Download Text (4.2 MB)


For 170 years, Akron has been linked to the wider world—ever since John Brown, the famous abolitionist and Akron’s most consequential resident, traveled on behalf of Colonel Simon Perkins to the European capitals in 1846 to market the wool that became Akron’s first international export. In the late nineteenth century, Akron industrialist Lewis Miller captured international accolades for the farm machinery manufactured at his Buckeye Mower Works, located where E. J. Thomas Hall stands today. In 1912, Goodyear Superintendent Paul Litchfield established a beachhead for the company in Europe, and through the twentieth century, all Akron tire makers delivered rubber products to the rest of the world. Akron was an international city, and its correspondents delivered the city’s message of progress and prosperity to the world.

“Bringing the World to Akron,” a statement of identity embraced by the Akron Roundtable in its twentieth anniversary year, are five words that belie a complex local network—a spider’s web of community leaders—who have presented major speeches to Akron audiences for forty years. Since its inception in 1976, important people with newsworthy messages have used the Roundtable podium to deliver thoughtful presentations on business, science, civic and social movements, arts, and culture to the thought leaders of Greater Akron. Roundtable audiences are composed of business and civic leaders, government officials, academics, heads of nonprofit agencies, students, and citizens.

This is the history of the Akron Roundtable's first forty years (1976-2016).

Publication Date



The Akron Roundtable


Akron, Ohio


history, akron, akron roundtable, ohio, public speaking


United States History

The Akron Roundtable: Bringing the World to Akron for Forty Years



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.