In the 19th century, Cincinnati was an American boomtown in the middle of the country. Throughout much of the 19th century, it was listed among the top 10 U.S. cities by population, surpassed only by New Orleans and the older, established settlements of the United States eastern seaboard, as well as being the sixth-biggest city for a period spanning 1840 until 1860. Cincinnati was the first city founded after the American Revolution, as well as the first major inland city in the country.
Cincinnati developed with fewer immigrants and less influence from Europe than East Coast cities in the same period. However, it received a significant number of German-speaking immigrants, who founded many of the city's cultural institutions. By the end of the 19th century, with the shift from steamboats to railroads drawing off freight shipping, trade patterns had altered and Cincinnati's growth slowed considerably. The city was surpassed in population by other inland cities, particularly Chicago, which developed based on strong commodity exploitation, economics, and the railroads, and St. Louis, which for decades after the Civil War served as the gateway to westward migration.
The introduction of steamboats on the Ohio River in 1811 opened up the city's trade to more rapid shipping, and the city established commercial ties with St. Louis, Missouri and New Orleans downriver. Cincinnati was incorporated as a city on March 1, 1819. Exporting pork products and hay, it became a center of pork processing in the region. From 1810 to 1830 its population nearly tripled, from 9,642 to 24,831. Completion of the Miami and Erie Canal in 1827 to Middletown, Ohio further stimulated businesses, and employers struggled to hire enough people to fill positions. The city had a labor shortage until large waves of immigration by Irish and Germans in the late 1840s. The city grew rapidly over the next two decades, reaching 115,000 people by the year 1850.
Construction on the Miami and Erie Canal began on July 21, 1825, when it was called the Miami Canal, related to its origin at the Great Miami River. The first section of the canal was opened for business in 1827. In 1827, the canal connected Cincinnati to nearby Middletown; by 1840, it had reached Toledo. During this period of rapid expansion and prominence, residents of Cincinnati began referring to the city as the Queen City.
Cincinnati acted as a "border town" during the slave-owning period between 1810 and 1863. Its location, on the border between the free state of Ohio and the slave state of Kentucky, made it a prominent location for slaves to escape the slave-owning south. Many prominent abolitionists also called Cincinnati their home during this period, and made it a popular stop on the Underground Railroad. In 2004, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center was completed along Freedom Way in Downtown, honoring the city's past involvement in the Underground Railroad.
Cincinnati in 1841 with the Miami and Erie Canal in the foreground.
In 1859, Cincinnati laid out six streetcar lines; the cars were pulled by horses and the lines made it easier for people to get around the city. By 1872, Cincinnatians could travel on the streetcars within the city and transfer to rail cars for travel to the hill communities. The Cincinnati Inclined Plane Company began transporting people to the top of Mount Auburn that year. In 1889, the Cincinnati streetcar system began converting its horse-drawn cars to electric streetcars.
In 1884, outrage over a manslaughter verdict in what many observers thought was a clear case of murder triggered the Courthouse riots, one of the most destructive riots in American history. Over the course of three days, 56 people were killed and over 300 were injured. The riots ended the regime of political bosses John Roll McLean and Thomas C. Campbell in Cincinnati.
During the Great Depression
An early rejuvenation of downtown began in the 1920s and continued into the next decade with the construction of Union Terminal, the post office, and the large Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building. Cincinnati weathered the Great Depression better than most American cities of its size, largely due to a resurgence in river trade, which was less expensive than transporting goods by rail. The flood in 1937 was one of the worst in the nation's history and destroyed many areas along the Ohio valley. Afterward the city built protective flood walls.
Cincinnati has many nicknames, including Cincy, The Nati, The Queen City, The Queen of the West, The Blue Chip City, and The City of Seven Hills. These are more typically associated with professional, academic, and public relations references to the city, including restaurant names such as Blue Chip Cookies, and are not commonly used by locals in casual conversation.
The seven hills are fully described in the June, 1853 edition of the West American Review, "Article III--Cincinnati: Its Relations to the West and South". The hills form a crescent from the east bank of the Ohio River to the west bank: Mount Adams, Walnut Hills, Mount Auburn, Vine Street Hill, College Hill, Fairmount, and Mount Harrison.
