Fun facts about the Cincy Region

Beyond the stats, facts, and square feet, meet the real Cincy Region. With a diverse heritage and storied history—discover what makes Cincy a region of firsts.

Cincinnati Firsts

  • 1793 First settlement in Ohio to publish a newspaper
  • 1835 First bag of airmail lifted by a hot air balloon.
  • 1849 First city in the U.S. to hold a municipal song festival—Saengerfest.
  • 1850 First city in the U.S. to establish a Jewish hospital.
  • 1850 First city in the U.S. to publish greeting cards—Gibson Greeting Card Company.
  • 1853 First practical steam fire engine. First city to establish a municipal fire department and first fireman's pole.
  • 1869 First city to establish a weather bureau.
  • 1869 First professional baseball team—the Cincinnati Red Stockings, now known as the Cincinnati Reds.
  • 1870 First city in the U.S. to establish a municipal university—University of Cincinnati.
  • 1870 First city to hold annual industrial expositions.
  • 1875 First city to establish a Jewish theological college—Hebrew Union College.
  • 1875 Reuben Springer offered to finance building of Music Hall for May Festival if citizens also contribute; becomes first matching fund-raiser.
  • 1880 First city in which a woman, Maria Longworth Nichols Storer, began and operated a large manufacturing operation—Rookwood Pottery.
  • 1880 First and only city to build and own a major railroad.
  • 1902 First concrete skyscraper built in the U.S.—the Ingalls Building.
  • 1905 Daniel Carter Beard founded the Sons of Daniel Boone, later known as the Boy Scouts of America.
  • 1906 First university to offer cooperative education—University of Cincinnati.
  • 1935 First night baseball game played under lights.
  • 1952 First heart-lung machine makes open heart surgery possible. Developed at Children's Hospital Medical Center.
  • 1954 First city to have a licensed Public television station—WCET TV.

Famous Cincinnatians


  • Frank Duveneck - painter born in Covington, KY in 1848 who influenced a generation of painters.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe - author of Uncle Tom's Cabin—lived in Cincinnati, across the river from Civil War border-state Kentucky, and drew from these experiences for her book.
  • Hiram Powers - began his career as an artist in Cincinnati.
  • James Levine - conductor and pianist born in Cincinnati—debuted with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at age 10.
  • Jim Dine - major American artist of the second half of the 20th century born in Cincinnati in 1935. Attended Walnut Hills High School, the Cincinnati Art Academy and the University of Cincinnati College of Applied Arts.
  • John Henry Twachtman - painter, born in Cincinnati in 1853, who studied under Frank Duveneck and is considered a leader in the Impressionist movement.
  • Robert S. Ducanson - prolific artist of the Hudson River School style raised in Cincinnati.
  • Suzanne Farrell - ballet dancer born in Cincinnati in 1945.
  • Thomas Worthington Whittredge - artist who lived in Cincinnati, best known for his Hudson River School scenes.
  • Tom Wesselmann - Cincinnati artist born in 1931 whose work was included in the American Pop Art exhibition at the Whitney Museum, New York. 


  • Nikki Giovanni - Grammy-nominated poet, activist and author, was commissioned by NPR to create an inaugural poem for President Barack Obama. Grew up in Lincoln Heights an all-black suburb of Cincinnati, OH. 
  • Tony Snow - a nationally known journalist, born in Berea, Kentucky and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, became a White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush.

Educators & Innovators 

  • Albert Sabin - discoverer of the oral polio vaccine, conducted research on the polio virus at the Children's Hospital Research Foundation in Cincinnati, OH. 
  • Daniel Carter Beard - Covington, KY resident who founded the Sons of Daniel Boone, which evolved into the Boy Scouts of America.
  • John William Mauchly - Cincinnati born physicist who collaborated with others to build ENIAC, the first large electronic computer.
  • Neil Armstrong - first man on the moon who later served as a professor of engineering at the University of Cincinnati from 1971–1979.
  • Nelson Glueck - leading biblical archaeologist born in Cincinnati, discovered the site of King Solomon's copper mines.
  • William McGuffey - professor at Miami University in Oxford, OH who redefined reading textbooks in the late 19th century with his eclectic Readers series.


  • Andy Williams - singer, attended Western Hills High School in Cincinnati.
  • Antonio "L.A." Reid - three-time Grammy Award-winning record executive, songwriter, record producer, and co-founder of LaFace Records from Mt. Auburn, attended Hughes High School.
  • Bootsy Collins - Legendary funk bass guitarist, composer and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, born William Collins in Cincinnati, Oh.
  • Carmen Electra - actress, born Tara Leigh Patrick in Cincinnati, attended Princeton High School.
  • Doris Day - actress, born Doris von Kappelhoff in Cincinnati in 1924.
  • Drew Lachey – singer with 98 Degrees; winner of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." Graduated from School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati.
  • George Clooney - actor born in Augusta, KY
  • Jerry Springer - talk show host, was once Mayor of Cincinnati and later anchor on WLWT-TV news.
  • Nick Lachey - solo artist started with Cincinnati-based "98 Degrees"; led Team Cincinnati to victory on NBC's "Clash of the Choirs". Graduated from School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati.
  • Randy Crawford - born Veronica Crawford, jazz and R&B singer from Evanston, attended Courter Tech High School.
  • Rosemary Clooney - singer, actress and aunt of George Clooney born in Maysville, KY.
  • Roy Rogers - popular singing cowboy, born Leonard Franklin Slye in Cincinnati in 1911.
  • Ruth Lyons - television hostess broadcast her show on WLW-TV from 1947–1967
  • Sarah Jessica Parker - actress who grew up in Cincinnati.
  • Steven Spielberg - innovative filmmaker born in Cincinnati.
  • Ted Turner - media mogul born in Cincinnati.
  • The Isley Brothers - R&B group from Cincinnati who had a major hit with "Twist & Shout", later re-recorded by the Beatles.
  • Theda Bara - silent film star, born Theodosia Goodman in Cincinnati in 1890.
  • Todd Louiso- actor, attended School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati.
  • Tyrone Power - movie star born in Cincinnati in 1914. 


