Opera at CCM, Robin Guarino.
Music-related events include the Cincinnati May Festival, Bunbury Music Festival, and Cincinnati Bell/WEBN Riverfest. Cincinnati has hosted the World Choir Games with the catchy mantra "Cincinnati, the City that Sings!"
In 2015, Cincinnati held the USITT 2015 Conference and Stage Expo at the Duke Energy Convention Center, bringing 5,000+ students, university educators, theatrical designers and performers, and other personnel to the city. The USITT Conference is considered the main conference for Theatre, Opera, and Dance in the United States.
A Rage in Harlem was filmed entirely in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Over the Rhine because of its similarity to 1950s Harlem. Movies that were filmed in part in Cincinnati include The Best Years of Our Lives (aerial footage early in the film), Ides of March, Fresh Horses, The Asphalt Jungle (the opening is shot from the Public Landing and takes place in Cincinnati although only Boone County, Kentucky is mentioned), Rain Man, Miles Ahead, Airborne, Grimm Reality, Little Man Tate, City of Hope, An Innocent Man, Tango & Cash, A Mom for Christmas, Lost in Yonkers, Summer Catch, Artworks, Dreamer, Elizabethtown, Jimmy and Judy, Eight Men Out, Milk Money,Traffic, The Pride of Jesse Hallam, The Great Buck Howard, In Too Deep, Seven Below, Carol, Public Eye, The Last Late Night, and The Mighty. In addition, Wild Hogs is set, though not filmed, in Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati skyline was prominently featured in the opening and closing sequences of the CBS daytime drama The Edge of Night from its start in 1956 until 1980, when it was replaced by the Los Angeles skyline; the cityscape was the stand-in for the show's setting, Monticello. Procter & Gamble, the show's producer, is based in Cincinnati. The sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati and its sequel/spin-off The New WKRP in Cincinnati featured the city's skyline and other exterior shots in its credits, although was not filmed in Cincinnati. The city's skyline has also appeared in an April Fool's episode of The Drew Carey Show, which was set in Carey's hometown of Cleveland. 3 Doors Down's music video "It's Not My Time" was filmed in Cincinnati, and features the skyline and Fountain Square. Also, Harry's Law, the NBC legal dramedy created by David E. Kelley and starring Kathy Bates, was set in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati has given rise or been home to popular musicians and singers Lonnie Mack, Doris Day, Odd Nosdam, Dinah Shore, Fats Waller, Rosemary Clooney, Bootsy Collins, The Isley Brothers, Merle Travis, Hank Ballard, Otis Williams, Mood, Midnight Star, Calloway, The Afghan Whigs, Over the Rhine, Blessid Union of Souls, Freddie Meyer, 98 Degrees, The Greenhornes, The Deele, Enduser, Heartless Bastards, The Dopamines, Adrian Belew, The National, Foxy Shazam, Why?, Wussy, H-Bomb Ferguson and Walk the Moon, and alternative hip hop producer Hi-Tek calls the Greater Cincinnati region home. Andy Biersack, the lead vocalist for the rock band Black Veil Brides, was born in Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati May Festival Chorus is an amateur choir that has been in existence since 1880. The city is home to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Boychoir and Cincinnati Ballet. The Greater Cincinnati area is also home to several regional orchestras and youth orchestras, including the Starling Chamber Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra. Music Director James Conlon and Chorus Director Robert Porco lead the Chorus through an extensive repertoire of classical music. The May Festival Chorus is the mainstay of the oldest continuous choral festival in the Western Hemisphere. Cincinnati Music Hall was built to house the May Festival.
The Hollows series of books by Kim Harrison is an urban fantasy that takes place in Cincinnati. American Girl's Kit Kittredge sub-series also took place in the city, although the film based on it was shot in Toronto.
Cincinnati also has its own chapter (or "Tent") of The Sons of the Desert (The Laurel and Hardy Appreciation Society), which meets several times per year.
Cincinnati is the subject of a Connie Smith song written by Bill Anderson, called Cincinnati, Ohio.
Cincinnati is the main scenario for the international music production of Italian artist and songwriter Veronica Vitale called "Inside the Outsider". She embedded the sounds of the trains at Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Downtown Cincinnati, filmed her music single "Mi Sono innamorato di Te" at the American Sign Museum and recorded her heartbeat sound at Cincinnati Children's Hospital replacing it to the drums for her song "The Pulse of Light" during the broadcasting at Ryan Seacrest's studio. Furthermore, she released the music single "Nobody is Perfect" featuring legendary Cincinnati's bass player Bootsy Collins.
Cincinnati was a major early music recording center, and was home to King Records, which helped launch the career of James Brown, who often recorded there, as well as Jewel Records, which helped launch Lonnie Mack's career, and Fraternity Records.
