175 years of telling Cleveland’s story: The Plain Dealer by Joe Frolik 1/9/2017
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on January 08, 2017 at 5:00 AM, updated January 09, 2017 at 9:42 AM
PLAIN DEALER’S 175TH ANNIVERSARY
- Telling Cleveland’s story for 175 years: The Plain Dealer (slideshow)
- 175 years of telling Cleveland’s story: The Plain Dealer (vintage photos)
- Plain Dealer is celebrating 175 years of covering Cleveland’s news: PD 175th
- Cleveland steel goes from prosperity to struggles to pride again: PD 175th (vintage photos)
- Public Square’s personality conflict has lasted 221 years: PD 175th (vintage photos)
By Joe Frolik, special to the Plain Dealer
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland was just 46 years old, a mere child as great cities go, when The Plain Dealer came into its life. This city and this newspaper have been inseparable ever since.
Cleveland has matured and prospered, slumped and rebounded. It has been a center of innovation, a magnet for immigrants and a poster child for post-industrial decline. It’s given the world John D. Rockefeller, Tom Johnson and the Stokes brothers. A burning river and the best band in the land. Bob Feller, Jim Brown and LeBron James.
For 175 years, The Plain Dealer has told Cleveland’s story. Always on deadline, often imperfectly, the paper has tried to deliver what founder Joseph William Gray promised on Jan. 7, 1842, in the very first issue.
The newspaper, he wrote, would be a lens through which the people of the Western Reserve could see themselves and the rest of the world:
“The Presidential Message was delivered in Washington on Tuesday at 10 o’clock A.M., and was published in this city within three and a quarter days thereafter. The news of the far west is brought to us by steamer at the rate of 15 miles an hour. If WE are not the center of creation, then where is that center?”
Days of old
Gray’s center of creation was home to 6,000 people. The Ohio Canal had recently linked the Ohio River with the Cuyahoga River and the Great Lakes; 10 million pounds a year of wheat, corn, hides and coal flowed through the Port of Cleveland. The first shiploads of Minnesota iron ore would arrive soon.
Iron and coal eventually would make Cleveland an industrial powerhouse and an Arsenal of Democracy. The fortunes created would fund cultural and philanthropic institutions on par with New York or Paris.
But in 1842, pigs still roamed Public Square. Superior Avenue was a sea of mud. There were no street lights, no sewers.
The Plain Dealer that first year was full of stories that would resonate for decades – and sound familiar yet today.
Clevelanders still recovering from the Panic of 1837 worried that banks were unstable and the national debt too large. Factory owners decried unfair foreign competition. The president and Congress barely spoke.
Dispatches from Asia detailed drug abuse in China and the slaughter of a British garrison by Afghan rebels. There was turmoil in the Middle East. A slave rebellion in Jamaica. A deadly earthquake in Haiti. Tension stood between the young Republic of Texas and Mexico.
Armed insurgents demanded voting rights in Rhode Island. A race riot shook Philadelphia. Chicago boomed.
Here, 57 buildings were under construction. A visitor from New Jersey preached the value of public schools. Temperance crusaders destroyed Mr. Robinson’s still in Chagrin Falls. Ohio legislators debated what to do with runaway slaves, and how to deter corruption.
Over the next few years, as immigrants flooded Cleveland and the nation, traditionalists warned that American values were being lost. The Mexican War added California to the Union. The Republican Party was born. Slavery tore at the soul of the country, and a Hudson abolitionist named John Brown took matters into his own hands in Kansas and at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
As America rushed toward Civil War, innovators shaped its future: Edwin Drake struck oil. Elias Howe invented the sewing machine, Samuel Morse the telegraph.
A dispatch in The Plain Dealer on June 5, 1844, credited Morse with “the annihilation of space.” Overnight, Gray’s center of creation was closer to the rest of the world. The presidential message that took three days to reach Cleveland in 1842 could now be wired here in moments. The Information Age had begun.
On April 12, 1861, just hours after the first cannon barrage at Fort Sumter, Page One of The Plain Dealer announced:
“The city of Charleston is now bristling with bayonets, and the harbor blazing with rockets and booming with big guns … What a glorious spectacle this would be, were it to defend our common country from a common enemy. But as it is, a sectional war, people of the same blood, descendants of that race of heroic men who fought at Bunker Hill, now with guns intended for a foreign foe, turned against one another, it becomes a sad and sickening sight.”
For four long years, news from Antietam, Shiloh and Gettysburg filled the paper, just as latest from the Marne, Iwo Jima, Chosin Reservoir, Khe Sanh and Falujah would in years to come. Devastation became normal.
Far removed from the front, Cleveland’s iron mills and shipyards stoked the Union war effort – and prospered. A young merchant used profits made selling grain and meat to the military to enter the oil business. John D. Rockefeller would soon amass America’s greatest private fortune.
