There have been so many stories from the Greater Cincinnati area in the past decade that had national significance, affected the entire region, or touched us in any way.
We selected 20 and rated them with the full knowledge that others should be considered and that our ranking is subjective.
Have a look:
1. Obergefell decides on same-sex marriage
The name Obergefell is on the historic US Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage in the US in 2015. Jim Obergefell and his partner John Arthur of Over-the-Rhine had flown to Maryland in 2013 to get married because Arthur only had weeks to live and Ohio had a ban on same-sex marriage. When the couple said Obergefell would not be listed on their husband’s Ohio death certificate, they sued the state. The lawsuit, which was merged with others, went to the Supreme Court, which ruled that the basic right to marry also applies to same-sex couples.
2. Opioid epidemic
The opioid epidemic has struck our region with some of the highest statistics on overdose deaths in the country. Whether it was needle swapping, naloxone, support, rehab, or death, this was a topic that featured frequently on the local and national news.
3. Community development / improvement
The Great American Tower was the first building in more than 80 years to tower over the height of the Carew Tower. Trams returned to Cincinnati. We have a casino and a downtown Kroger. The banks (finally) developed. The cherished icons Union Terminal and Music Hall have been updated while Washington Park has become the centerpiece of Over-the-Rhine.
4. Otto Warmbier
Otto Warmbier, a 2013 Wyoming High School graduate, was arrested by North Korean authorities in 2016 and confessed to stealing a propaganda sign. Warmbier was released in a comatose state a year later and returned to his family in Cincinnati, where he died shortly afterwards.
5. Mass shootings
In March 2017, two people were killed and 15 injured in a shooting in the Cameo nightclub. A gunman opened fire in the lobby of Fifth Third Bank in Fountain Square in September 2018, killing three and injuring two more before being killed by police. Then, in August, a gunman outside a bar in Dayton killed nine people and shot 17 others in 32 seconds.
6. Kyle plush
Kyle Plush, 16, died in his Honda Odyssey in the Seven Hills School car park in 2004 when he was trapped under a third row seat in April 2018. The incident exposed problems with Cincinnati’s 911 center as well as safety complaints about Odyssey minivans.
7. Sam DuBose – Ray Tensing
Former University of Cincinnati police officer Raymond Tensing picked up Sam DuBose from campus in July 2015 for driving a car without a license plate. After Tensing spoke to DuBose, DuBose restarted his car and drove off. Tensing shot DuBose in the head. The officer was charged with murder, but not convicted. There were several legal proceedings, lawsuits and settlements on both sides.
8. Cincinnati FC
Since the Futbol Club Cincinnati began playing in the United Soccer League at the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium in 2016, the team has developed a loyal following and attracted the attention of Major League Soccer. FC Cincinnati joined MLS for the 2019 season and has begun construction on a $ 250 million West End stadium.
9. Marty calls it finished
Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman retired in September 2019 after 46 seasons as Voice of the Summer on WLW-AM (700) and on the Reds Radio Network. Marty joined Joe Nuxhall at the Reds Broadcast Booth in 1974, and the duo became as important to baseball as beer and peanuts here, along with Marty’s signature victory cry, “And this one belongs to the Reds!”
10. Mr. Speaker
Butler County’s John Boehner took over the hammer as Speaker of the House in 2011 when Republicans took control of the US House of Representatives. Boehner had represented Ohio’s 8th District since 1991 but struggled to dispute his own party’s tea party contingent and resigned effective late October 2015. Before leaving, however, he realized a dream of having Pope Francis in the U.S. Capitol to address Congress in September 2015.
11. Covington Catholic students
In January 2019, Covington Catholic high school student Nick Sandmann, wearing a Make America Great Again hat and surrounded by classmates, Nathan Phillips, an elder of the Omaha tribe, was standing in the National Mall near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, opposite. A video of The Encounter went viral. The response from social media has been spirited. Media coverage of the incident hit the headlines when Nick sued multiple publications for defamation.
