Marietta Celebrates Historical Milestone
By Anne Yeager| August 7, 2017
As bagpipes played in Marietta, members of the Southeastern Ohio chapters of the Sons of the Revolution celebrated a full presentation of colors.
They are honoring the 230th anniversary of signing the Northwest Ordinance.
Often compared to the Constitution, the ordinance laid the groundwork for what would eventually become Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and part of Minnesota.
"It's a religious feeling when you honor people of previous generations," said Scott Moody, of the Sons of the Revolution's Athens Chapter.
Supreme Court Justice Judith French was on hand to talk about its constitutional significance.
"When I look at the document, I find it very aspirational. There's one provision that essentially promises people who go to the Northwest Territory peace and prosperity," said Justice French.
Marietta was the first permanent settlement in the United States in the territory north and west of the Ohio River.
The ordinance of 1787 was considered 80 years ahead of its time, outlawing slavery, but there were was a catch.
"It still allowed for slaves to be returned. So it's not perfect, but what an aspiration," said Justice French.
In the main courtroom at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio judicial center, you see a piece of history on the ceiling.
"Sitting on the bench down in our beautiful courtroom, when I look up at the murals on the ceiling, it's the five states that make up the Northwest Territory," said Justice French.