2014 Gay Games


The 2014 Gay Games, also known as Gay Games 9, was an international multi-sport event and cultural gathering organized by, and specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) athletes, artists and musicians. It was held from August 9 to August 16, 2014 in Cleveland, and Akron, OH where an estimated 10,000 athletes from more than 60 nations participated in 37 sports and cultural events.


The Akron Civic Theater

The Akron Civic Theatre a playhouse in Akron, Ohio, is one of only sixteen remaining atmospheric theaters, designed by John Eberson, in the United States. It is an excellent example of the great movie palaces of the 1920s. Located on Akron's Main Street, the entrance lobby extends over the Ohio and Erie Canal. The theater has a small multi-colored terra cotta façade dominated by a large marquee. The interior of the entrance and lobby is designed to resemble a Moorish castle with Mediterranean decor, complete with medieval style carvings, authentic European antiques, and Italian alabaster sculptures. A grand full-sized Wurlitzer Theatre organ is hidden beneath the stage and rises on a special lift. In June 2001, the Akron Civic Theatre closed its doors for the most expensive and extensive renovation in its seventy-five year history to better serve customers, actors and staff.


Alan Page

Alan Cedric Page was born in Canton, Ohio on August 7, 1945. A graduate of Canton Central Catholic High School, he worked on a construction team that erected the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is an American retired jurist and former professional football player. He gained national recognition as a defensive tackle in the NFL and then embarked on a legal career. He served as an associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court from 1993 until he reached the court's mandatory retirement age of 70 in 2015. Page was the first defensive player to win the MVP Award. He is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame (1993) and the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1988). He is considered one of the greatest defensive linemen ever to play the game. In 2018, President Donald Trump awarded Page the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


All-American Soap Box Derby


The Soap Box Derby is a youth soapbox car racing program which has been held in the United States since 1933. World Championship finals are held each July at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio. Cars competing are unpowered, relying completely on gravity to move. The Ultimate Speed Challenge is the sanctioned racing format that was developed in 2004 to preserve the tradition of innovation, creativity, and craftsmanship in the design of gravity powered racing. The goal of the event is to attract creative entries designed to reach speeds never before attainable on the historic Akron hill. The competition consists of timed runs (one run in each lane), down Akron's 989-foot (301 m) hill. The car and team that achieve the fastest single run is declared the winner.


Amish Country


The Amish came to the United States in search of religious freedom. In the 1700s Amish families arrived in America and by the 19th century Amish orders had spread into Holmes County, Ohio. The Amish live in homes without electricity or telephones, ride in horse-drawn buggies and vehicles, and wear very plain, homemade clothing. They maintain the lifestyle of their 16th century European ancestors. Their occupations range from farming, woodworking, cabinetry and carpentry, and blacksmiths. Tourism fuels their economy and their restaurants and shops sell home-style meals and baked goods, handmade quilts, and baskets. It is a peek back into America’s history.


Belden Brick Company 


The Belden Brick Company is an American manufacturer and distributor of brick and masonry-related construction products and materials. Founder Henry S. Belden chartered the company in Canton, Ohio as the 'Diebold Fire Brick Company' in 1885 on the Belden farm. Henry’s paving brick was the first known use of paving brick in the city of Canton. Brick pavements then spread quickly throughout the county and state. The Belden Family belongs to the Weatherhead School of Management Family Business Hall of Fame at Case Western Reserve and the Company is one of the largest family-owned brick manufacturers in the U.S..


Canal Park


Canal Park is a baseball stadium located in Akron, Ohio which seats 7,630 fans. The venue is the home of the Akron RubberDucks of the Double-A Northeast, which is the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. Completed in April, 1997, the stadium gets its name from its location adjacent to the Ohio and Erie Canal, which runs behind the left-field wall.


