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- Early colonization (1747 to 1763)
- Iron City (1800 to 1859)
- Steel City (1859 to 1946)
- Early 20th century
- Renaissance I (1946 to 1973)
- Reinvention (1973 to present)
- Pittsburgh today
- City Time Line
Pittsburgh is located in the southwest of the state, at the confluence of the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River, forming the Ohio River. Pittsburgh is known both as “the Steel City” for its more than 300 steel-related businesses and as the “City of Bridges” for its 446 bridges. The city features 30 skyscrapers, two inclined railways, a pre-revolutionary fortification and the Point State Park at the confluence of the rivers. The city developed as a vital link of the Atlantic coast and Midwest, as the mineral-rich Allegheny Mountains led to the region being contested by the French and British empires, Virginians, Whiskey Rebels, and Civil War raiders.
Aside from steel, Pittsburgh has led in the manufacturing of other important materials - aluminum and glass - and in the petroleum industry. Additionally, it is a leader in computing, electronics, and the automotive industry. For part of the 20th century, Pittsburgh was behind only New York City and Chicago in corporate headquarters employment; it had the most U.S. stockholders per capita. Deindustrialization in the 1970s and 1980s laid off area blue-collar workers as steel and other heavy industries declined, and thousands of downtown white-collar workers also lost jobs when several Pittsburgh-based companies moved out. The population dropped from a peak of 675,000 in 1950 to 370,000 in 1990. However, this rich industrial history left the area with renowned museums, medical centers, parks, research centers, and a diverse cultural district.
After the deindustrialization of the mid-20th century, Pittsburgh has transformed into a hub for the health care, education, and technology industries. Pittsburgh is a leader in the health care sector as the home to large medical providers such as University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). The area is home to 68 colleges and universities, including research and development leaders Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. Google, Apple Inc., Bosch, Facebook, Uber, Nokia, Autodesk, Amazon, Microsoft and IBM are among 1,600 technology firms generating $20.7 billion in annual Pittsburgh payrolls. The area has served as the long-time federal agency headquarters for cyber defense, software engineering, robotics, energy research and the nuclear navy. The nation’s fifth-largest bank, eight Fortune 500 companies, and six of the top 300 U.S. law firms make their global headquarters in the area, while RAND Corporation (RAND), BNY Mellon, Nova, FedEx, Bayer, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have regional bases that helped Pittsburgh become the sixth-best area for U.S. job growth.
In 2015, Pittsburgh was listed among the “eleven most livable cities in the world”. The Economist’s Global Liveability Ranking placed Pittsburgh as the most or second-most livable city in the United States in 2005, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2018. The region is a hub for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and energy extraction.
The first Europeans arrived in the 1710s as traders. Michael Bezallion was the first to describe the forks of the Ohio in a manuscript in 1717, and later that year European traders established posts and settlements in the area. Europeans first began to settle in the region in 1748, when the first Ohio Company, a Virginian land speculation company, won a grant of 200,000 acres in the upper Ohio Valley. From a post at present-day Cumberland, Maryland, the company began to construct an 80-mile wagon road to the Monongahela River employing a Delaware Indian chief named Nemacolin and a party of settlers headed by Capt. Michael Cresap to begin widening the track into a road. It mostly followed the same route as an ancient Amerindian trail which is now known as Nemacolin’s Trail. The river crossing and flats at Redstone creek, was the earliest point and shortest distance for the descent of a wagon road. Later in the war, the site fortified as Fort Burd (now Brownsville) was one of several possible destinations. Another alternative was the divergent route that became Braddock’s Road a few years later through present-day New Stanton. In the event, the colonists did not succeed in improving the Amerindian path to a wagon road much beyond the Cumberland Narrows pass before they were confronted by hostile Native Americans. The colonists later mounted a series of expeditions in order to accomplish piecemeal improvements to the track.
The nearby Native American community of Logstown was an important trade and council center in the Ohio Valley. Between June 15 and November 10, 1749, an expedition headed by Celeron de Bienville, a French officer, traveled down the Allegheny and Ohio to bolster the French claim to the region. De Bienville warned away British traders and posted markers claiming the territory.
In 1753, Marquis Duquesne, the Governor of New France, sent another, larger expedition. At present-day Erie, Pennsylvania, an advance party built Fort Presque Isle. They also cut a road through the woods and built Fort Le Boeuf on French Creek, from which it was possible at high water to float to the Allegheny. By summer, an expedition of 1,500 French and Native American men descended the Allegheny. Some wintered at the confluence of French Creek and the Allegheny. The following year, they built Fort Machault at that site.