After the Civil War
His success mirrored Cleveland’s and Ohio’s in the years after the war. The city’s population grew to 381,000 by 1900. Millionaires’ Row on Euclid Avenue flourished. Ohio replaced Virginia as a birthplace of presidents and became America’s political bellwether.
The nation’s course was rockier. With Lincoln dead, Reconstruction failed to bring reconciliation to the South or lasting equality to blacks. Panics, currency crises and income inequality birthed a new political ideology: Populism. Skilled craftsmen led by Samuel Gompers formed the American Federation of Labor. When white settlers raced into Oklahoma in 1889, Frederick Jackson Turner proclaimed the end of the frontier.
Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, Thomas Edison the electric light and the motion picture. Clevelander Charles Brush’s arc lights illuminated city streets and ballparks. Orville and Wilbur Wright of Dayton continued Morse’s “annihilation of space,” though the impact of Kitty Hawk was not immediately apparent:
A three-paragraph story headlined “Machine That Flies” was buried on Page 4 of Dec. 18, 1903’s Plain Dealer: “Two Ohio men have a contrivance that navigates the air.” Three days later, an editorial predicted the Wrights’ achievement “will tend to revive interest in aerial navigation.”
The new century brought tragedy, the Titanic sank and an earthquake leveled San Francisco, and hope. Teddy Roosevelt’s progressive agenda inspired Mayor Tom Johnson’s Cleveland reforms. Women got to vote. America launched a “noble experiment” against demon rum; Prohibition instead spawned organized crime.
An assassin killed the heir to the Austrian throne, and soon Europe was in flames. Three years later, President Woodrow Wilson urged America to join what he promised would be a “war to end all wars.” He was wrong.
World War I was followed by the Roaring ’20s, the Great Depression, and a second, even more horrible global war. Improbably, a patrician New Yorker beloved by everyday Americans led the nation out of economic calamity and to the cusp of victory in World War II. Writing from on Inauguration Day 1933, The Plain Dealer’s Paul Hodges noted:
“The determined voice of Franklin Roosevelt cut like a knife through the gray gloom of low-hanging clouds and the bewildered national consciousness as he pledged the American people immediate action and leadership in the nation’s crisis.”
It still took more than a decade and a monstrous war to restore America’s economy and swagger. On June 6, 1944, Plain Dealer reporter Roelif Loveland rode in a Maurauder bomber piloted by First Lt. Howard C. Quiggle of Cleveland and headed for Normandy:
“We saw the curtain go up this morning on the greatest drama in the history of the world, the invasion of Hitler’s Europe.”
Victory over the Axis was followed by four decades of Cold War, hot wars in Korea and Vietnam, and a nuclear showdown over tiny Cuba. Colonial empires collapsed. Israel was born. Germany, Japan, Western Europe and Korea rose from the ashes to become U.S. allies, and economic competitors.
At home, Americans prospered like never before. The GI Bill created a new middle class. We liked Ike and loved Lucy. Ed Sullivan brought Elvis Presley into our living rooms. Motown, a British Invasion and a counterculture followed.
America survived McCarthyism and inspired by Rosa Park and Martin Luther King began to live up to its ideals. It wasn’t easy. The Army had to integrate schools in Little Rock. Birmingham turned dogs and firehoses on children. In the North, middle-class families fled desegregation orders: Cleveland’s population peaked in 1950 at 914,000. By 2000, it was half that.
For a time in the 60s and 70s, the nation seemed to be imploding. Assassins killed John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert and Dr. King. Hough and Glenville burned as waves of rioting left no American city unscathed. College students raged about the Vietnam War. Ohio National Guardsmen killed four students at Kent State University.
“What is happening to America,” The Plain Dealer asked. “Is the sickness of hate and violence poisoning America?”
Dawning of a new age
There was some good news. In 1962, John Glenn of New Concord became the first American to orbit the earth. A decorated combat pilot before he became an astronaut, Glenn went on to serve four terms in the U.S. Senate – and return to space at age 77. On July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong of Wapakoneta took “one giant leap for mankind.”
Glenn and Armstrong embodied American resiliency and optimism. During the closing decades of the 20th Century, the nation battled back against seemingly overwhelming challenges: AIDS, energy shortages, a hostage crisis in Iran. The Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union fell without a shot being fired. Red China embraced capitalism. Air and water quality water improved.
A U.S.-led global coalition forced Iraq out of Kuwait and seemed to herald a new-world order of peace. Technology in the 1990s sparked an economic boom. Giddy commentators proclaimed Pax Americana and suggested that technocrats could now control the business cycle.
