Akron, Ohio

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Akron (pronounced /ˈækrən/) is the fifth largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Summit County. The municipality is situated on the Ohio and Erie Canal and Little Cuyahoga River, approximately 39 miles south of Cleveland midway between New York City and Chicago. It was founded in 1825 on the divide between the St. Lawrence River and the Mississippi River drainage basins, and became an innovation center owing to its location along the canal and later, the interstate. With the decline of the tire and rubber industries, Akron has become the anchor of the Polymer Valley, as one of the leading polymer research and producers in the nation. Akron is also home to the Derby Downs, which annually host the All-American Soapbox Derby.

As of 2000, the city proper had a total population of 217,074, being the fifth largest city in Ohio and 81st in the United States.[4] The Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area, covers both, Summit and Portage counties. In 2000, the area had a population of 694,960 and in 2009, estimates placed the population at 699,935.[5] Akron is also part of the larger Cleveland-Akron-Elyria Combined Statistical Area, which in 2000 had a population of 2,945,831, and ranked as the country's 14th largest.

As an 1800s boom town, more than doubling its population as the fastest growing city in America, Akron witnessed many firsts in history including the electric railway, patrol car, women's mud wrestling, NFL and NBL(later the NBA) championship teams, PBA tournament, Joint Economic Development District, and graded school system used around the nation. The Akron Plan is used in numerous Congregational, Baptist, and Presbyterian churches erected between the 1870s and World War I.[6][7] The first blimps, the American version of the zeppelin, were produced in the city which the famous, USS Akron (ZRS-4), is named after. Newsweek listed Akron as one of ten high tech havens, contributing greatly to the Information Age, in 2001.[8] In 2008, the city was awarded the City Livability Award for remodeling all of its public schools to serve as community centers all year round. Inducted into the National Civic League Hall of Fame in 2008, the city won the award twice before, in 1981 and 1995. In 2009, the National Arbor Day Foundation designated Akron as a Tree City USA for the 14th time.[9]

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