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Theme 2: Toledo Changes the World
Toledo’s global connections are about more than how the world impacted the city. Toledoans have also impacted the world through their personal actions and organizations they helped to create. Many of these efforts have focused on promoting peace and global understanding. While isolationism has historically been the predominate world view of Midwesterners, Toledo is perhaps unique in the way its citizens have viewed their responsibilities to the global community.
Gustavus Ohlinger, a Toledo lawyer, is one example. Born in China, he represented the Russian government in negotiations that ended the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. Brand Whitlock, a Toledo mayor, was appointed minister to Belgium in 1913, and when World War I broke out, he helped to save that country from starvation by overseeing the relief effort. Foy Kohler, ambassador to the Soviet Union during the Kennedy administration, not only helped to keep the Cold War from heating up, but also showed the Russians how democracy worked during the peaceful transfer of power following Kennedy’s assassination.
Leaders of the University of Toledo also influenced the world. Philip Nash, who worked his entire life to promote world peace, was a consultant to the conference that drafted the charter of the United Nations. William S. Carlson influenced the world through his research on Greenland, which he surveyed and helped to establish air bases there that became pivotal lifelines for pilots during World War II.
Toledoans also helped to promote global understanding through sports. In 1962, Joseph Scalzo brought athletes from 28 countries to the city for the Amateur World’s Wrestling Championships. The event was one of the first where athletes from Soviet Bloc countries were allowed to travel abroad to compete. And it focused the world’s attention on Toledo.
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