Canton Palace Theatre 


The Palace Theatre is a historic movie palace in downtown Canton, Ohio. Constructed during the heyday of the movie palace in the 1920s, the Theater has been named a historic site. The Palace was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, qualifying both because of the site’s architecture and place in community history.


Chrissie Hynde 


Christine Ellen Hynde, born September 7, 1951 in Akron, Ohio, is an multi-Grammy-nominated American singer-songwriter and musician. A graduate of Firestone High School, she is a founding member and the guitarist, lead vocalist, and primary songwriter of the rock band the Pretenders, as well as its only constant member. Hynde formed the Pretenders in 1978. Hynde was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 as a member of the Pretenders.


Clearview Golf Club  


The Clearview Golf Club is the first golf course in the United States built, owned and operated by an African American. The club was started in 1946, with Bill Powell purchasing the land and working the course layout in his spare time. It opened to the public in April of 1948 and welcomed all races. The club, which is located outside of East Canton, Ohio, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. Bill Powell's daughter, Renee Powell, learned to play on Clearview, and went on to become the second black woman to play on the LPGA tour.


Cuyahoga Valley National Park 

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the only national park in the state of Ohio, lies along the Cuyahoga River between the Ohio cities of Cleveland and Akron and features the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail, a restored section of the canal's original towpath. In the park’s north the Canal Exploration Center details the 19th-century waterway’s history. The towering Brandywine Falls is one of several picturesque waterfalls located within the park. The historic Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad runs through the park and carries nearly 150,000 riders per year.


Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Valley Railroad


The first steam engine used the Valley Railway to transport coal in 1880. This operation paved way for easier and much quicker transportation of goods in those times, serving farmers, merchants and factories located along its route. Considered a great achievement in those times, trade was made easier and was instrumental in the progress of Cuyahoga Valley. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad of today is managed and owned by the National Park Service and carries nearly 150,000 sighsteers per year.  


Dan Dierdorf


Daniel Lee Dierdorf, born June 29, 1949, is an American sportscaster and former football offensive lineman. A native of Canton, Ohio, and a graduate of GlenOak High School, Dierdorf played college football for the University of Michigan from 1968 to 1970 and was selected as a consensus first-team All-American in 1970, and a first-team All-Big Ten Conference player in 1969 and 1970. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000. Dierdorf played professional football in the NFL with the St. Louis Cardinals for 13 seasons from 1971 to 1983. He played in the Pro Bowl six times and was chosen as a first-team All-Pro five times. He was named to the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996. Since his playing career ended, Dierdorf has worked as a broadcaster, and in 2008 he received the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


Dick Goddard 


Richard Duane Goddard was born in Akron, Ohio on February 24, 1931 and lived in the area his entire life. A graduate of Kent State University, he was an American television meteorologist, author, cartoonist, and animal activist. From 1966 until his retirement in 2016, he was the evening meteorologist at WJW-TV. Goddard was an outspoken opponent of animal abuse. "Dick Goddard's Law", a bill to increase the severity of penalties for abuse, was introduced into the Ohio General Assembly in 2013. The 2015 version was signed into law on June 13, 2016.


First Ladies National Historic Site


First Ladies National Historic Site is a United States National Historic Site located in Canton, Ohio. The location consists of two properties in downtown Canton, Ohio - the home of First Lady Ida Saxton-McKinley, and a small visitor center with an exhibit and film. During her residency in Washington, D.C. Mary Regula, wife of Ohio congressman Ralph Regula and founder of the Site, spoke regularly about the nation's first ladies. The 1895 building, formerly the City National Bank Building, was given to the National First Ladies’ Library in 1997.


Gervasi Vineyard


Gervasi Vineyard is a destination winery resort located in Canton, Ohio, offering memorable experiences for local wine lovers, diners, families, businesses and tourists who appreciate beauty, tradition, good food and good wine. The 55-acre estate is designed for adults seeking romantic dining options, families looking for weekend fun, corporate teams in need of unique meeting spaces, and couples planning the ultimate wedding experience. Gervasi’s 5-acre vineyard is carefully sited on their estate. The grounds possess 3 exceptional wine grape varieties, well-suited to the terrain and climate, to patiently nurture to fruitful maturity.