Alarmed at these French incursions in the Ohio Valley, Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia sent Major George Washington to warn the French to withdraw. Accompanied by Christopher Gist, Washington arrived at the Forks of the Ohio on November 25, 1753
Proceeding up the Allegheny, Washington presented Dinwiddie’s letter to the French commanders first at Venango, and then Fort Le Boeuf. The French officers received Washington with wine and courtesy, but did not withdraw.
Governor Dinwiddie sent Captain William Trent to build a fort at the Forks of the Ohio. On February 17, 1754, Trent began construction of the fort, the first European habitation at the site of present-day Pittsburgh. The fort, named Fort Prince George, was only half-built by April 1754, when over 500 French forces arrived and ordered the 40-some colonials back to Virginia. The French tore down the British fortification and constructed Fort Duquesne.
Governor Dinwiddie launched another expedition. Colonel Joshua Fry commanded the regiment with his second-in-command, George Washington, leading an advance column. On May 28, 1754, Washington’s unit clashed with the French in the Battle of Jumonville Glen, during which 13 French soldiers were killed and 21 were taken prisoner. After the battle, Washington’s ally, Seneca chief Tanaghrisson, unexpectedly executed the French commanding officer, Ensign Joseph Coulon de Jumonville. The French pursued Washington and on July 3, 1754, George Washington surrendered following the Battle of Fort Necessity. These frontier actions contributed to the start of the French and Indian War (1754–1763), or, the Seven Years’ War, a global confrontation between Britain and France fought in both hemispheres.
In 1755, the Braddock Expedition was launched, accompanied by Virginia militia officer George Washington. Two regiments marched from Fort Cumberland across the Allegheny Mountains and into western Pennsylvania. Following a path Washington surveyed, over 3,000 men built a wagon road 12 feet wide, that when complete, was the first road to cross the Appalachian Mountains. Braddock’s Road, as it was known, blazed the way for the future National Road (US40). The expedition crossed the Monongahela River on July 9, 1755. French troops from Fort Duquesne ambushed Braddock’s expedition at Braddock’s Field, nine miles from Fort Duquesne. In the Battle of the Monongahela, the French inflicted heavy losses on the British, and Braddock was mortally wounded. The surviving British and colonial forces retreated. This left the French and their Native American allies with dominion over the upper Ohio valley.
On September 8, 1756, an expedition of 300 militiamen destroyed the Shawnee and Lenape village of Kittanning, and in the summer of 1758, British Army officer John Forbes began a campaign to capture Fort Duquesne. At the head of 7,000 regular and colonial troops, Forbes built Fort Ligonier and Fort Bedford, from where he cut a wagon road over the Allegheny Mountains, later known as Forbes’ Road. On the night of September 13–14, 1758, an advance column under Major James Grant was annihilated in the Battle of Fort Duquesne. The battleground, the high hill east of the Point, was named Grant’s Hill in his memory. With this defeat, Forbes decided to wait until spring. But when he heard that the French had lost Fort Frontenac and largely evacuated Fort Duquesne, he planned an immediate attack. Hopelessly outnumbered, the French abandoned and razed Fort Duquesne. Forbes occupied the burned fort on November 25, 1758, and ordered the construction of Fort Pitt, named after British Secretary of State William Pitt the Elder. He also named the settlement between the rivers, “Pittsborough” (see Etymology of Pittsburgh). The British garrison at Fort Pitt made substantial improvements to its fortification. The French never attacked Fort Pitt and the war soon ended with the Treaty of Paris and French defeat. They ceded their territories east of the Mississippi River.
In 1760, the first considerable European settlement around Fort Pitt began to grow. Traders and settlers built two groups of houses and cabins, the “lower town,” near the fort’s ramparts, and the “upper town,” along the Monongahela as far as present-day Market Street. In April 1761, a census ordered by Colonel Henry Bouquet counted 332 people and 104 houses.
