The state of Ohio was named after the river "Ohio". The Ohio river was named for the Iroquois word, “O-Y-O,” meaning “great river.” The Northwest Territory, established by the Ordinance of 1787, included what is now Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and parts of Minnesota, and set forth provisions for how a territory could become a state.
President Thomas Jefferson signed the Enabling Act into law in April 1802, allowing Ohio to apply for statehood. Territorial leaders convened in Chillicothe in November of that year to draft the state’s first Constitution, a document that was delivered by Thomas Worthington to Congress, where it was approved and signed by the president on February 19, 1803.
On March 1, 1803, the first General Assembly met in Chillicothe to complete the transfer of power. Chillicothe served as Ohio’s capital from 1803 to 1810, and again from 1812 to 1816. Ohio’s swallowtail flag is the only non-rectangular U.S. state flag. Ohio has adopted an official 17-step procedure for folding it partly because Ohio is the 17th state to join the union.
In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a congressional joint resolution officially recognizing March 1, 1803 as the official date of Ohio’s statehood.
The first day of March is designated as "Ohio statehood day," in recognition of the date in 1803 when Ohio became a state. In addition to those duties imposed on the Ohio history connection under section 149.30 of the Revised Code, and those duties imposed on the superintendent of public instruction under section 3301.12 of the Revised Code, the Ohio history connection shall, throughout the state, and the superintendent shall, in all school districts, encourage and promote the celebration of "Ohio statehood day." (ORC: 5.224 Ohio statehood day. Amended by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 141, §1, eff. 9/29/2015. Effective Date: 05-31-1988)
The state’s birthday serves as an appropriate time each year for history advocates to come together to help showcase the importance of Ohio’s history and how history, historic preservation and the organizations that help provide access to Ohio’s rich history benefit the Buckeye State. Statehood Day is a celebration of Ohio and its history, as well as a legislative advocacy event.
Source: ohio.gov | ohiohistory.org