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  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and MuseumRock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Cleveland, Ohio
    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is found on the shores of Lake Erie, downtown Cleveland, Ohio and is devoted to the music that started a revolution. The Hall of Fame foundation was started in 1983, without a permanent home, and the site search committee looked at numerous cities that included New York City, Memphis, Cincinnati and Cleveland. The city of Cleveland lobbied hard on its behalf, since their own Alan Freedman started promoting the new age genre, as well as the term itself, rock and roll; plus the city had been the first venue that put on a rock and roll concert. The city's civic leaders were able to get $65 million in public money for the building, and 600,000 people signed a petition that favored Cleveland over Memphis; as well as a USA Today poll that gave Cleveland a 100,000 more votes than Memphis. After all was said and done, the museum was opened in 1995 with Yoko Ono and Little Richard, among others that cut the ribbon. Seven levels make up the building, with the first five containing permanent and temporary displays that document the history of rock and roll. The third floor houses the actual Hall of Fame and has a wall with all inductees' signatures. The top floor is completely filled with a temporary exhibit since it is the smallest and features either a single group or artist for a short time. Some of those that have been showcased include; Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, the Supremes, the Who, the Beatles, the Doors, U2, Bob Dylan and the Clash. Although the museum is located in Cleveland, the induction ceremonies were held in New York City; but much controversy was caused because of this and beginning in 2009, the event would be held in Cleveland every three years.  The museum has a list of the 500 songs that shaped rock and roll, which is unordered, but believed to have been the most influential that steered the course of rock and roll, although there are some rap songs from the 1980s and 1990s that were included. This list is part of a permanent exhibit at the museum and has been seen as a part of it since it was opened. The list contains songs from the 1920s through the 1990s; with the Beatles being most represented by seven songs, then the Rolling Stones and Elvis with six each, and the Beach Boys and Bob Dylan with five each. The 25th anniversary was held in Madison Square Garden in 2009, covering two days in October and had performances by Billy Joel, U2, Peter Wolf, Patti Smith, Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Sam Moore, Simon & Garfunkel, Tom Morello, Metallica, Darlene Love, Lou Reed, John Fogerty, Sting, Ray Davies, Ozzy Osbourne, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Jeff Beck, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder. The first inductees in 1986 included; Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, the Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and Chuck Berry.

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  • Crawford Auto-Aviation MuseumCrawford Auto-Aviation Museum Cleveland, Ohio
    Sitting in the University Circle neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, and part of the Western Reserve Historical Society is the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum that opened in 1965 by industrialist Frederick C. Crawford of TRW. This fabulous collection was started by Crawford also, which had started as the Thompson Products Auto Album. The unique eclectic collection contains classic vehicles that include a replica of the 1890s Cleveland Main Street, a P-51 Mustang racing plane that was in the National Air Races, a Willys Custom Sedan, antique carriages, and early Harley Davidson motorcycles. The oldest relic is an 1897 Panhard dt Levassor and the newest is the 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser concept coupe. The museum had over 34 cars that were over a 100 years old in 2009, and it is believed to be the biggest collection of these kinds of vehicles in the world. One of the rarest cars is the all aluminum body 1932 Prototype Peerless that was designed by Frank Hershey, but wasn't put into production and became the last passenger car made in Cleveland. One of their newest exhibits is the Cars of the Future that were designed by the students at the Cleveland Institute of Art, with a vision of what General Motors will unveil for the year 2020. The students came to the museum to get some ideas about how the designs of autos have progressed over the last century, gain inspiration and start their initial renderings. To further help their idea along, they worked with GM designers, who helped them develop research from various places and people. Their final drafts are here on display for all to see and marvel at. The museum continues to collect and save historically and technically outstanding automobiles, motorcycles, spacecraft, bicycles and accessories that show the progression of transportation as it relates to the public, the culture and the history of the city, state and nation. The northeast Ohio region has helped the world of aviation also which is displayed at the museum, with one of the busiest and biggest airports in the world during the 1920s and 1930s; as well as the famous National Air Races that took place on the shores of Lake Erie for 20 years. The Crawford is proud to showcase 12 of these marvelous planes that are evidence of man's desire to fly the skies. The history of the founder of this museum, Frederick C. Crawford, is also an important exhibit to explore. He was born in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1891, and educated at Harvard, where he got his Master's in Civil Engineering in 1914. In 1916, he arrived in Cleveland to start work at the Steel Products, Co. which was eventually renamed Thompson Products; that made fittings and connectors for automobiles. Starting at the bottom as a millwright's helper, he became the plant general manager in 1929, then the company's VP and when Charles Thompson died in 1933, Fred was made the president. He strived to keep the company involved in the National Air Races in Cleveland, helping to organize the event and sponsor the Thompson Trophy. His keen interest in the automobile geared him to start the Thompson Products Auto Album in 1937, that was one of the first auto museums in the nation. Their first purchase was a 1910 Duryea, that is still displayed at the museum today. In the 1950s, the company merged with Ramo Wooldridge from California and created Thompson Ramo Wooldridge or TRW. During his life, he was alive to experience the dawn of the automobile, the invention of the aircraft and to see a man walk on the moon; all the while being part of the entire event.

January 11, 2011