"With God All Things Are Possible" became Ohio's state motto on October 1, 1959. A twelve-year-old boy named James Mastronardo recommended this quotation from the bible during a contest sponsored by the Ohio legislature in the early 1950's to select a state motto.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a suit against Ohio and its state motto in 1997, claiming the biblical quotation violated the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution which guarantees religious freedom separation of church and state. Federal courts allowed Ohio to retain its motto, ruling that the state motto does not endorse a specific God and therefore was not a violation of the first amendment. Four other states contain the word "God" in their mottos.