The classic nickname "Queen City" is taken from an 1819 newspaper article and further immortalized by the 1854 poem "Catawba Wine". In it, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote of the city:
And this Song of the Vine, This greeting of mine, The winds and the birds shall deliver, To the Queen of the West, In her garlands dressed, On the banks of the Beautiful River.
For many years, Cincinnati was known as "Porkopolis"; this less desirable nickname came from the city's large pork interests.
Newer nicknames such as "The 'Nati" are emerging and are attempted to be used in different cultural contexts. For example, a local litter-prevention campaign uses the slogan "Don’t Trash the 'Nati."
"The City of Seven Hills" is another name for the city. When the city was younger and smaller, the June 1853 edition of the West American Review, "Article III—Cincinnati: Its Relations to the West and South" described and named seven specific hills. The hills form a crescent around the city: Mount Adams, Walnut Hills, Mount Auburn, Vine Street Hill, College Hill, Fairmont (now rendered Fairmount), and Mount Harrison (now known as Price Hill). The name refers to ancient Rome, reputed to be built on seven hills. A prominent local private K-12 school is named Seven Hills School.
Tall Stacks, held every three or four years between 1988 and 2006, celebrated the city's riverboat heritage.
Cincinnati, being on the heartland plain, depended on trade with the slave states south of the Ohio River at a time when thousands of black people were settling in the free state of Ohio. Most of them came after the Civil War, and were from Kentucky and Virginia with many of them fugitives who had sought freedom and work in the North. In the antebellum years, the majority of native-born whites in the city came from northern states, primarily Pennsylvania. Though 57 percent of whites migrated from free states, 26 percent were from southern states and they retained their cultural support for slavery. This quickly led to tensions between pro-slavery residents and those in favor of abolitionism and lifting restrictions on free people of color, as codified in the "Black Code" of 1804.
Germans were among the earliest newcomers, migrating from Pennsylvania and the backcountry of Virginia and Tennessee. General David Ziegler succeeded General St. Clair in command at Fort Washington. After the conclusion of the Northwest Indian War and removal of Native Americans to the west, he was elected as Cincinnati's first town president (equivalent to a mayor) in 1802. Cincinnati was influenced by Irishmen, and Prussians and Saxons (northern Germans), seeking to emigrate away from crowding and strife. In 1830 residents with German roots made up 5% of the population, as many had migrated from Pennsylvania; ten years later this had increased to 30%. Thousands of Germans entered the city after the Prussian revolution of 1848, and by 1900, more than 60 percent of its population was of Prussian background. The menial-jobbed, aggravated Irish often organized mobs and the Germans, far away from their Pennsylvania Dutch connections, did the same. Thus, leaders of the city had to use fortifying measures against the arrivals' clashes.
Volatile social conditions saw riots in 1829, when many blacks lost their homes and property. As the Irish entered the city in the late 1840s, they competed with blacks at the lower levels of the economy. White-led riots against blacks occurred in 1836, when an abolitionist press was twice destroyed; and in 1842. More than 1,000 blacks abandoned the city after the 1829 riots. Blacks in Philadelphia and other major cities raised money to help the refugees recover from the destruction. By 1842 blacks had become better established in the city; they defended themselves and their property in the riot, and worked politically as well.
Cincinnati's Jewish community was developed by those from England and Germany. A large segment of the community, led by Isaac M. Wise, developed Reform Judaism in response to the influences of the Enlightenment and making their new lives in the United States. Rabbi Wise, known as a founding father of the Reform movement, and his contemporaries, bore a great influence on the Jewish faith in Cincinnati, the United States, and worldwide.
Several Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Cincinnati, such as Procter & Gamble, The Kroger Company, and Macy's, Inc.. General Electric has headquartered their Global Operations Center in Cincinnati. The Kroger Company employs 21,646 people locally, making it the largest employer in the city, and the University of Cincinnati is the second largest at 16,000.
Approximately 1 million attend Taste of Cincinnati yearly, making it one of the largest street festivals in the United States
Cincinnati has many[quantify] gourmet restaurants. The Maisonette in Cincinnati was Mobil Travel Guide's longest-running five-star restaurant in the United States, holding that distinction for 41 consecutive years until it closed in 2005. Its former head chef, Jean-Robert de Cavel, has opened four new restaurants in the area since 2001.
