Today in History: The End of WWI in Columbus

100 years ago today, World War 1 came to an end. Known as the Armistice, the agreement was officially complete on November 11, 1918. In Columbus, as in the rest of the nation, the mood was, to say the least, happy.
In what was then said to be the “Greatest Demonstration in History”, Columbus citizens were up before dawn on that Monday morning, consumed in riotous celebration. At least 200,000 people marched through the streets of Downtown.  An article on the celebration described the scene in poetic detail:

The lid that throttled pentup enthusiasm during the last few fateful days was blown off with a bang. Bellowing whistles, screeching sirens and jubilant shouts of early risers ushered in the greatest Monday in the world’s history. With each passing minute the pandemonium became greater.
An expanding, bulging, distending, heaving, heightening, thrilling crowd that by mid-morning numbered itself in the thousands, swirled, swayed and twisted itself in one long line of humanity through the ins and outs of High Street.
From every nook and cranny of the city’s far-lying borders came added increments of men, women and children, mad with joy, delirious with triumph, exalted as never before.

Celebration on High Street, November 11, 1918.

WWI had lasted from July 28, 1914 to November 11, 1918 and had taken about 20 million lives.

Cool Link of the Day: Election Patterns Mapped

In light of the upcoming Midterms, here’s a great site that maps congressional districts since 1840. You can see how the districts have changed in size and shape, and how those districts have voted in each election.

Cool Link of the Day: Student Debt Mapped

This link shows the amount of student debt by zip code for the entire country. Scroll down to any city to find out student debt delinquency rates, incomes and loan balances.

The Week in Review #3

Last week’s big news was one that has me very excited. The Columbus Metropolitan Library announced that it had reached an agreement with The Columbus Dispatch and its parent company to purchase the rights to its entire newspaper collection, which it will make available in digital form on its website as early as November. The Columbus Dispatch has been publishing since 1871, but the library has had Dispatch content from 1985-present only, and only in text format for a limited number of articles. The agreement will allow the library to offer every issue of the paper online since 1871 in its entirety, including its enormous photograph collection.
This is an massive win and game-changer for researchers and history buffs alike. This information has largely been difficult to access. Microfilm at the library was impossible to search through unless you knew the exact date of an article. The digital collection will allow for easy searching for any content with just a simple search box, as it has with its other digital collections.

The other news this week was the ongoing saga with the North Market Tower project. A few weeks back, I posted renderings that were released, perhaps be accident, on an architect’s website. Well, this week we saw yet another rendering, seen below:

All I can say is… I hope to god this isn’t the final design. Not only is it shorter (and the planners promised that the project would absolutely NOT be reduced in height regardless of the final design), but it has none of the interesting architecture of any previous renderings. It’s just another box on top of another box. I call this style Modern Vanilla. It’s so painfully boring and architecturally sterile that to see this being built would remove all the excitement from this project. The height reduction would be pure Columbus.

The Week in Review #2

So last week, the FBI finally released the full crime numbers for 2017 for all cities. How did Columbus fare? Well, it was a decidedly mixed bag. Total murders were their highest ever, at 143, but the rate fell quite short of the record set back in 1991. So far for 2018, murder is behind 2017’s rate by about 22%, so it’s a good improvement, but still not even close to where it should be.

Other violent crime figures 2016 to 2017
-Rape continued its multi-year rise in the city, reaching 919 incidents. This was a 6% increase over 2016.
-Assaults were up 4% over 2016, but in the context of still being one of the lowest totals in the past 30 years.
-Robberies were down almost 8.5% over 2016.
-Despite the rises in most types of violent crime, the drop in robberies meant overall violent crime dropped by about 0.5%.
Property crime figures 2016 to 2017
-Burglaries were down more than 8%.
-Larceny thefts were down about 2.9%
-Motor vehicle thefts were up 17.6%, so not a good trend, but still less than half the rate it was 15-20 years ago.
-Overall property crime was down about 2% versus 2016.

And if you think this year’s been particularly wet, you are right! Through October 1st, Columbus is having its 3rd wettest year on record. Only 1882 and 1890 are ahead of 2018 at this point, and by barely 1″. 2018 at this point is running almost 14″ above normal.
Top 10 Wettest Years Through October 1st
1. 1882: 44.55″
2. 1890: 43.56″
3. 2018: 43.31″
4. 1979: 42.17″
5. 2003: 41.58″
6. 2011: 41.12″
7. 1990: 39.10″
8. 1949: 38.54″
9. 2004: 38.46″
10. 1996: 37.46″
It is surprising how many recent years are on this list. Still with 3 months to go, the pattern could break, but it’s very unlikely that 2018 doesn’t end up in the top 10. Here are the top 10 wettest full years.
1. 2011: 54.96″
2. 1990: 53.16″
3. 1882: 51.30″
4. 1890: 50.73″
5. 2004: 49.27″
6. 1979: 49.17″
7. 2003: 49.03″
8. 1883: 48.88″
9. 1881: 46.99″
10. 2017: 46.61″

Guess it could always be worse.