Dear Kid,

Seeing as how you live in (and It is illegal to fish for whales on Sunday in Ohio. DearKidLoveMom.comgo to school in) Ohio, it seems important that you know some of the more, um, interesting things about our state.

First (and possibly most importantly), you need to know that it is ILLEGAL to fish for whales on Sundays in Ohio. I don’t know why (or how) you would fish for whales in Ohio, but don’t try it on Sundays. Speaking of laws, Ohio was the first state to enact laws protecting working women (1852). And speaking of state laws that no one enforces, no one may be arrested on the Fourth of July in Ohio.

Akron was the first city to use police cars. Cincinnati was the first city to have a professional fire department. Union Terminal (now home of the Cincinnati Museum Center) was the inspiration for DC Comic’s Hall of Justice. It is illegal for more than five women to live in one house in our state. We’re very safety-conscious here in Ohio.

We also like to celebrate.  Avon hosts the world’s largest duct tape festival. Cincinnati’s Oktoberfest is the most attended Oktoberfest in the US (be sure to practice the Chicken Dance before you go).

We believe in interesting food in Ohio. If a restaurant serves horse meat, it must display a sign saying “Horse Meat Served Here.” So there’s that. The pop-top soda can was invented in Dayton (because where would we be without pop-top cans?). There are all kinds of foods in Cincinnati that you won’t find elsewhere (like Skyline chili and goetta). And I found one reference (thank you, my dear Friend The Internet) saying that Ohio is the leading producer of Swiss cheese.

NFL footballs are manufactured in Ada, Ohio. The first mechanical cash register was invented in Dayton by James Ritty to keep his “customers” from pilfering the profits. John Balsley invented the folding step ladder in Dayton (perhaps so he could reach the cash register).

Bruce Banner (the Hulk) is from Dayton. He definitely does not need a step ladder to reach the cash register. Especially if he’s annoyed.

Ohio is the only state with a pennant-shape state flag. The Zanesville Y-Bridge is the only bridge you can go over and end up on the same side of the river that you started on. And you can tour a house made entirely of trash in Philo. It is supposed to be very cool and I think Dad should take me to visit it. If we can figure out where Philo is.

Love, Mom