One of the United States's oldest and most celebrated bars, Arnold's Bar and Grill in downtown Cincinnati has won awards from Esquire magazine's "Best Bars in America",Thrillist's "Most Iconic Bar in Ohio",The Daily Meal's "150 Best bars in America" and Seriouseats.com's "The Cincinnati 10". “If Arnold’s were in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, or Boston—somewhere, in short, that people actually visit—it would be world-famous,” wrote David Wondrich.
Cincinnati chili, a spiced sauce served over noodles, usually topped with cheese and often with diced onions and/or beans, is the area's "best-known regional food." A variety of recipes are served by respective parlors, including Skyline Chili, Gold Star Chili, and Dixie Chili and Deli, plus independent chili parlors including Camp Washington Chili, Empress Chili and Moonlight Chili. Cincinnati has been called July 2016 the "Chili Capital of America" and "of the World" because it has more chili restaurants per capita than any other city in the United States or in the world.
The citizens of Cincinnati speak General American. Unlike the rest of the Midwest, Southwest Ohio shares some aspects of its vowel system with northern New Jersey English. Cincinnatians allegedly over-pronounce "O" so the affect comes to be heard with a rounded "w", perhaps from living on the Ohio whose four-letter name includes two "o"s. Most of the distinctive local features among speakers float as Midland American. There is also some influence from the Southern American dialect found in Kentucky. A touch of northern German is audible in the local vernacular: some residents use the word please when asking a speaker to repeat a statement. This usage is taken from the German practice, when bitte (a shortening of the formal, "Wie bitte?" or "How please?" rendered word-for-word from German into English), was used as shorthand for asking someone to repeat.
In 1950 Cincinnati reached its peak population of over 503,000 residents; it has lost population in every census-count since that time. In the late-20th century industrial restructuring caused a loss of jobs. The Census Bureau's 2006 estimates put the population at 332,252, representing a small increase from 331,310 in 2005. The city had officially challenged the original census numbers. Mayor Mark Mallory repeatedly argued that the city's population was 378,259 after a drill-down study was performed by an independent, non-profit group based in Washington, D.C.
Map of racial distribution in Cincinnati, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic or Other (yellow)
As of the U.S. Census Bureau's July 2018 estimate, the population stood at 302,601, down nearly 5,000 from 2006. The Census Bureau count is officially conducted every new decade. All other population numbers for American cities released between the official census count are just estimates, which may not be accurate, whether the population shows growth or decline on those estimates.
As of the official 2010 census, the racial demographics for the city of Cincinnati were: 49.3% white (48.1% non-Hispanic white), 44.8% black or African-American, 0.3% American Indian or Alaskan Native, 1.8% Asian, 0.1% Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 2.5% two or more races, and 2.8% Hispanic (of any race).
Aerial view of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky at twilight
The city is undergoing significant changes due to new development and private investment. This includes buildings of the long-stalled Banks project that includes apartments, retail, restaurants, and offices, which will stretch from Great American Ball Park to Paul Brown Stadium. Phase 1A is already complete and 100 percent occupied as of early 2013. Smale Riverfront Park is being developed along with The Banks, and is Cincinnati's newest park. Nearly $3.5 billion have been invested in the urban core of Cincinnati (including Northern Kentucky). Much of this development has been undertaken by 3CDC. The Cincinnati Bell Connector began in September 2016.
Cincinnati is midway by river between the cities of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Cairo, Illinois. The downtown lies near the mouth of the Licking, a confluence where the first settlement occurred.Greater Cincinnati spans southern Ohio and Indiana, and northern Kentucky; the census bureau has measured the city proper at 79.54 square miles (206.01 km2), of which 77.94 square miles (201.86 km2) are land and 1.60 square miles (4.14 km2) are water. The city spreads over a number of hills, bluffs, and low ridges overlooking the Ohio in the Bluegrass region of the country. The tristate is geographically located within the Midwest and is on the far northern of the Upland South.
