Incorporated in 1912, the City Club of Cleveland is the oldest continuous free speech forum in the country, renowned for its tradition of debate and discussion. As part of its mission to "to inform, connect, and motivate citizens to take action on issues relevant to our region and beyond," the City Club has held a weekly forum series where speakers are invited to discuss major issues that affect American life.
Hundreds of distinguished personalities have presented at the City Club over the years including politicians, labor and business leaders, scientists, educators, clergy and entertainers.
The City Club Forum Audio Collection, located in Special Collections at the Michael Schwartz Library at Cleveland State University, contains over 2,200 audiotaped recordings of these speeches, including the question and answer sessions that followed, in various formats. Thanks to a grant from the City Club of Cleveland, the Michael Schwartz Library has digitized and preserved these recordings for generations to come. Over 100 of them have been made available in streaming format.is the oldest continuous free speech forum in the country, renowned for its tradition of debate and discussion. As part of its mission to "to inform, connect, and motivate citizens to take action on issues relevant to our region and beyond," the City Club has held a weekly forum series where speakers are invited to discuss major issues that affect American life.
Hiram College Archives
James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States, was born in Orange Township, Cuyahoga County, Ohio on November 19, 1831 to Eliza (Ballou) and Abram Garfield. Abram died of lung congestion following a forest fire when James was 2 years old. He attended the Geauga Seminary for one year, taught some classes there, then advanced to the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute (now Hiram College), working as a janitor to pay his tuition. He also taught classes at the Institute. He finished at the Eclectic in 1854 and went on to Williams College in Massachusetts receiving a Bachelor's degree two years later. He returned to Hiram as a full instructor, became Head of the faculty and later Principal. In November 1858, Garfield married Lucretia Rudolph, daughter of Zeb and Arabella Rudolph. The wedding was in Hiram Village at the Rudolph home.
He studied law in 1859 and, while still Principal at Hiram, was admitted to the Cleveland Bar. The voters of Summit and Portage Counties elected him to the Ohio State Senate shortly thereafter. He helped to recruit the 42nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment and was its colonel during the Civil War. He was later made Brigadier General for heroic service in Kentucky and West Virginia, and was ultimately transferred to a post as Chief of Staff for the Army of the Cumberland. In 1863 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio, where he served for 17 years. At this time, he formally left his position as Principal of the Eclectic Institute, but he remained a member of the board of trustees until his death.
Garfield was drafted as the Republican nominee for President of the United States at the Republican National Convention of 1880 and elected President that same year. He had served as President for only four months when a disgruntled office-seeker named Charles Guiteau shot him in the back in Washington, D.C. on July 2, 1881. The ultimate cause of his death was a combination of aneurysm and a form of blood poisoning caused by the presence in his body of the bullet, which doctors were unable to remove. Garfield lingered between life and death for two and a half months, finally dying on September 19, 1881, at the age of 49 years.
Cleveland’s economic transformation from heavy manufacturing to health-related industries has not been easy. Many leaders are still discussing what course of action to follow. Studying successful policies from past politicians may afford new insight into how to handle this transition.
Effective politicians have always worked well with others; established achievable goals; and advanced community objectives. Mayor Ralph J. Perk was no exception. He initiated many broad-based programs while never forgetting the needs of the electorate.
A Web site dedicated to his life and work is intended to shed some new light on his political mastery during a very turbulent time in our city’s history. Many of his policies worked well then, perhaps they can be successfully replicated in today’s world.
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