Remarkable Ohio

Results for: sports
150 Oklahoma Avenue

, OH

Established during the Great Migration and intense segregation in Columbus, The Big Walnut Country Club (BWCC) was one of the first Black country clubs in the United States. Conceived in 1925 and incorporated two years later, the club encouraged and promoted aquatic and athletic sports by providing the means and facilities otherwise not available to the Black community. Members enjoyed golf, swimming, archery, tennis, badminton, boating, dining, and dancing on the nearly 20 acres of land between the Big Walnut and Rocky Fork creeks. The club was a social, professional, and political hub for Central Ohio’s growing Black population in the decades leading to the Civil Rights Movement. The BWCC closed in 1963. Gahanna purchased the land in 1970 and opened its first public park, Friendship Park, the following year.

2210 Summit Street

, OH

2210 Summit Street once housed one of Ohio’s longest-running lesbian bars. In 1970, a lesbian bartender at Jack’s A Go Go recognized that while Columbus had bars for gay men, it needed one geared toward lesbian clientele. Patrons knew the bar as “Jack’s,” Logan’s Off Broadway, and Summit Station. Staff welcomed women from small towns, women working in trades, women of color, butch/femme lesbians, and transgender people. Regulars recall that stepping through the door felt like finally entering a place of true belonging. Women could dance, “get together,” break up, sing karaoke, party with friends, and celebrate birthdays and holidays. Summit Station remained a safe public space, despite ongoing police harassment of its gender non-conforming regulars. A sign posted outside declared: “Ladies Night, Every Night. Men $5.” (Continued on other side)

100 Alfred Lerner Way

, OH

Players of the Cleveland Browns gathered eleven Black professional athletes and future mayor Carl Stokes to discuss with boxer Muhammad Ali (January 17, 1942-June 3, 2016) his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War. After their private meeting on June 4, 1967, the twelve men decided to “support Ali on principle” and held a lengthy national press conference. The boxer, considered the “greatest heavyweight of all time,” garnered national scorn and paid a high price for his stance. Ali was arrested, found guilty of draft evasion, his passport confiscated, titles stripped, and U.S. boxing licenses suspended. The men in attendance also faced condemnation and threats. In 1971, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned Ali’s conviction. The Cleveland Ali Summit is considered “one of the most important civil rights acts in sports history.”