12. Leelah Alcorn
Leelah Alcorn, a 17-year-old transgender student from Warren County at Kings High School, committed suicide in December 2014 when she ran in front of a truck on Interstate 71. Born Josh Alcorn posted this message on Tumblr: “My death has to mean something. Fix society. Please.” Leelah’s death sparked increased talk about gender identity, the controversy over conversion therapy, bullying and transgender life in the country.
13. Lauren Hill
Lauren Hill, a teenager from Greendale, was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma after an engagement at Mount St. Joseph University. But she didn’t give up on her college basketball dream. On November 2, 2014, she played in her first NCAA game at Xavier University’s Cintas Center. Even the other team drew for Lauren, who was doing a left-handed layup because her right side was too weak. Lauren helped raise more than $ 1 million for cancer research before she died five months later.
14. Pike County murders
In April 2016, eight members of the Rhoden family were shot dead in four different locations in Pike County, approximately 100 km from Cincinnati. In November 2018, four members of the Wagner family were arrested in Ohio and Kentucky and charged with the eight murders. The investigation into the murders was the largest in Ohio history and the trials are currently at an early stage.
15. Tracie Hunter
Former Hamilton County Juvenile Court judge Tracie Hunter was charged with multiple offenses in January 2014. In October 2014, a jury only convicted her for improperly using her position as a judge to convey confidential documents to her brother, a juvenile court clerk who was just being fired. In December 2014, she was sentenced to six months in prison. In July, while her sentence was being carried out, Hunter hobbled her body into the arms of a MP who was being dragged out of the courtroom. She was released in October.
Harambe, the western lowland gorilla killed at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in 2016, became an unexpected sensation on social media. The male silverback had grabbed and pulled a young boy who had fallen into the gorilla enclosure, and zoo workers had shot the gorilla fearing for the boy’s safety.
17. County turns blue
Once considered a Republican stronghold, Hamilton County has changed color over the past decade. There is no better example than Stephanie Summerow Dumas’s historic victory over GOP incumbent Chris Monzel in 2018. Dumas becomes the first Hamilton County African American commissioner and Ohio’s first African American woman to become a county commissioner. It made the Hamilton County Commission all democratic.
18th World Choir Games
Cincinnati was the first – and so far only – American city to host the World Choir Games, the largest choir competition in the world. There were 15,000 participants and more than 360 registered choirs from 64 countries filling our region with songs over the course of two memorable weeks in July 2012.
19. Lumenocity & Blink
Lumenocity made its debut in 2013 with a stunning music and light show in front of (and on) the Music Hall. An estimated 35,000 people flocked to Washington Park that weekend. It was a bold, bold, innovative display. Lumenocity came back in 2014, 2015 and 2016. And then came Blink in 2017 and 2019, which gave us the same thrill of light and sound all over Downtown and – this year – Over-the-Rhine and Northern Kentucky.
20 (tie). All star game
The Cincinnati Reds hosted the Major League Baseball All-Star Game for the fifth time in 2015. The fans were thrilled, put on old mustaches, and were eager to get a glimpse of the best players of the game in the Great American Ball Park. Red’s third baseman Todd Frazier made the hometown proud when he won the Home Run Derby.
20 (tie). Fiona born
Fiona, the adorable and photogenic hippopotamus calf captured hearts when she was born at the Cincinnati Zoo in January 2017. She was born prematurely at only 29 pounds and could not stand and care for herself. She was looked after by zoo staff and soon became a media darling. She’s inspired books, rookwood pieces, and even part of the Cincinnati Ballet’s Nutcracker.
Some of the symbols our region has lost in the past decade include Sparky Anderson (2010), Neil Armstrong (2012), Carl H. Lindner Jr. (2011), William Mallory Sr. (2013), Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth (2011 ) and Marian Spencer (2019).