GOJO Industries, Inc. 


GOJO Industries, Inc. is a privately held manufacturer of hand hygiene and skin care products. Founded by a husband-wife team in 1946 and headquartered in Akron, Ohio, the company started with a goal to safely clean hands with their hand sanitizer Purell®, and now GOJO is recognized globally as a company committed to protecting the health and well-being of people around the word.


The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company


The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is an American multinational tire manufacturing company in Akron, Ohio. The company began In 1898 when Frank Seiberling borrowed $3,500 from his brother-in-law Lucius Miles for the down payment needed to buy an abandoned strawboard factory on the banks of the Little Cuyahoga River in Akron, Ohio, founding The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Today Goodyear is a global manufacturing company icon and key community partner in Akron, with their global headquarters that opened in 2013


Hartville MarketPlace 


Open since 1939 and celebrating over 80 years, Hartville MarketPlace & Flea Market is a shopping experience. Located in Hartville, Ohio the MarketPlace is a pristine two-story building, heated and air conditioned, with more than 60 individually owned shops featuring a variety of unique treasures and goods. The outdoor flea market consists of 800 spaces loaded with bargains.


Hoover Company Historic District


The Hoover Company Historic District is an area of commerce, industry and invention. The district is composed of two large factory complex buildings, two warehouses (one is non-contributing), a company store, and the international headquarters building that retain their historic architectural features. In 1908 James Murray Spangler invented the first upright vacuum, naming it the “Electric Suction Sweeper”. He sold his patent to his in-law William Henry Boss Hoover who was a leather-goods manufacturer in New Berlin, Ohio (present day North Canton, Ohio). On August 8, 1908, the Electric Sweeper Suction Company was formed, later to be renamed the Hoover Company. Boss Hoover also established a research and development department in 1909 which provided the company with numerous patents and improved products that maintained the company as an industry leader.

Howard Street District


The center of African-American culture in Akron, Ohio during the mid-20th century, Howard Street was home to many of the city's black-owned business and entertainment establishments, and provided an atmosphere in which minority-owned businesses could thrive. The 1930-1950 era saw the heyday of Howard Street as a vibrant cultural center. The Matthews Hotel was a regular stop for black entertainers such as Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and Count Basie when these mucicians performed in Akron. Local music clubs included the Green Turtle, the Cosmopolitan, the High Hat, and Benny Rivers.



Hugh Downs


Hugh Malcolm Downs was born on February 14, 1921 in Akron, Ohio. A graduate of Lima Shawnee High School and Bluffton College, he was an American radio and television broadcaster, announcer and programmer, television host, news anchor, TV producer, author, game show host, and music composer. A regular television presence from the mid 1940s until the late 1990s, he had several successful roles on morning, prime-time, and late-night television.


Jack Paar


Jack Harold Paar was  born in Canton, Ohio on May 1, 1918. He was an American author, movie actor, radio/television comedian, and a talk show host. He was the popular second host of The Tonight Show from 1957 to 1962.


James Ingram


James Edward Ingram was born February 16, 1952 in Akron, Ohio.  A graduate of East High School, he received a track scholarship to the University of Akron.  He was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and instrumentalist. A two-time Grammy Award-winner and a two-time Academy Award nominee for Best Original Song. He also had nominations for Best Original Song from the Oscars, Golden Globes, and Grammy Awards in 1994 and 1995. Ingram passed away from brain cancer on January 29, 2019 at the age of 66 leaving a legacy of  music and memories.


