Editor's note: The New York Times has published the speech Junior Seau's daughter Sydney would have delivered at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, if allowed. The Hall has a policy of not allowing others to give full speeches for deceased inductees. Seau committed suicide in 2012 and was found to have had a degenerative brain condition. "The reason why this honor is so hard to accept is because we had always envisioned him still being here to accept it," her speech reads. - Stephanie
Canton is a city in and the county seat of Stark County, Ohio, United States. Founded in 1805 alongside the Middle and West Branches of Nimishillen Creek, Canton became a heavy manufacturing center because of its numerous railroad lines. However, its status in that regard began to decline during the late 20th century, as shifts in the manufacturing industry led to the relocation or repositioning of many factories. After this decline, the city's industry diversified into the service economy, including retailing, education, finance and healthcare.
Canton is located approximately 24 miles (39 km) south of Akron, and 60 miles (97 km) south of Cleveland, in the northeastern part of Ohio. Canton lies on the outskirts of the greater northeast Ohio metropolitan area anchored by Cleveland, and is also a short distance away from the periphery of the greater Pittsburgh area. The city lies on the edge of Ohio's extensive Amish country, particularly in Holmes and Wayne counties to the city's west and southwest. Canton is located along Interstate 77, U.S. Route 62, and the historic Lincoln Highway, the present-day U.S. Route 30, and is also the terminus of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.
As of the 2010 Census, the city of Canton is the largest incorporated area in the Canton-Massillon, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes all of Stark and Carroll counties. The CMMSA reported a population of 404,422. Canton's city population declined 9.7%, down to 73,007 residents. Despite this decline, the 2010 figure actually moved Canton from ninth to eighth place among Ohio cities. Nearby Youngstown in Mahoning County, once considerably more populous than Canton, suffered a larger decline.
Canton is chiefly notable for two reasons: the first is football, especially the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the formation in 1920 of what eventually became the National Football League. The second is William McKinley, who conducted from his home in Canton the famed front porch campaign which won him the presidency of the United States in the 1896 election. The McKinley National Memorial and the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum commemorate his life and presidency. Canton was chosen as the site of the First Ladies National Historic Site largely in honor of his wife, Ida Saxton McKinley.