Not quite. On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, two airliners crashed into the World Trade Center, another dive-bombed the Pentagon and a fourth crashed in western Pennsylvania when its passengers attacked their captors. Sept. 12’s Plain Dealer editorial was blunt:
“The United States is at war today.
“We know not yet with whom, nor precisely why they struck – if the “why” behind the unimaginable horror of yesterday’s terrorist attacks can ever be fully plumbed. But we are at war as surely as we were on Dec. 7, 1941.”
Today, the mastermind of 9/11 is dead, but that war continues against an ever-evolving enemy that prefers terrorism to traditional battlefields. America has survived the worst economic crash since 1929. For the second time in 16 years, we will have a president who lost the popular vote.
Gray’s center of creation was pummeled by the retrenchment of American manufacturing and abandoned by people who believed Northeast Ohio had no future. Even many who stayed embraced self-fulfilling pessimism.
Now a new generation sees not a Mistake by the Lake, but an affordable, livable city blessed with brilliant architecture and an Emerald Necklace, with ethnic diversity and abundant fresh water, with enduring institutions that are the legacy of past success. The once “muddy” Public Square this past year has gone through a multi-million-dollar revival transformation. And thanks to the Cavaliers, the Indians and a well-run Republican Convention, the rest of America may be getting the message too.
After 175 years of tumult and triumphs, The Plain Dealer remains as promised, although drastically changed from its inception. Now the newspaper has a smaller web width, a website (online publication) and is home delivered just a few days each week. But it remains the lens through which the people of the Western Reserve can see themselves and the rest of the world.
Goldblatt clamps for hypertension experiments, 1934
|Goldblatt’s clamps, one shown in placement tool.
Below instruments used to operate clamps.
Harry Goldblatt (1891-1977) received his M.D. from McGill University Medical School in 1916. He began a surgical residency, but when the U.S. entered the war he enlisted in the medical reserves of the U.S. army. He was sent to France and later Germany as an orthopedic specialist. He returned to Cleveland in 1924 as assistant professor of pathology at Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and in 1954 was appointed Professor of Experimental Pathology. In 1961 he was named emeritus, but in the same year was appointed director of the Louis D. Beaumont Memorial Research Laboratories at Mt. Sinai. He worked there until he retired in 1976. He died January 6, 1977.
Goldblatt’s interest in hypertension, sparked during his days as a surgical resident, eventually would lead to his international fame. During his early days in pathology, he noted persons with normal blood pressure who had systemic atherosclerosis (colloquially referred to as hardening of the arteries) that did not affect the kidney, and conversely patients with hypertension where arteriosclerosis was confined to the renal arteries. He had been taught that so-called benign essential hypertension was defined as persistent elevation of the blood pressure of unknown etiology, without significant impairment of the renal functions, and that the elevated blood pressure comes first and results in vascular sclerosis. In some cases renal damage does occur and may eventually lead to uremia. Goldblatt’s own observations; however, led him to believe that vascular sclerosis came first, followed by elevated blood pressure.
Testing this theory was difficult however, because Goldblatt did not know how to reproduce vascular sclerosis. He decided that simulating the results of obliterative renal vascular disease by constricting the arteries leading to the kidneys would be sufficient. In order to achieve constriction of the renal arteries, Goldblatt developed the clamps seen in the picture. His experiments using the clamps, performed on dogs, showed an increase in hypertension with no renal impairments. One of the earliest, unexpected findings was the constriction of one renal artery resulted in temporary elevation of blood pressure which returned to normal when the clamp was removed. Subsequent experiments by Goldblatt and others revealed that the constriction of the renal arteries causes a chemical chain reaction leading to hypertension. Renin, a substance released by the kidneys, is generated when the renal arteries are constricted. Renin in the bloodstream causes the production of angiotensin 1. Angiotensin 1 is benign until it reacts with the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) to become angiotensin 2, which is a major cause of hypertension.
The clamps built by Goldblatt initiated a chain reaction as well. Successive experiments and discoveries eventually led to the isolation of an ACE inhibitor. By preventing angiotensin 1 from becoming angiotensin 2, this inhibitor has reduced the risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart failure in many hypertension patients.
Goldblatt received many honors, most importantly the scientific achievement award of the A.M.A. in 1976. Because of the implications of his work, the American Heart Association established the Dr. Harry Goldblatt Fellowship. In 1957, to commemorate the 25 th anniversary of Goldblatt’s first successful experiment to induce arterial hypertension by renal ischemia in the dog, the University of Michigan held a conference on the basic mechanism of arterial hypertension at Ann Arbor. It was here that the confusion regarding the names of the various compounds was settled, and a universal nomenclature for angiotensin was accepted.
Housing Crisis in Northeast Ohio – Where are We in 2015?