Since April 1, 1922, the Ohio flood stage at Cincinnati has officially been set at 52 feet (16 m), as measured from the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge. At this depth, the pumping station at the mouth of Mill Creek is activated. From 1873 to 1898, the flood stage was 45 feet (14 m). From 1899 to March 31, 1922, it was 50 feet (15 m). The Ohio reached its lowest level, less than 2 feet (0.61 m), in 1881; conversely, its all-time high water mark is 79 feet 117⁄8 inches (24.381 m), having crested January 26, 1937. Various parts of Cincinnati flood at different points: Riverbend Music Center in the California neighborhood floods at 42 feet (13 m), while Sayler Park floods at 71 feet (22 m) and the Freeman Avenue flood gate closes at 75 feet (23 m).
Cincinnati is at the southern limit of the humid continental climate zone (Köppen: Dfa), bordering the humid subtropical climate zone. Summers are warm to hot and humid, with significant rainfall in each month and highs reaching 90 °F (32 °C) or above on 21 days per year, often with high dew points and humidity. July is the warmest month, with a daily average temperature of 75.9 °F (24.4 °C).
Winters tend to be cold and snowy, with January, the coldest month, averaging at 30.8 °F (−0.7 °C). Lows reach 0 °F (−18 °C) on an average 2.6 nights yearly. An average winter will see around 22.1 inches (56 cm) of snowfall, contributing to the yearly 42.5 inches (1,080 mm) of precipitation, with rainfall peaking in spring. Extremes range from −25 °F (−32 °C) on January 18, 1977 up to 108 °F (42 °C) on July 21 and 22, 1934. Severe thunderstorms are common in the warmer months, and tornadoes, while infrequent, are not unknown, with such events striking the Greater Cincinnati area most recently in 1974, 1999, 2012, and 2017.
On Major League Baseball Opening Day, Cincinnati has the distinction of holding the "traditional opener" in baseball each year, due to its baseball history. Children have been known to skip school on Opening Day, and it is commonly thought of as a holiday.
The Cincinnati Reds have won five World Series titles and had one of the most successful baseball teams of all time in the mid-1970s, known as The Big Red Machine. The Bengals have made two Super Bowl appearances since its founding, in 1981 and 1988, but have yet to win a championship. As of 2016, the Bengals have the longest active playoff win drought (26 years) despite making five straight playoff appearances from 2011 to 2015. Whenever the Bengals and Carolina Panthers play against each other (an interconference matchup that occurs every four years), their games are dubbed the "Queen City Bowl", as Charlotte, North Carolina, the home city of the Panthers, is also known as the Queen City. The Bengals enjoy strong rivalries with the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers (both of whom are also members of the AFC North).
FC Cincinnati is a soccer team that plays in the MLS. FC Cincinnati made its home debut in the USL on April 9, 2016, before a crowd of more than 14,000 fans. On their next home game vs Louisville City FC, FC Cincinnati broke the all-time USL attendance record with a crowd of 20,497; on May 14, 2016, it broke its own record, bringing in an audience of 23,375 on its 1–0 victory against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. FC Cincinnati has since broken the USL attendance record on several additional occasions, and moved to Major League Soccer (MLS) for the 2019 season. FC Cincinnati was awarded an MLS bid on May 29, 2018, and will open a new stadium in the West End neighborhood just northwest of downtown by 2021.
The table below shows sports teams in the Cincinnati area that average more than 5,000 fans per game:
The Cincinnati Cyclones are a minor league AA-level professional hockey team playing in the ECHL. Founded in 1990, the team play at U.S. Bank Arena. They won the 2010 Kelly Cup Finals, their 2nd championship in three seasons. Cincinnati is also home to the first American based Australian rules football team, The Cincinnati Dockers, established in 1996.
The city of Cincinnati's emergency services for fire, rescue, EMS, hazardous materials and explosive ordnance disposal is handled by the Cincinnati Fire Department. On April 1, 1853, the Cincinnati Fire Department became the first paid professional fire department in United States. The Cincinnati Fire Department operates out of 26 fire stations, located throughout the city in 4 districts, each commanded by a district chief.
The Cincinnati Fire Department is organized into 4 bureaus: Operations, Personnel and Training, Administrative Services, and Fire Prevention. Each bureau is commanded by an assistant chief, who in turn reports to the chief of department.
