The Post, 11/15

The month of November is often seen as a time when we are becoming more accustomed to staying indoors, preparing for the cold winter months ahead and gearing up for the holiday season. But that doesn't mean we cannot get out and celebrate some of the events that have played an important role in our nation's and our state's history.

You are probably going to be spending Thanksgiving Day with your family, like many of us do every year. As I get together with my own children and grandchildren, it serves as a reminder of all that there is to be thankful for. I hope that you will reflect upon the same as you gather with your loved ones this coming week.

In the meantime, it's very important that we not forget the wonderful story behind Thanksgiving. It is not only a story of Pilgrims and Native Americans, but also about the struggle for religious freedom and tolerance for one another. This is a lesson that has been passed down from one generation of Americans to another, and that tradition must continue.

If you are looking for an activity to enjoy with your family, I invite you to visit the Ohio Statehouse, which celebrated its 150th Anniversary this week. Amid all of the food and art that could be found throughout the corridors of our state's capitol building, there is a rich history throughout.

It was on Nov. 15, 1861, near the beginning of the Civil War, that the Ohio Statehouse was completed--following 22 years of construction. Not long ago, the building was restored to its 1861 appearance. It is a wonderful building, filled with many interesting stories. For instance, Abraham Lincoln was at the Statehouse on three separate occasions, during one of which he received a telegram informing him that he had been certified as president-elect of the United States. The desk he was sitting at is still inside the building.

Tours of the Statehouse are offered on a daily basis, so I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity and learn some Ohio history. In addition, your family is always welcome to visit the House chamber, where I am fortunate enough to preside as speaker. Abraham Lincoln also addressed a joint session of the General Assembly here in 1861.

All across Ohio, there are opportunities to take advantage of, and I encourage you to look into all that Ohio has to offer. The cold months might not be the best time to take a long vacation, but they do offer excellent opportunities to spend a day exploring our state with your loved ones.


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