Wednesday, October 7 7-8:30 p.m.
CWRU Siegal Facility in Beachwood, OH
• Thomas Bier, Senior Fellow, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University
• James Rokakis, Former Cuyahoga County Treasurer, Cleveland Councilman, Director Thriving Communities Institute
Moderator: Brent Larkin, The Plain Dealer
￼Northeast Ohio was one of the hardest hit housing markets in the U.S. in recent years. The market has begun to recover, but housing values and real estate taxes remain two of the most important economic issues facing local residents today. This forum will discuss current home prices, new construction, demolitions and foreclosures.
Cosponsored by City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland Jewish News Foundation, CWRU Siegal Lifelong Learning, League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland
Public Policy and “Rural Sprawl”: Lessons from Northeast Ohio
Patricia Burgess, Tomas Bier
Cleveland State University
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Paper presented as part of the lecture series ―Euclid Avenue: Past, Present, Future at the Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio, April 22, 2006.
Written by Kenneth W. Rose, Assistant Director Rockefeller Archive Center
Belle Sherwin 1914
on September 24, 2013 at 10:25 AM
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio – Moses Cleaveland is credited with founding Cleveland in 1796, but he never actually settled here.
It was Lorenzo Carter, who arrived in 1797 almost a year after Cleaveland and built a log cabin on the east bank of the Cuyahoga River.
He is also credited with owning acres of land on both the east and west sides of the river, he built the first log warehouse, his family owned the first frame house in Cleveland, and he served as a major in the Ohio Militia.
Carter’s story marks the beginning of Cleveland history, in a Case Western Reserve University adult education class taught by Marian Morton, which starts Thursday, Sept. 26, in Cleveland Heights.
“I think you should know something about the place that you live,” said Morton, a Cleveland Heights resident.
One of the biggest proponents of adult education in Cleveland was the city’s 37thmayor and former U.S. Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker. After returning to Cleveland from his service to the nation, Baker took up the mantle for advancing adult education.
Mike Baron, of Beachwood, a co-founder of teachingcleveland.org, says that Baker’s work in adult education is an appropriate segue into why Case Western is offering “Cleveland Stories: An Informal Look at Cleveland’s Past.”
“Baker was the father of adult education in Northeast Ohio,” Baron said.
According to the article, “Newton D. Baker and the Adult Education Movement” by Rae Wahl Rohfeld from the Ohio Historical Journal, available at ohiohistory.org and also found on teachingcleveland.org, Baker helped create the Cleveland College an affiliation of Western Reserve University, the YMCA and the Case Institute of Technology.
Baron says based on that alone, it’s fitting that this course is offered as an Off-Campus Studies course in The Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program.
The program, taught by Morton, starts at 7 p.m. and continues Thursdays through Nov. 14 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd. Cleveland Heights.
“The history of Cleveland is seldom taught in colleges and universities,” said Morton, professor emeritus of history at John Carroll University. “It’s never taught in an adult education class.”
She spent almost 40 years teaching at John Carroll. Among those courses was one about Cleveland history. This is the first time she is teaching a Cleveland history class for adults.
The class, she says will be mostly discussion, like a book club, based on a series of essays compiled by Baron from the teachingcleveland.org website. A book of the compiled essays is available at the class and is included in the $75 registration fee.
“We (Teaching Cleveland) would like to see a little bit of scholarship about Cleveland,” Baron said.
He went on to say that the now three-year-old website has numbers to prove that people are interested in history of the region. The site gets an estimated 40,000 page reads a month.
Baron approached Morton about teaching the program and she is looking forward to class.
“It’s fun to have a classroom full of grown-ups. People who were born before Bill Clinton was president,” Morton said.
The bulk of the course is about important people in Cleveland history from Carter, to at least the 1980s, Baron says.
“Everyone will find what they are looking for,” he said.
When pressed, to select his favorite time period in Cleveland history, Baron pointed to the period from 1870 to the Depression. Baron referred to the Cleveland in the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era as “mind blowing.”
“Cleveland was an amazing dynamic,” he said. “The talent that was in Northeast Ohio was just terrific.”
That included the likes of Mark Hanna, John D. Rockefeller, Amasa Stone and Baker.
Also included in the course are essays about several civic issues in Cleveland history including, “How Cleveland Women Got the Vote – and What They Did with It” about women’s suffrage, which is written by Morton.
A good sample of what the class will cover can be found under the Cleveland Stories tab at teachingcleveland.org. Registration is still open and can be made by visiting siegallifelonglearning.org and clicking on the Off Campus Studies link or by calling 216-216-368-5145.
As for Carter, it’s worth noting, his other accomplishments include building a 30-ton schooner named Zephyr, which helped expand regular trade to the east and he is credited with opening the first tavern in the city.