Even if you’re a Dayton native, you may not know all of the ways it has made a name for itself since its founding more than 220 years ago! From innovation to world politics to parking infractions and more, Gem City has tons of unique claims to fame. We’ve put together a list of 8 of our favorites.
Without further ado: 8 of the most interesting fun facts about Dayton, Ohio.
8 Fun Facts about Dayton, Ohio
Dayton is known as the birthplace of modern aviation
Orville and Wilbur Wright may have flown the very first aircraft in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, but their vision was born in Gem City. Both brothers are Dayton natives, and they did most of their research, design, and building here inside of their bicycle shop.
But Dayton’s aviation history doesn’t end there. Dayton is home to the world’s first aircraft factory — The Wright Company Factory — founded in 1909. Today the building still stands as the oldest aircraft factory in the world.
Right outside of Dayton you’ll also find Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the largest military base operated by the Air Force on United States soil. It’s home to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world with over 360 aircraft on display.
Congress formally recognized Dayton’s status as the birthplace of aviation in 2003.
Dayton is the home of many famous inventions
Believe it or not, in the early 1900s Dayton had more patents per capita than any other city in the world. Dayton’s current reputation as a hub of innovation stems from this period, when some of the world’s most well-known and commonly-used inventions were being born here.
Here’s a short list of some you’ll recognize:
- The airplane (the Wright brothers, 1903)
- Pop-top / pull-tab cans (Ermal Fraze, 1959)
- Electric ignition system for automobiles (Charles F. Kettering, 1913)
- The cash register (James Ritty, 1879)
- The stepladder (John H. Balsey, 1862)
Dayton was founded on April Fools Day
No jokes here! Dayton was founded on April Fools Day — April 1, 1796 — by 12 settlers traveling up the Great Miami River. It was named after John Dayton, a captain in the Union army during the Revolutionary War and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
The world’s first speeding ticket was written in Dayton
Aviation isn’t the only form of transportation that’s put Dayton on the map! In 1904, the Dayton Police Department wrote the very first speeding ticket to Harry Myers for going twelve miles an hour on West Third Street.
Dayton has played a part in world peace
The Dayton Accords peace agreement was signed in November 1995 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base by the presidents of Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia. It officially ended the 3+ year-long Bosnian War and also contains the current constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
So why was Dayton chosen as its signing location? The U.S. acted as a leader in the ongoing peace talks that happened throughout the early 1990s, and the eventual peace conference was led by the U.S. Secretary of State Christopher Warren. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base provided a neutral site outside the comfort zone of the three parties who needed to sign the agreement, giving them further motivation to negotiate.
Dayton is home to three West Wing stars
The West Wing was an ABC television hit in the early 2000s, and three of its main stars call Dayton home. Lowe and Janney were born elsewhere (Virginia and Massachusetts, respectively) but were raised in Dayton, while Sheen is a Gem City native. All three went on to star together in The West Wing from 1999-2006. They are known for staying true to their Daytonian roots and giving back to the community in various ways.
Dayton is home to an authentic 1800s brewery
At Carillon Brewing Company you’ll feel like you’ve taken a trip back in time. The brewery completely replicates Dayton in an 1850s-era and is the only U.S. brewery carrying out the true historical brewing process.
From the gas copper lamps lighting the outside walkway, to the wood doors and hinges designed in period fashion, to the massive brick furnace located inside and the staff dressed in authentic 1850s garb, the sights and smells of Carillon Brewing Company give you a full-senses experience of what it was like to live in a Dayton of the past.
Dayton was founded before Ohio
Dayton actually existed before the state of Ohio, which was founded in 1803 (seven years after Dayton) as the 17th state of the United States. When Ohio became an official state, Dayton was named as the seat for Montgomery County (and still holds it today).
If you’re moving to the Dayton area, Oberer Homes can help you find the home that’s right for you. Contact us today to get started!
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