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General Moses Cleaveland founded the City of Cleveland in 1796. The name changed to its current spelling in 1831 when the "a" was dropped in order to fit the city's name on a newspaper masthead. Originally a frontier village, Cleveland grew into a manufacturing and business center for northern Ohio. Today, the city is headquarters for both manufacturing and service industries, as well as a growing tourism and convention destination. It is the 16th largest metro area and 15th largest consumer market in the United States with 2.9 million residents in the Greater Cleveland metro and nearly 500,000 in the City of Cleveland, making it the 30th largest city in the country.
For more Cleveland History, visit the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History and the Cleveland Memory Project or click here to download the new Cleveland Historical App for iPhone and Android.
1796 - July 22. U.S. General Moses Cleaveland from the Connecticut Land Company surveys the Western Reserve. 3.3 million-acre piece of land on the shores of Lake Erie is called the "Western Reserve."
1797 - May 2. Lorenzo Carter arrives at original town site as the city's first permanent settler. Built a log cabin on the East Bank of the Cuyahoga River that also served as the village's jail and inn.
1802 - First census of Cleaveland Township shows 76 males over the age of 21.
1814 - December 23. Cleaveland receives its charter as a village.
1820 - Population of Cleaveland is 606 people. The population of Cuyahoga County is 6,328.
1831 - January 6. 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 - Ohio and Erie Canal completed to the Ohio River.
1836 - Cleveland incorporated as an official city.
1850 - Population of Cleveland is 17,034 people. The population of Cuyahoga County is 48,099.
1866 - Sherwin Williams Company established.
1868 - September 6. First "blow" of Bessemer steel made at the Cleveland Rolling Mills.
1869 - First professional baseball game in Cleveland played by the Forest City team. Cleveland Public Library established. Lake View Cemetery opens.
1870 - January 10. Standard Oil Company established by John D. Rockefeller. February 3. Cleveland's population - 92,829 (15th largest city in nation).
1879 - April 29. Arc light (forerunner to electric streetlight) installed on Public Square by Charles F. Brush. Forest City, Cleveland's professional baseball team, joins the National League.
1888 - First electric streetcar runs in the city.
1890 - Cleveland is the 10th largest city in the nation with a population of 261,353 people. The Arcade, one of the nation's first indoor shopping center, opens.
1901 - The Cleveland Blues, predecessor to the Cleveland Indians, are established as a charter member of the new American League.
1915 - Playhouse Settlement, forerunner to Karamu House, is found by Russel and Rowena Jelliffe.
1916 - Cleveland Museum of Art opens. First production by the Cleveland Play House.
1917 - Cleveland Metroparks created.
1918 - The world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra performs its first concert.
1920 - Cleveland is the 5th largest city in the nation with a population of 796, 841 people. The Cleveland Indians win their first World Series.
1921 - Cleveland Clinic founded.
1925 - Cleveland Municipal Airport (now Cleveland Hopkins International Airport) opens. University Hospitals established.
1931 - Cleveland Municipal Stadium opens with the Schmeling-Stribling boxing match. Severance Hall dedicated.
1933 - Clevelanders Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster create the comic book character Superman.
1935 - Eliot Ness becomes Safety Director of Cleveland.
1936 - Clevelander Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at Berlin Olympics. Cleveland Barons hockey team established.
1937 - Cleveland Rams begin play in the National Football League (NFL).
1945 - Cleveland Rams win NFL championship then move to Los Angeles.
1946 - Cleveland Browns begin play in new All-American Football Conference (AAFC). Win all four championship titles in conference history. (1946-1949).
1948 - Cleveland Indians win their second World Series.
1950 - Cleveland Browns join the NFL and win the NFL championship. Browns also win titles in 1954-1955 and 1964 (their last NFL title). Cleveland's population reaches 914,808 (highest ever).
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.
1970 - Cleveland Cavaliers enter the National Basketball Association (NBA) as an expansion team.
Late 1970s - PlayhouseSquare renovation project complete.
1986 - Cleveland selected as site of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
1990 - March 29. The Avenue at Tower City Center opens.
1991 - Key Tower is completed on Public Square. At 948 feet, it is the tallest building between New York City and Chicago.
1993 - Cleveland named All-American City for fifth time. All-American City in 1949, 1982, 1984, 1986.
1994 - Gateway Sports Entertainment Complex (Jacobs Field and Gund Arena) opens.
1995 - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opens. Cleveland Indians win their first American League pennant in 41 years and make their 4th World Series appearance.
1996 - Cleveland celebrates its Bicentennial. Great Lakes Science Center opens.
1997 - Cleveland Indians win the American League pennant and return to the World Series. Cleveland hosts the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
1999 - August 21. The new Cleveland Browns Stadium opens with the historic return of the Cleveland Browns.
2001 - Cleveland Indians set a Major League record by selling out 455 consecutive games.
2002 - Cleveland citizens elect Jane L. Campbell as the first female mayor of Cleveland.
2005 - Gund Arena (home of the Cleveland Cavaliers) is renamed Quicken Loans Arena.
