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Cincinnati: The Queen City

The name "Cincinnati" was taken from the Society of the Cincinnati, an organization formed in 1783 to perpetuate the history and heroes of the American Revolution. At its core, the organization is based upon the ideal of "selfless service," exemplified by Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, a Roman farmer-turned-citizen-soldier, who served twice as the lawful ruler of Rome before ceding his authority back to the Senate, leaving him free to return to his beloved farm. George Washington is considered the modern era's example of Cincinnatus and was the first president general of the society. The society still exists today (www.societyofthecincinnati.org), and many of Cincinnati's 297,000 residents are descendants of Revolutionary War soldiers.

The advent of steam navigation on the Ohio River and the completion of the Miami and Erie Canal in 1845 created a lucrative climate for commercial advancement and encouraged rapid population growth in Cincinnati. As a result, it became known as the first inland U.S. city. This bustling growth was depicted in a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem titled Catawba Wine (1858), which referred to Cincinnati as the "Queen of the West," a nod to its ample size in relation to the coastal cities of the time.

To perpetuate the regal theme, the tallest building in Cincinnati, the Great American Tower at Queen City Square, stands at 660 feet, and boasts a unique rooftop that was fashioned after Diana Princess of Wales' tiara. During the design phase, it was remarked, "That's perfect. Here we have the crown of the building, and the nickname for the city is [the] Queen City." more


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