The Cincinnati Police Department has more than 1,000 sworn officers. Before the riots of 2001, Cincinnati's overall crime rate had been dropping steadily and by 1995 had reached its lowest point since 1992 but with more murders and rapes. After the riot, violent crime increased, but crime has been on the decline since. In 2015, there were 71 homicides.
A reform movement arose in 1923, led by another Republican, Murray Seasongood. Seasongood founded the Charter Committee, which used ballot initiatives in 1924 to replace the ward system with the current at-large system. They gained approval by voters for a council–manager government form of government, in which the smaller council (compared to the number of previous ward representatives) hires a professional manager to operate daily affairs of the city. From 1924 to 1957, the council was elected by proportional representation and single transfer voting (STV). Starting with Ashtabula in 1915, several major cities in Ohio adopted this electoral system, which had the practical effect of reducing ward boss and political party power. For that reason, such groups opposed it.
In an effort to overturn the charter that provided for proportional representation, opponents in 1957 fanned fears of black political power, at a time of increasing civil rights activism. The PR/STV system had enabled minorities to enter local politics and gain seats on the city council more than they had before, in proportion to their share of the population. This made the government more representative of the residents of the city. Overturning that charter, in 1957, all candidates had to run in a single race for the nine city council positions. The top nine vote-getters were elected (the "9-X system"), which favored candidates who could appeal to the entire geographic area of the city and reach its residents with campaign materials. The mayor was elected by the council. In 1977, 33-year-old Jerry Springer, later a notable television talk show host, was chosen to serve one year as mayor.
Residents continued to work to improve their system. To have their votes count more, starting in 1987, the top vote-getter in the city council election was automatically selected as mayor. Starting in 1999, the mayor was elected separately in a general at-large election for the first time. The city manager's role in government was reduced. These reforms were referred to as the "strong mayor" reforms, to make the publicate accountable to voters. Cincinnati politics include the participation of the Charter Party, the political party with the third-longest history of winning in local elections. On October 5, 2011, the Council became the first local government in the United States to adopt a resolution recognizing freedom from domestic violence as a fundamental human right. On January 30, 2017, Cincinnati's mayor declared the city a sanctuary city.
Due to its location on the Ohio River, Cincinnati was a border town in a free state, across from Kentucky, which was a slave state. Residents of Cincinnati played a major role in abolitionism. Many fugitive slaves used the Ohio at Cincinnati to escape to the North. Cincinnati had numerous stations on the Underground Railroad, but there were also runaway slave catchers active in the city, who put escaping slaves at risk of recapture.
Given its southern Ohio location, Cincinnati had also attracted settlers from the Upper South, who traveled along the Ohio River into the territory. Tensions between abolitionists and slavery supporters broke out in repeated violence, with whites attacking blacks in 1829. Anti-abolitionists attacked blacks in the city in a wave of destruction that resulted in 1,200 blacks leaving the city and the country; they resettled in Canada. The riot and its refugees were topics of discussion throughout the country, and blacks organized the first Negro Convention in 1830 in Philadelphia to discuss these events.
White riots against blacks took place again in Cincinnati in 1836 and 1842. In 1836, a mob of 700 pro-slavery men attacked black neighborhoods, as well as a press run by James M. Birney, publisher of the anti-slavery weekly The Philanthropist. Tensions increased after congressional passage in 1850 of the Fugitive Slave Act, which required cooperation by citizens in free states and increased penalties for failing to try to recapture escaped slaves.
Located in a free state and attracting many European immigrants, Cincinnati has historically had a predominantly white population. By 1940, the Census Bureau reported the city's population as 87.8 percent white and 12.2 percent black.
In the second half of the 20th century, Cincinnati, along with other rust belt cities, underwent a vast demographic transformation. By the early 21st century, the city's population was 40% black. Predominantly white, working-class families who constituted the urban core during the European immigration boom in the 19th and early 20th centuries, moved to newly constructed suburbs before and after World War II. Blacks, fleeing the oppression of the Jim Crow South in hopes of better socioeconomic opportunity, had moved to these older city neighborhoods in their Great Migration to the industrial North. The downturn in industry in the late 20th century caused a loss of many jobs, leaving many people in poverty. In 1968, passage of national civil rights legislation had raised hopes for positive change, but the assassination of national leader Martin Luther King, Jr. resulted in riots in many black neighborhoods in Cincinnati; unrest occurred in black communities in nearly every major U.S. city after King's murder.
