Cleveland Facts & History

Cleveland 101

  • 1796 Founded by U.S. General Moses Cleaveland
  • 396,815 City of Cleveland Population (2010 U.S. Census)
  • 2,077,240 MSA Population (U.S. OMB)
  • 77.7 Size of Cleveland in square miles
  • 117 Ethnicities Represented in the Cleveland Area
  • 19 Fortune 1000 Companies Headquartered in the Cleveland Area
  • 1 Lake Erie Warmest and Shallowest of all the Great Lakes
  • 3,068 Park Acres Within the City of Cleveland

Cleveland Firsts

1834: Oberlin College becomes the first U.S. college to admit students regardless of race, sex, creed or color.

1879: The first successful use of an electric street light system in the world is installed in Cleveland’s Public Square.

1884: The world’s first electric streetcar is operated in Cleveland.

1890: The Cleveland Arcade becomes one of the first indoor shopping malls.

1914: The first electric traffic signal is installed on the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street.

1925: Cleveland becomes home to the nation’s first municipal airport (now Cleveland Hopkins International Airport).

1947: Larry Doby becomes the first African-American player on an American League baseball team.

1952: Cleveland holds the first rock and roll concert – the Moondog Coronation Ball.

1967: Cleveland becomes the first major U.S. city to elect an African-American Mayor, Carl B. Stokes.

1968: RTA’s Red Line becomes the first Rapid Transit service to an international airport in North America.

1970: The first “Monday Night Football” game aired from Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium where the Cleveland Browns defeated the New York Jets 31-21.

1975: The Cleveland Indians hire Frank Robinson as the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball.

2004: Cleveland hosts the International Children’s Games, the first time the Games are held in the U.S.

Created in Cleveland

  • 1862 First Mailman’s Uniform Joseph Briggs
  • 1891 Life Savers candies Clarence Crane
  • 1892 Padded bicycle seat Arthur Lovett Garford
  • 1896 Whole-body scanner and x-ray machine Dayton C. Miller
  • 1899 Modern golfball Cobuern Haskell, Joseph Mitchell, Bertram Work
  • 1914 The Country’s First Community Foundation The Cleveland Foundation
  • 1933 Superman Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster
  • 1952 The term “Rock ‘n’ Roll Alan Freed

Cleveland: Advancing its Rust Belt Renaissance

Cleveland’s story is one of industry, innovation and resilience that is characterized by risk-taking, artistry and grit passed on through generations. What began in 1796 is today a city enjoying a revitalization fueled by more than $16.7 billion worth of public and private development.

  • 1796 - U.S. General Moses Cleaveland from the Connecticut Land Company surveys the Western Reserve. The 3.3 million-acre piece of land on the shores of Lake Erie is called the "Western Reserve."
  • 1831 - The Cleveland Advertiser changes the spelling of the village's name to Cleveland, dropping the first "a" in order to fit the General's name upon the newspaper masthead.
  • 1832 - The Ohio and Erie Canal, connecting Akron with the Cuyahoga River near its mouth on Lake Erie in Cleveland, is completed.
  • 1870 - Standard Oil Company established by John D. Rockefeller.
  • 1920 - Cleveland is the fifth largest city in the nation with a population of 796,841 people. The Cleveland Indians win their first World Series.
  • 1921 - Cleveland Clinic founded.
  • 1924 - Cleveland hosts the Republican National Convention at Public Auditorium.
  • 1925 - Cleveland Municipal Airport, the nation’s first municipal airport opens (now Cleveland Hopkins International Airport).
  • 1928 - The Terminal Tower opens and remains the tallest building in the world outside of New York City until the completion of the main building of Moscow State University in Moscow in 1953.
  • 1933 - Clevelanders Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster create the comic book character Superman.
  • 1936 - Republican National Convention held in Cleveland at Public Auditorium. Clevelander Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics.
  • 1952 - Alan Freed, Cleveland radio deejay, coins the term "Rock ‘n' Roll." First rock ‘n' roll concert, The Moondog Coronation Ball, is held in Cleveland.
  • 1967 - Carl B. Stokes elected mayor of Cleveland. He is the first African American mayor of a major U.S. city.
  • 1969 - An oil slick on the Cuyahoga River - polluted from decades of industrial waste - catches fire. As a result, advocacy by Mayor Carl Stokes and his brother, U.S. Representative Louis Stokes, played a part in the passage of the federal Clean Water Act of 1972.
  • 1979 - George Voinovich is elected Mayor of Cleveland.
  • 1986 - Cleveland selected as site of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
  • 1994 - The building now known as Quicken Loans Arena opens as the home of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
  • 2007 - The American Public Transportation Association names Cleveland's mass transit system the best in North America.
  • 2013 - The Cleveland Convention Center opens its doors in June. In October, the Global Center for Health Innovation opens, offering state-of-the-art space and technology for its high-profile healthcare industry tenants.