John P. Green

John Patterson Green introduced the legislation that established Labor Day in Ohio. He was born in 1845 in New Bern, North Carolina, to free African-American parents. His father died when he was five years old. In 1857, Green's family moved to Cleveland, Ohio. Green attended high school, studied law and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1870.

Green became the first African American to be elected to political office in Cuyahoga County. In 1873, he became a justice of the peace. Green remained in politics as a member of the Republican Party. He was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives for the session of 1882-1883 and again in 1890-1891. He also served in the Ohio Senate from 1892 to 1893. As a representative, Green introduced the legislation that established Labor Day in Ohio. He also advocated civil rights laws for the state. Green was only the second African American to serve in the Ohio House of Representatives and the first to serve in the Ohio Senate.

President William McKinley appointed Green as Government Stamp Agent in 1897. The United States Congress eventually abolished this position, and Green returned to his home in Cleveland and established a law practice with his two sons. He later wrote an autobiography entitled, Fact Stranger Than Fiction. Green died in Cleveland in 1940.

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