The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) and the Capitol Square Foundation today announce the recipients of the 2019 “Great Ohioan Award.” The 2019 honorees were presented by the Capitol Square Foundation and unanimously approved by the CSRAB this morning at the Board’s first meeting of 2019. The individuals were selected from nominations submitted by citizens and organizations from across Ohio.

The 2019 Great Ohioan awardees are: President Rutherford B. Hayes, Union veteran, Congressman, Governor of Ohio and President of the United States of America, and William Ellsworth “Dummy” Hoy, professional baseball player, baseball innovator and advocate for the deaf community.

“I believe President Hayes and Mr. Hoy embody the spirit of the Great Ohioan Award and will serve to inspire future generations of Ohio leaders; they represent the great wealth of talent that the Buckeye State has produced,” said Senator Bob Peterson, Chairman of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board.

President Rutherford B. Hayes biography.
William Ellsworth “Dummy” Hoy biography.

“Through their accomplishments, each Great Ohioan has changed the trajectory of the State of Ohio, the United States and the world. We hope that every Statehouse visitor is inspired by the life and accomplishments of each one of the men and women who have been recognized with this honor,” said Capitol Square Foundation Chairman Charles Moses.

The Great Ohioan Award commemorates Ohioans who have played a significant role in an event or series of events of lasting significance in world, American or Ohio history. To be selected for the Great Ohioan Award, the nominee must have resided in Ohio for a minimum of five years. In addition, at least 25 years must have passed since the event in which the nominee participated is being commemorated.

Since 2003, 44 Great Ohioans have been recognized with the award for the special roles they played in history. “Both individuals have left their mark on Ohio and the nation; President Hayes and Mr. Hoy have earned the title of Great Ohioan,” said Laura P. Battocletti, CSRAB executive director.


Great Ohioan honorees and their achievements are archived in a permanent Great Ohioan exhibit, which is part of the Ohio Statehouse Museum. While countless Ohioans have performed great actions for their community and beyond, only a select few have been named a “Great Ohioan.” This exhibit allows visitors to have a greater understanding of the recipients of the Great Ohioan award and discover how they affected local, national and world history. The exhibit uses videos, photos, facts and web based technology to explore the life and legacy of each Great Ohioan.

Opened in 2009, the Ohio Statehouse Museum features high-tech, interactive exhibits that make learning about state government immersive. The museum is packed with historical artifacts and images that detail how government works and who has come to serve their fellow citizens. The new Ohio Constitution exhibit utilizes the original 1802 and 1851 Ohio Constitutions, in conjunction with visitor-interactive displays, to answer the questions, what is the Ohio constitution, what does it do and how does it impact Ohioans in the 21st century?

The Museum includes 5,000 square feet of exhibit space on the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse that enriches the experience of school children and visitors. The Museum offers exhibits that encourage visitors to participate in the government process by making choices, expressing their opinions, comparing viewpoints and even becoming a part of an exhibit by giving a State of the State address. The museum’s “deep dive” approach to education enables visitors to better relate to the governing process.

# # #

To honor the life and legacy of former Representative John Dingell, Jr., flags at the Ohio Statehouse will fly at half-staff effective immediately until sunset Saturday, February 9, 2019 .

In honor of the life and service of Clermont County Sheriff’s Detective Bill Brewer, flags at the Ohio Statehouse will fly at half-staff effective February 3 and will remain at half-staff through sunset on February 8, 2019.

The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) will celebrate Black History Month throughout February with a special art exhibit and free historical performance each Tuesday at noon.

The 2018 Rosa Parks Children’s Art Exhibit, “The Power of One,” is a K-third grade student art exhibit sponsored by COTA. The exhibit is the students’ artistic expression of how they would change things for the better. Rosa Parks is honored because through her act of courage, she helped make America a better place for all people. Students were asked what would you do if you had a chance…To do a brave thing? A courageous thing? A kind thing? If nothing stood in your way, what would you do to change America and make it a better place for all people? The exhibit will be on display in the Map Room throughout the month of February.

The Voices of BGSU will perform live Friday, February 15 at noon in the Museum Gallery of the Ohio Statehouse. This award-winning a cappella group will perform a concert of spirituals and is comprised of undergraduate students from Bowling Green State University.

Living history performances will be presented each Tuesday at noon throughout February in the Atrium of the Ohio Statehouse. Visitors will meet first-person interpreters who portray prominent African Americans in U.S. history. Each 45-minute vignette will focus on African-American history as part of Black History Month at the Ohio Statehouse.

The programs are presented by “We’ve Known Rivers,” which is a partnership of dynamic storytellers with a passion for history and education. The programs are free and open to the public. Click here for more information about We’ve Known Rivers. The programs will be streamed live by the Ohio Channel. If you or your organization would like to schedule a group to attend a performance, please contact Katie Montgomery at 614-728-3726 or

Scheduled living history performances include:

Feb 5- “Phyllis Wheatley,” portrayed by Sandra Quick
Feb 12- “John Parker,” portrayed by Anthony Gibbs
Feb 19- “Henry ‘Box’ Brown,” portrayed by Rory Rennick
Feb 26- “George Washington Williams,” portrayed by Anthony Gibbs

Watch past living history presentations here.

# # #

In honor of the life and service of Colerain Township Police Officer Dale Woods, flags at the Ohio Statehouse will fly at half-staff from sunrise until sunset on the day of his internment.

In commemoration of Pearl Harbor Day, flags at the Ohio Statehouse will fly at half-staff effective December 7 and will remain at half-staff through sunset on December 30, 2018 in continued honor of the life and service of former President George H.W. Bush.

Flags at the Ohio Statehouse will fly at half-staff effective immediately for the next 30 days, in honor of the extraordinary life and service of former President George H.W. Bush.

It’s that time of the year again to grab your entire family, friends and bring some holiday cheer to celebrate the Ohio Statehouse Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting. This year’s celebration will take place Thursday, December 6, 2018 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This free family-friendly event is open to the public!

The festival marks the beginning of the holiday season on Capitol Square and throughout central Ohio. The indoor ceremony will take place in the Statehouse Atrium and consist of a short program, welcoming Santa and Mrs. Claus, followed by the lighting the Ohio Statehouse and our historically decorated holiday tree. The festivities will continue with refreshments, arts and crafts activities, games and special performances by local choirs and dancers. There will also be a free photo station available to capture your families’ moment with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Refreshments are courtesy of the Berwick, Bosc + Brie, Cameron Mitchell Premier Events, Freedom a la Cart, L.A. Catering, Made From Scratch, Metro Cuisine Catering & Special Events, Milo's Catering and Banquet Services and Two Caterers.

Come and join us for this magical night at the Ohio Statehouse to start off your holiday season! Convenient and affordable parking is available during the event in the Ohio Statehouse underground parking garage. Parking rates are available at

Holiday press images are available at:

# # #
Older Posts