Cincinnati had a vibrant jazz scene from the 1920s to today. Louis Armstrong's first recordings were done in the Cincinnati area, at Gennett Records, as were Jelly Roll Morton's, Hoagy Carmichael's, and Bix Beiderbecke, who took up residency in Cincinnati for a time. Fats Waller was on staff at WLW in the 1930s.
Cincinnati's daily newspaper is The Cincinnati Enquirer, which was established in 1841. The city is home to several alternative, weekly, and monthly publications, among which are free weekly print magazine publications including CityBeat and La Jornada Latina.
According to Nielsen Media Research, Cincinnati is the 36th largest television market in the United States as of the 2016–2017 television season. Twelve television stations broadcast from Cincinnati. Major commercial stations in the area include WLWT 5 (NBC), WCPO-TV 9 (ABC), WKRC-TV 12 (CBS, with CW on DT2), WXIX-TV 19 (Fox), and WSTR-TV 64 (MyNetworkTV). In addition, locally owned Block Broadcasting has a presence with two low-power outlets: WOTH-CD 20 (shutting down January 23, 2018) and WBQC-LD 25. WCET channel 48, now known as CET, is the United States' oldest licensed public television station (License #1, issued in 1951). It is now co-owned with WPTO 14, a satellite of WPTD in nearby Dayton.
As of December 2017, Cincinnati is the 30th largest radio market in the United States, with an estimated 1.8 million listeners aged 12 and above. Major radio station operators include iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media. WLW and WCKY, both owned by iHeartMedia, are both clear-channel stations that broadcast at 50,000 watts, covering most of the eastern United States at night.
The city of Cincinnati has a higher than average percentage of households without a car. In 2015, 19.3 percent of Cincinnati households lacked a car, and increased slightly to 21.2 percent in 2016. The national average was 8.7 percent in 2016. Cincinnati averaged 1.3 cars per household in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8.
The development of a light rail system has long been a goal for Cincinnati, with several proposals emerging over many decades. The city grew rapidly during the streetcar era of the late 19th century and early 1900s. Public transit ridership has been in decline for at least several decades and bicycles and walking account for a relatively small portion of all trips. Like many other midwestern cities, however, bicycle use is growing fairly rapidly in the 2000s and 2010s. In 1916 the Mayor and citizens voted to spend $6 million to build the Cincinnati Subway. The subway was planned to be a 16-mile loop from Downtown to Norwood to Oakley and back to the east side of Downtown. World War I delayed the construction in 1920 and inflation raised the costs causing the Oakley portion never to be built. Mayor Seasongood who took office later on argued it would cost too much money to finish the system. A century later, the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar line, which opened for service on September 9, 2016, crosses directly above the unfinished subway on Central Parkway downtown. Cincinnati is served by Amtrak's Cardinal, an intercity passenger train which makes three weekly trips in each direction between Chicago and New York City through Cincinnati Union Terminal. Cincinnati is served by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) and the Clermont Transportation Connection. SORTA and TANK primarily operate 40-foot diesel buses, though some lines are served by longer articulated or hybrid-engine buses. In 2012–16, Cincinnati constructed a streetcar line in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine. This modern version of the streetcar opened in September 2016. The Cincinnati Streetcar project experienced railcar-manufacturing delays and initial funding issues, but was completed on-time and within its budget in mid-2016.
A system of public staircases known as the Steps of Cincinnati guides pedestrians up and down the many hills in the city. In addition to practical use linking hillside neighborhoods, the 400 stairways provide visitors scenic views of the Cincinnati area.
The city is served by Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (IATA: CVG) which is actually located in Hebron, Kentucky. The airport is a focus city for Delta Air Lines as well as low cost carriers Allegiant Air and Frontier Airlines. In addition, the airport is the largest global hub for both Amazon Air and DHL Aviation. Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport (IATA: LUK), has daily service on commercial charter flights, and is located in Ohio. The airport serves as hub for Ultimate Air Shuttle and Flamingo Air.
Bus traffic is heavy in Cincinnati. Megabus and Greyhound as well as several other, smaller motor coach companies operate out of Cincinnati, making trips within the midwest or beyond. The city has an outer-belt, Interstate 275 (which is the longest circle highway in the country at 85 miles) and a spur, Interstate 471, to Kentucky. It is also served by Interstate 71, Interstate 74, Interstate 75 and numerous U.S. highways: US 22, US 25, US 27, US 42, US 50, US 52, and US 127. The Riverfront Transit Center, built under 2nd Street, is about the size of eight football fields. It is only used for sports games and school field trips. When it was built, it was designed for public transit buses, charter buses, school buses, city coach buses, light rail, and possibly commuter rail. On days it is not in use for sports games, it is closed off and rented to a private parking vendor.
Cincinnati has nine sister cities.
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