Judith Resnik 

Judith Arlene Resnik, born in Akron, Ohio on April 5, 1949 is a graduate of Firestone High School. She was an American electrical engineer, software engineer, biomedical engineer, pilot, and NASA astronaut who died aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger when it was destroyed during the launch of mission STS-51-L on January 28, 1986. Resnik was the second American woman in space, and the fourth woman in space worldwide, logging 145 hours in orbit. She was also the first Jewish woman in space. The IEEE Judith Resnik Award for space engineering is named in her honor.


LeBron James

LeBron Raymone James Sr., born December 30, 1984 in Akron, Ohio is a  graduate of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. He is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA. Widely considered one of the greatest NBA players in history, he’s played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers. James is the only player in NBA history to have won NBA championships with three franchises as the Finals MVP. He has competed in 10 NBA Finals and been named an All-Star 17 times, including 3 All-Star MVP selections. Having become more involved in philanthropic and activist pursuits later in his career, James's charitable organization, the LeBron James Family Foundation, helped open a school, housing complex, and community center/retail plaza in his hometown of Akron.


MAPS Air Museum 


The MAPS Air Museum is an aviation museum in Green, Ohio. The museum is internationally known for aviation and serves as a center of aviation history for Northeast Ohio. Run by the Military Aviation Preservation Society, it is located off SR241 on the west side of the Akron-Canton Airport. The museum holds more than 50 aircraft, most on loan from the U.S. Air Force or Navy for restoration.    

Melina Kanakaredes 


Melina Kanakaredes was born in Akron, Ohio, April 23, 1967. At age 8 Kanakaredes made her stage debut in a production of Tom Sawyer at Weathervane Playhouse in Akron. She graduated from Firestone High School in Akron and attended Ohio State University. She is widely known for her roles in U.S. primetime television, including shows CSI: NY and Providence.


Mother Angelica


Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, Rita Antoinette Rizzo, known as Mother Angelica, was born on April 20, 1923 in Canton, Ohio. She was a graduate of McKinley High School. She was a Catholic American Poor Clare nun, best known for her television personality. She was also the founder of the international broadcast cable television network Eternal World Television Network (EWTN) and the radio network WEWN. In 1981 Mother Angelica started broadcasting religious programs from a converted garage, and over the next 20 years she grew a multi-media network. After retirement Mother Angelica lived in a cloistered monastery until her death at age 92 on March 27, 2016. 


Ohio & Erie Canalway  


The Ohio and Erie Canal was a canal constructed during the 1820s and early 1830s in Ohio. The Canal connected Akron with the Cuyahoga River near its outlet on Lake Erie in Cleveland, and a few years later, with the Ohio River near Portsmouth. The canal carried freight traffic from 1827 until 1861, when the construction of railroads ended demand. From 1862 to 1913 the canal served as a water source for industries and towns. The canals are now used for various recreational purposes by the public, and still provide water for some industries. Parts of the canal are preserved, including the Ohio and Erie Canal Historic District, a National Historic Landmark.


Perkins Mansion and John Brown House 


Perkins Stone Mansion: Completed in 1837, the Perkins Stone Mansion was built by Colonel Simon Perkins, son of Akron’s founder General Simon Perkins in Akron, Ohio. As one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in Ohio, the Mansion is now a historical house museum whose objects and rooms not only bring to life the Perkins family’s lifestyles over 3 generations, but interpret the history of Akron and Summit County from Akron’s founding to the turn of the century.

John Brown House: John Brown was raised in an abolitionist household, and moved his family to Hudson, Ohio in 1805. In 1844, after years of financial struggle and debtor’s prison, he was offered a rental home and a position by Colonel Simon Perkins, the son of Akron’s co-founder, to  work in the sheep and wool business. Brown continued his activity in the Underground Railroad, and even harbored escaped slaves at the Akron home. On October 16, 1859, Brown and his fellow abolitionists, “The Secret Six”, attacked  the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry and armed slaves with the stolen weapons, took hostage the great-nephew of George Washington, and continued to make progress in acquiring the armory. Brown was eventually captured by local militia and hanged on December 2nd, 1859. Many historians believe that Brown’s call to arms and raid was the catalyst that sparked the American Civil War.