  • Benjamin Harrison - 23rd President of the United States, born in North Bend, OH in 1833.
  • Ulysses S. Grant - Civil War General and 18th President of the United States, born in Point Pleasant, OH in 1822.
  • William Howard Taft - 27th President of the United States, born in Cincinnati in 1857.

Sports Stars 

  • Anthony Munoz - Pro Football Hall of Fame tackle who played his entire career as a Cincinnati Bengal.
  • Eddie Arcaro - jockey born in Cincinnati who rode the Kentucky Derby winner 5 times and the Triple Crown winner once.
  • Oscar "Big O" Robertson - three-time basketball All-American at the University of Cincinnati, 1958-1960, and the NBA's Rookie of the Year in 1961.
  • Pete Rose - Major League Baseball's biggest lifetime hitter with 4,256 hits, was born in Cincinnati.
  • Roger Staubach - Dallas Cowboy Hall of Famer played football at Purcell High School in Cincinnati.
  • Steve Cauthen - born in Covington, KY, was the first jockey to exceed $6 million in earnings.

Cincinnati foods

Cincinnatians love to eat. Following is a sampling of some of our favorite foods:

  • Cincinnati-Style Chili – Between Skyline Chili, Gold Star Chili, and other Cincinnati chili restaurants (more than 140 in all!), Cincinnatians eat more than 2 million pounds of chili each year topped by 850,000 pounds of shredded cheddar cheese. Cincinnati chili sauce contains finely ground beef, seasoned with a mixture of spices. Some aficionados report a distinct hint of cinnamon and sometimes even chocolate. It is characteristically served over spaghetti or as coney sauce, with oyster crackers on the side. 
  • Ice cream – Cincinnati is home to Graeter's ice cream. Graeter's, founded in 1870 by Louis C. Graeter, is a Cincinnati tradition with Graeter's French Pot ice cream, handmade chocolate confections, and fresh baked goods found at locations all over the city. Today, the Graeter family, consisting of three grandchildren and three great-grandsons of Louis Graeter, still faithfully use the over one-century old recipes and methods of production in the Reading Road plant.
  • Barbecue – Greater Cincinnatians will eat ribs, chicken, Saratoga chips, or anything covered in Montgomery Inn Barbeque Sauce. Three locations in the area cater to the cravings of locals and visitors alike: Montgomery Inn, located in Montgomery (a northeastern suburb), Montgomery Inn Boathouse, and downtown on the Ohio River. Place an order for home delivery or view menus at
  • Goetta - Primarily composed of ground meat and steel-cut oats and flavored with bay leaves, rosemary, salt, pepper, and thyme, this dish originated with German settlers who emigrated to the Cincinnati area in the 19th century. The modern popularity of goetta in Cincinnati has led to it being called "Cincinnati Caviar". Glier's Goetta, the largest commercial producer of goetta, produces more than 1,000,000 pounds annually, around 99% of which is consumed locally in greater Cincinnati.

For more information on Cincinnati dining, search our restaurants.

Cincinnati movies

Cincinnati's rolling hills, inspired architecture, and deep history are the stuff movies are made of – literally.

Movies filmed in Cincinnati since 1987:

  • “Eight Men Out”, 1987
  • “Fresh Horses”, 1987
  • “Rain Man”, 1988
  • “Tango & Cash”, 1989
  • “An Innocent Man”, 1989
  • “City of Hope”, 1990
  • “A Rage in Harlem”, 1990
  • “Little Man Tate”, 1990
  • “The Public Eye”, 1991
  • “Lost in Yonkers”, 1992
  • “Airborne”, 1993
  • “Milk Money”, 1993
  • “The Mighty”, 1997
  • “In Too Deep”, 1998
  • “Traffic”, 2000
  • “Summer Catch”, 2000
  • “Seabiscuit”, 2003
  • “Mr. 3000”, 2004
  • “Elizabethtown”, 2005
  • “Jimmy and Judy”, 2006
  • “Ides of March”, 2011
  • “Seven Below”, 2012
  • “The Christmas Spirit”, 2013
  • “Carol”, 2014
  • “Miles Ahead”, 2014
  • “The Blunderer”, 2014
  • “Marauders”, 2016
  • “Goat”, 2016
  • “Killing of the Sacred Deer”, 2017
  • “My Days of Mercy”, 2017
  • “The Fits”, 2017
  • “The Old Man and the Gun”, 2018
  • “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile”, 2018
  • “Dark Waters”, 2019
  • “The Public”, 2019
  • “Point Blank”, 2019
  • “Bones and All”, 2021

For more information, contact the Film Cincinnati.