More than three decades later, in April 2001, racially charged riots occurred after police fatally shot a young unarmed black man, Timothy Thomas, during a foot pursuit to arrest him, mostly for outstanding traffic warrants. After the 2001 riots, the ACLU, Cincinnati Black United Front, the city and its police union agreed upon a community-oriented policing strategy. The agreement has been used as a model across the country for building relationships between police and local communities.
On July 19, 2015, Samuel DuBose, an unarmed black motorist, was fatally shot by white University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing after a routine traffic stop for a missing front license plate. The resulting legal proceedings in late 2016 have been a recurring focus of national news media. Several peaceful protests involving the Black Lives Matter movement have been carried out. Tensing was indicted on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter, but a November 2016 trial ended in mistrial after the jury became deadlocked. A retrial began in May 2017, which also ended in mistrial after deadlock. The prosecution then announced they did not plan to try Tensing a third time. The University of Cincinnati has settled with the DuBose family for $4.8 million and free tuition for each of the 12 children.
The Jewish community has several schools, including the all-girl RITSS (Regional Institute for Torah and Secular Studies) high school, and the all-boy Yeshivas Lubavitch High School.Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), founded by Isaac Mayer Wise, is a seminary for training of Reform rabbis and others religious.
In 2015, Cincinnati held the USITT 2015 Conference and Stage Expo at the Duke Energy Convention Center, bringing 5,000+ students, university educators, theatrical designers and performers, and other personnel to the city. The USITT Conference is considered the main conference for Theatre, Opera, and Dance in the United States.
The Cincinnati skyline was prominently featured in the opening and closing sequences of the CBS/ABC daytime drama The Edge of Night from its start in 1956 until 1980, when it was replaced by the Los Angeles skyline; the cityscape was the stand-in for the show's setting, Monticello. Procter & Gamble, the show's producer, is based in Cincinnati. The sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati and its sequel/spin-off The New WKRP in Cincinnati featured the city's skyline and other exterior shots in its credits, although was not filmed in Cincinnati. The city's skyline has also appeared in an April Fool's episode of The Drew Carey Show, which was set in Carey's hometown of Cleveland. 3 Doors Down's music video "It's Not My Time" was filmed in Cincinnati, and features the skyline and Fountain Square. Also, Harry's Law, the NBC legal dramedy created by David E. Kelley and starring Kathy Bates, was set in Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati May Festival Chorus is an amateur choir that has been in existence since 1880. The city is home to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Boychoir and Cincinnati Ballet. The Greater Cincinnati area is also home to several regional orchestras and youth orchestras, including the Starling Chamber Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra. Music Director James Conlon and Chorus Director Robert Porco lead the Chorus through an extensive repertoire of classical music. The May Festival Chorus is the mainstay of the oldest continuous choral festival in the Western Hemisphere. Cincinnati Music Hall was built to house the May Festival.
Cincinnati's daily newspaper is The Cincinnati Enquirer, which was established in 1841. The city is home to several alternative, weekly, and monthly publications, among which are free weekly print magazine publications including CityBeat and La Jornada Latina.
As of December 2017, Cincinnati is the 30th largest radio market in the United States, with an estimated 1.8 million listeners aged 12 and above. Major radio station operators include iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media. WLW and WCKY, both owned by iHeartMedia, are both clear-channel stations that broadcast at 50,000 watts, covering most of the eastern United States at night.
The city of Cincinnati has a higher than average percentage of households without a car. In 2015, 19.3 percent of Cincinnati households lacked a car, and increased slightly to 21.2 percent in 2016. The national average was 8.7 percent in 2016. Cincinnati averaged 1.3 cars per household in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8.