Pro Football Hall of Fame 


The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the historical and enshrinement institution for professional American football. Located in Canton, Ohio, the National Football League (NFL) was founded on September 17, 1920. The Hall of Fame opened in 1963. It enshrines exceptional figures in the sport of professional football, including players, coaches, franchise owners, and front-office personnel, almost all of whom made their primary contributions to the game in the NFL. For 2021, an additional 15 members, known as the "Centennial Slate", were inducted into the Hall of Fame to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the NFL.


Ralph Regula

Ralph Straus Regula was born on December 3, 1924 in Beach City, Ohio. A member of the Republican Party, he served in the Ohio House of Representatives, the Ohio State Senate and the United States House of Representatives. He represented Ohio's 16th congressional district for 18 terms from 1973 to 2009. In the 110th Congress (2007–2009) he was the second longest serving Republican member of the House of Representatives. He served in the United States Navy during World War II. After his service he attended Mount Union College using his GI Bill. He was a graduate of Mount Union and became a schoolteacher while studying at the William McKinley College of Law in Canton, Ohio


Richard Smalley


Richard Errett Smalley was born in Akron, Ohio on June 6, 1943. He was the Gene and Norman Hackerman Professor of Chemistry and a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Rice University. In 1996, along with Robert Curl, also a professor of chemistry at Rice, and Harold Kroto, a professor at the University of Sussex, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of a new form of carbon, buckminsterfullerene, also known as buckyballs. He was an advocate of nanotechnology and its applications. Upon Smalley's death the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to honor Smalley, crediting him as the "Father of Nanotechnology”.


Rita Dove


Rita Frances Dove, born August 28, 1952 in Akron, OH  is an American poet and essayist. A Presidential Scholar  graduate of the Buchtel High School , Dove went on to graduate summa cum laude from Miami University. From 1993 to 1995 she served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She is the first African American to have been appointed since the position was created by an act of Congress in 1986. Dove also received an appointment as "special consultant in poetry" for the Library of Congress's bicentennial year from 1999 to 2000. Dove is the second African American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1987 and was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame in 1991.


Shawn Porter


Shawn Christian Porter was born October 20, 1987 in Akron, OH, and a graduate of Stow-Monroe Falls High School, where he earned All-Conference in football his junior and senior years. He is an American professional boxer. He is a former two-time welterweight world champion, having held the IBF title from 2013 to 2014 and the WBC title from 2018 to 2019. He is particularly known for his aggressive pressure fighting style, physical strength, and high workrate.


Sojourner Truth: “Ain’t I A Woman?” Speech


"Ain't I a Woman?" is a speech, delivered, by Sojourner Truth, at the 1851 Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio. Born into slavery in 1797, Isabella Baumfree, who later changed her name to Sojourner Truth, would become one of the most powerful advocates for human rights in the 19th century. Some time after gaining her freedom in 1827, she became a well known anti-slavery speaker. Truth's speech argues that the convergence of sexism and racism during slavery contributed to Black women having the lowest status and worst conditions of any group in American Society.



Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens


Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens is a historic house and museum in Akron, Ohio. The estate includes gardens, a greenhouse, carriage house, and the main mansion, and is one of the largest houses in the United States. A National Historic Landmark, the grounds are nationally significant as the home of F. A. Seiberling, co-founder of the  Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.


The Black Keys

The Black Keys are an American rock band formed in Akron, Ohio, in 2001. The multi-Grammy-winning group consists of Dan Auerbach (guitar, vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums). The duo began as an independent act, recording music in basements and self-producing their records, emerging as one of the most popular garage rock artists during a second wave of the genre's revival from 2001-2010. The band's raw blues rock sound draws heavily from Auerbach's blues influences, including Junior Kimbrough, Howlin' Wolf, and Robert Johnson.


