Remarkable Ohio


Below is a complete listing of all Ohio Historical Markers. To find a detailed marker listing including text, photographs, and locations, click on a county below. Our listing is updated by the markers program as new markers are installed and older markers are reported damaged or missing.

Marker dedication July 26, 2024 (10:15 a.m.) at National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center

31-29 Colonel Charles Young’s Historic Ride to Washington / Young Departs Wilberforce: The Ride Begins

Side A: In 1918, Charles Young made a desperate attempt to convince the U.S. Army that he was fit for duty. The Army’s highest-ranking Black officer, he had been medically retired and not given a command during World War I. To demonstrate his fitness, he rode 497 miles from his home in Wilberforce, Ohio, to Washington, D.C. Leaving on June 6 he made the journey in 17 days, 16 on horseback and 1 resting. Averaging 31 miles each day, he rode 45 minutes and walked 15 minutes every hour. Upon his arrival, Young met with Secretary of War Newton Baker. Pressured by the Black press and the White House, Baker hedged. He recalled Young to active duty a year later and assigned him to Camp Grant, Illinois, just five days before the end of the war.
Side B: Charles Young decided to take the “Teddy Roosevelt Test Ride” the Army examining board did not give him the chance to make before medically retiring him. He planned his route and made his final preparations in early June 1918. Young told his wife before departure: “It’s time for my people–my brethren–to know that I am physically fit.” He knew he could make the ride, but he wanted both to show African Americans he could do it and add pressure on the War Department to allow him to serve in the war effort.
Sponsors: Ohio Department of Transportation, National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, The Ohio History Connection
Address: 1350 Brush Row Road,