The development of a light rail system has long been a goal for Cincinnati, with several proposals emerging over many decades. The city grew rapidly during its streetcar era of the late 19th century and early 1900s. Public transit ridership has been in decline for several decades and bicycles and walking has accounted for a relatively small portion of all trips in the past. Like many other midwestern cities, however, bicycle use is growing fairly rapidly in the 2000s and 2010s. In 1916 the Mayor and citizens voted to spend $6 million to build the Cincinnati Subway. The subway was planned to be a 16-mile loop from Downtown to Norwood to Oakley and back to the east side of Downtown. World War I delayed the construction in 1920 and inflation raised the costs causing the Oakley portion never to be built. Mayor Seasongood who took office later on argued it would cost too much money to finish the system. A century later, the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar line, which opened for service on September 9, 2016, crosses directly above the unfinished subway on Central Parkway downtown. Cincinnati is served by Amtrak's Cardinal, an intercity passenger train which makes three weekly trips in each direction between Chicago and New York City through Cincinnati Union Terminal. Cincinnati is served by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) and the Clermont Transportation Connection. SORTA and TANK primarily operate 40-foot diesel buses, though some lines are served by longer articulated or hybrid-engine buses. In 2012–16, Cincinnati constructed a streetcar line in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine. This modern version of the streetcar opened in September 2016. The Cincinnati Streetcar project experienced railcar-manufacturing delays and initial funding issues, but was completed on-time and within its budget in mid-2016.
A system of public staircases known as the Steps of Cincinnati guides pedestrians up and down the many hills in the city. In addition to practical use linking hillside neighborhoods, the 400 stairways provide visitors scenic views of the Cincinnati area.
Bus traffic is heavy in Cincinnati. Megabus and Greyhound as well as several other, smaller motor coach companies operate out of Cincinnati, making trips within the midwest or beyond. The city has an outer-belt, Interstate 275 (which is the longest circle highway in the country at 85 miles) and a spur, Interstate 471, to Kentucky. It is also served by Interstate 71, Interstate 74, Interstate 75 and numerous U.S. highways: US 22, US 25, US 27, US 42, US 50, US 52, and US 127. The Riverfront Transit Center, built under 2nd Street, is about the size of eight football fields. It is only used for sports games and school field trips. When it was built, it was designed for public transit buses, charter buses, school buses, city coach buses, light rail, and possibly commuter rail. On days it is not in use for sports games, it is closed off and rented to a private parking vendor.
^Greve 1904, p. 27: "The act to incorporate the town of Cincinnati was passed at the first session of the second General Assembly held at Chillicothe and approved by Governor St. Clair on January 1, 1802."
^Greve 1904, pp. 507–508: "This act was passed February 5, 1819, and by virtue of a curative act passed three days later took effect on March 1, of the same year."
^Greve 1904, p. 440: "This explains a common confusion of ideas as to the first mayor of Cincinnati. David Ziegler was the first president of the town, William Corry the first mayor of the town, and Isaac G. Burnet the first mayor of the city."
I. M. Wise, Reminiscences, transl. from the German and ed. by David Philipson, Cincinnati, 1901;
Skolnik, Fred; Berenbaum, Michael. Encyclopaedia Judaica. XXI. New York: Macmillan. p. 100. ...Wise's foresightedness and tenacity in laying its three institutional cornerstones earned him the title 'founding father' of the indigenous Reform movement in America
^Ohio Division of Geological Survey (1998). "Physiographic Regions of Ohio"(PDF). Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey. Archived from the original(PDF) on May 28, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
^"Today, dads let kids skip school". Archived from the original on December 8, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2010. 'We'd skip school,' [Ken Griffey] Junior said Sunday, when asked for his favorite opening day memory. 'My son's skipping school on opening day. It's a tradition. Cincinnati expects that a lot of kids are not going to be there.'
^ abCarter G. Woodson, Charles Harris Wesley (1922). The Negro in Our History. Associated Publishers (digitized from original at University of Michigan Library). p. 140. Retrieved October 1, 2013.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
^Levi Coffin, Reminiscences of Levi Coffin, the reputed president of the underground railroad: being a brief history of the labors of a lifetime in behalf of the slave, with the stories of numerous fugitives, who gained their freedom through his instrumentality, and many other incidents, Cincinnati: Western Tract Society, University of Michigan Library