The J.M. Smucker Company


The J. M. Smucker Company, also known as Smucker and Smucker's, is an American manufacturer of jam, peanut butter, jelly, fruit syrups, beverages, shortening, ice cream toppings, and other food products in North America. Smucker's headquarters are located in Orrville, Ohio. The company was founded in 1897 by Jerome Munroe Smucker, and has been family-run for four generations.


The O'Jays


The O'Jays are an American R&B group. The group was formed in Canton, Ohio while its members were attending Canton McKinley High School. The O'Jays made their first chart appearance with the hit "Lonely Drifter" in 1963, and reached their greatest level of success  with "Back Stabbers" (1972). The group topped the US Billboard Hot 100 the following year with "Love Train”. Several other US R&B hits followed. The O'Jays were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, and in 2013 were inducted into the National Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame.


The Onesto Hotel 


Opened on August 20, 1930, the Onesto Hotel, located in downtown Canton, Ohio was one of the most modern and lavish structures of its day. Onesto’s exquisite jewel-like lobby was adorned with Travertine marble staircases and terrazzo flooring, brass railings, marble benches and walls, American walnut woodwork, Italian Renaissance ornamental relief ceilings, and a stunning crystal chandelier. The stunning Historic Onesto – an immaculately renovated 12-story luxury hotel built in 1930 – is now a fully restored residential gem showcasing 42 luxury loft apartments and a beautiful event center in the heart of downtown Canton’s historic district and arts neighborhood.


The Timken Company

The Timken Company is an American manufacturer of bearings and related components and assemblies. For many decades, Timken is was also a steelmaker concentrating mainly on alloy steel tube. In 2014, the steel business line was spun off to TimkenSteel. Timken operates from 33 countries and is headquartered in North Canton, Ohio. In 1901 the company began steel and tube-making operations in Canton. It has grown into a global company and a strong community partner for Canton, Ohio. 


Thurman Munson


Thurman Lee Munson was born in Akron, Ohio on June 7, 1947. A graduate of Lehman High School and Kent State University, he was an American professional baseball catcher who played 11 seasons in MLB with the New York Yankees, from 1969 until his death in 1979. A seven-time All-Star, Munson had a career batting average of .292 with 113 home runs and 701 RBIs. Known for his outstanding fielding, he won the Gold Glove Award in three consecutive years, 1973–1975. Considered the "heart and soul" of the Yankees, Munson was named captain of the Yankees in 1976. During an off day in the summer of 1979, Munson died at age 32 while practicing landing his Cessna Citation I/SP aircraft at the Akron–Canton Airport. The Yankees honored him by immediately retiring his uniform number 15, and dedicating a plaque to him in Monument Park.


Vernon Odom Sr.


Vernon L. Odom, Sr. was an American civil rights leader. He was born in Biscoe, Arkansas, on June 9, 1921 to Dr. Elijah and Ada Odom. His father was born into slavery in 1859 and later became a physician. Mr. Odom is best recognized for his 43 years of work for civil rights causes in Akron, Ohio, as well as his positions as the executive director of the Akron Community Service Center and the Urban League. In the early 2000s , Odom's memory was commemorated by renaming Wooster Avenue, a main thoroughfare through one of Akron's predominantly African-American neighborhoods, to Vernon Odom Boulevard.


McKinley Presidential Library & Museum  


The William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum is the presidential library of 25th U.S. President William McKinley. The library, which is located at the foot of the McKinley National Memorial, is owned and operated by the Stark County Historical Society, and located in Canton, Ohio, where McKinley built his career as a lawyer, prosecuting attorney, congressman, governor and president. The museum contains the largest collection of McKinley artifacts in the world and chronicles the life and career of the 25th President, from his birth to his death at the hands of an assassin. Another exhibit also explores the construction of the Memorial and the unfortunate fate of the McKinley’s Canton home, destroyed by fire in 1937.