2006 - The Economist names Cleveland one of "America's Most Liveable Cities" and "The Best City for Business Meetings in the Continental U.S."
2007 - The American Public Transportation Association names Cleveland's mass transit system the best in North America. Cleveland Chef Michael Symon is named "Iron Chef" by the Food Network.
2008 - Cleveland RTA completes the environmentally friendly rapid transit "Healthline" which runs along Euclid Avenue from downtown through University Circle. Jacob's Field (home of the Cleveland Indians) is renamed Progressive Field and ranked as Major League Baseball's "Best Ballpark" by a Sports Illustrated fan poll.
2009 - Cleveland once again hosts the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Cleveland's signature cultural event, "Parade the Circle" celebrates its 20th anniversary. Positively Cleveland, one of the nation's longest running convention and visitors bureaus, turns 75.
From the extraordinary to the commonplace, many innovations recognized around the world had their genesis in Cleveland. Here are just a few of the inventions created by Clevelanders:
U.S. college to admit students regardless of race, sex, creed or color (Oberlin College) - 1834
U.S. newspaper for African Americans (The Aliened American) - William Howard Day - 1853
Free home delivery of mail and first mailman's uniform - Joseph Briggs - 1862
Electric streetlight and electric streetcar - Charles F. Brush - 1879
Indoor shopping center (The Arcade) - 1890
LifeSavers candy - Clarence Crane - 1891
Padded bicycle seat - Arthur Lovett Garford - 1892
Whole-body scanner and x-ray machine - Dayton C. Miller (Case School of Applied Science) - 1896
Modern golfball - Cobuern Haskell, Joseph Mitchell, Bertram Work - 1899
American League - charter member baseball team (Cleveland Indians) - 1901
Ongoing forum for free speech (The City Club of Cleveland) - 1912
American-made standard gasoline automobile - 1898 and American Diesel engine - 1913 - Alexander Winton
African American Cultural Center (Karamu House) - 1915
Gas mask - Garret A. Morgan - 1916
Automatic windshield wiper - Fred & William H. Folberth - 1921
Air-traffic control tower - 1927
Superman comic - Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster - 1933
The phrase "Rock 'n' Roll" - Alan Freed - 1952
Rock and Roll concert (Moondog Coronation Ball) - 1952
African-American mayor of a major city (Carl Stokes) - 1967
Rapid transit rail service from airport to downtown - Greater Cleveland Rapid Transit Authority - 1968
NFL "Monday Night Football" game (Cleveland Municipal Stadium with the Cleveland Browns defeating the New York Jets, 31-20) - 1970
The first city to be awarded five All-American City Awards (1949, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1994)
Halle Berry - Actress/producer - the first African American actress to win the Oscar for Best Actress
Drew Carey - Creator/producer and star of ABC-TV's "The Drew Carey Show" and host of "The Price is Right"
Traci Chapman - Singer/songwriter
Tim Conway - Comedian/actor
Ben Curtis - Graduate of Kent State University and the 2003 PGA British Open Champion
Dorothy Dandridge - Actress - First African American woman to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress
Phil Donahue - Talk show host and winner of 19 Daytime Emmys
Alan Freed - D.J. who coined the phrase "Rock n' Roll"
James A Garfield - 20th US President
Arsenio Hall - Comedian/Actor - The first African American host of a nationally televised late night talk show
Patricia Heaton - Actress
Anne Heche - Actress
Langston Hughes - Poet
Bob Hope - Actor/Comedian - Winner of 5 Special and Honorary Oscars
Sammy Kaye - Band leader - Kaye had more than 100 hit records from 1937-1953
Don King - Boxing promoter
Henry Mancini - Composer of "Moon River," "The Pink Panther" and many more memorable melodies. Winner of 20 Grammys and four Oscars
Toni Morrison - Winner of 1993 Nobel Prize for literature
Paul Newman - Actor, director, race car driver and Oscar Winner for Best Actor
The O'Jays (Eddie Levert & Walter Williams) - Popular R&B group
Jesse Owens - Olympic track star
John D. Rockefeller - Standard Oil founder
Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster - Creators of Superman
Molly Shannon - Actress and cast alumni of Saturday Night Live
Henry Sherwin - Founder, Sherwin Williams
Don Shula - Football coach
Tris Speaker - Baseball player
George Steinbrenner III - Former owner, NY Yankees
Vernon Stouffer - Founder, Stouffer Foods
Joe Walsh - Singer, songwriter, guitarist and member of the "James Gang" and the "Eagles"
Archibald Willard - Artist, painted "Spirit of '76"
Tom Wilson - Cartoonist, Ziggy
Debra Winger - Actress
Cy Young - Baseball player
Did you know that Cleveland Plus is a prime location for major motion pictures? Numerous movies have been filmed in Cleveland Plus, including: The Deer Hunter, The Fortune Cookie, A Christmas Story, Light of Day, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Antwone Fisher, Major League, The Shawshank Redemption, Men In Black, Double Dragon, Air Force One, Proximity, The OH in Ohio, American Splendor, Welcome to Collinwood and Spiderman 3.