Timeline of Cleveland history Cleveland was named on July 22, , when surveyors of the Connecticut Land Company laid out Connecticut 's Western Reserve into townships and a capital city. They named it "Cleaveland" after their leader, General Moses Cleaveland. Cleaveland oversaw design of the plan for what would become the modern downtown area, centered on Public Square , before returning home, never again to visit Ohio. The first settler in Cleaveland was Lorenzo Carter , who built a cabin on the banks of the Cuyahoga River.
The Village of Cleaveland was incorporated on December 23, The area began rapid growth after the completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal. Its products could reach markets on the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. Growth continued with added railroad links.
Cleveland serves as a destination for iron ore shipped from Minnesota , along with coal transported by rail. In , John D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil in Cleveland. In , he moved its headquarters to New York City, which had become a center of finance and business.
Its businesses included automotive companies such as Peerless , People's,  Jordan , Chandler , and Winton , maker of the first car driven across the U. Because of its significant growth, Cleveland was known as the "Sixth City" of the US during this period. Johnson among its leaders. Its industrial jobs had attracted waves of European immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, as well as both black and white migrants from the rural South.
In commemoration of the centennial of Cleveland's incorporation as a city, the Great Lakes Exposition debuted in June along the Lake Erie shore north of downtown.
Conceived as a way to energize the city after the Great Depression , it drew four million visitors in its first season, and seven million by the end of its second and final season in September In sports, the Indians won the World Series , the hockey team, the Barons, became champions of the American Hockey League, and the Browns dominated professional football in the s. As a result, along with track and boxing champions produced, Cleveland was dubbed "City of Champions" in sports at this time.
Businesses proclaimed that Cleveland was the "best location in the nation". The city's population reached its peak of ,, and in Cleveland was named an All-America City for the first time. In the s and s, African Americans worked in numerous cities to gain constitutional rights and relief from racial discrimination. As change lagged despite federal laws to enforce rights, social and racial unrest occurred in Cleveland and numerous other industrial cities.
In Cleveland, the Hough Riots erupted from July 18 to 23, The Glenville Shootout took place from July 23 to 25, In November , Cleveland became the first major American city to elect a black mayor, Carl Stokes who served from to Industrial restructuring, particularly in the railroad and steel industries, resulted in the loss of numerous jobs in Cleveland and the region, and the city suffered economically.
In December , Cleveland became the first major American city since the Great Depression to enter into a financial default on federal loans. Cleveland was hailed in by local media as the "Comeback City". Cleveland is generally considered to be an example of revitalization of an older industrial city. The city's goals include additional neighborhood revitalization and increased funding for public education.
The land rises quickly from the lake shore. Public Square , less than one mile 1.