After Britain’s victory in the French and Indian War, increasing dissatisfaction among Native Americans with British policies led to the outbreak of Pontiac’s War. The Odawa leader Pontiac launched an offensive against British forts in May 1763. Native American tribes from the Ohio Valley and the Great Lakes overran numerous British forts; one of their most important targets was Fort Pitt. Receiving warning of the coming attack, Captain Simeon Ecuyer, the Swiss officer in command of the garrison, prepared for a siege. He leveled the houses outside the ramparts and ordered all settlers into the fort: 330 men, 104 women, and 196 children sought refuge inside its ramparts. Captain Ecuyer also gathered stores, which included hundreds of barrels of pork and beef. Pontiac’s forces attacked the fort on June 22, 1763, and the siege of Fort Pitt lasted for two months. Pontiac’s warriors kept up a continuous, though ineffective, fire on it from July 27 through August 1, 1763. They drew off to confront the relieving party under Colonel Bouquet, which defeated them in the Battle of Bushy Run. This victory ensured British dominion over the forks of the Ohio, if not the entire Ohio valley. In 1764 Colonel Bouquet added a redoubt, the Fort Pitt Blockhouse, which still stands, the sole remaining structure from Fort Pitt and the oldest authenticated building west of the Allegheny Mountains.
The Iroquois signed the Fort Stanwix Treaty of 1768, ceding the lands south of the Ohio to the British Crown. European expansion into the upper Ohio valley increased. An estimated 4,000 to 5,000 families settled in western Pennsylvania between 1768 and 1770. Of these settlers, about a third were English-American, another third were Scotch-Irish, and the rest were Welsh, German and others. These groups tended to settle together in small farming communities, but often their households were not within hailing distance. The life of a settler family was one of relentless hard work: clearing the forest, stumping the fields, building cabins and barns, planting, weeding, and harvesting. In addition, almost everything was manufactured by hand, including furniture, tools, candles, buttons, and needles. Settlers had to deal with harsh winters, and with snakes, black bears, mountain lions, and timber wolves. Because of the fear of raids by Native Americans, the settlers often built their cabins near, or even on top of, springs, to ensure access to water. They also built blockhouses, where neighbors would rally during conflicts.
Increasing violence, especially by the Shawnee, Miami, and Wyandot tribes, led to Dunmore’s War in 1774. Conflict with Native Americans continued throughout the Revolutionary War, as some hoped that the war would end with expulsion of the settlers from their territory. In 1777, Fort Pitt became a United States fort, when Brigadier General Edward Hand took command. In 1779, Colonel Daniel Brodhead led 600 men from Fort Pitt to destroy Seneca villages along the upper Allegheny.
With the war still ongoing, in 1780 Virginia and Pennsylvania came to an agreement on their mutual borders, creating the state lines known today and determining finally that the jurisdiction of Pittsburgh region was Pennsylvanian. In 1783, the Revolutionary War ended, which also brought at least a temporary cessation of border warfare. In the 1784 Treaty of Fort Stanwix, the Iroquois ceded the land north of the Purchase Line to Pennsylvania.
After the Revolution, the village of Pittsburgh continued to grow. One of its earliest industries was boat building. Flatboats could be used to carry large numbers of pioneers and goods downriver, while keelboats were capable of traveling upriver.
The village began to develop vital institutions. Hugh Henry Brackenridge, a Pittsburgh resident and state legislator, introduced a bill that resulted in a gift deed of land and a charter for the Pittsburgh Academy on February 28, 1787. The Academy later developed as the University of Western Pennsylvania (1819) and since 1908 has been known as the University of Pittsburgh.
Many farmers distilled their corn harvest into whiskey, increasing its value while lowering its transportation costs. At that time, whiskey was used as a form of currency on the frontier. When the federal government imposed an excise tax on whiskey, Western Pennsylvania farmers felt victimized, leading to the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. Farmers from the region rallied at Braddock’s Field and marched on Pittsburgh. The short-lived rebellion was put down, however, when President George Washington sent in militias from several states.
The town continued to grow in manufacturing capability. In 1792, the boatyards in Pittsburgh built a sloop, Western Experiment. During the next decades, the yards produced other large boats. By the 19th century, they were building ocean-going vessels that shipped goods as far as Europe. In 1794, the town’s first courthouse was built; it was a wooden structure on Market Square. In 1797, the manufacture of glass began.
Commerce continued to be an essential part of the economy of early Pittsburgh, but increasingly, manufacture began to grow in importance. Pittsburgh was located in the middle of one of the most productive coalfields in the country; the region was also rich in petroleum, natural gas, lumber, and farm goods. Blacksmiths forged iron implements, from horse shoes to nails. By 1800, the town, with a population of 1,565 persons, had over 60 shops, including general stores, bakeries, and hat and shoe shops.
The 1810s were a critical decade in Pittsburgh’s growth. In 1811, the first steamboat was built in Pittsburgh. Increasingly, commerce would also flow upriver. The War of 1812 catalyzed growth of the Iron City. The war with Britain, the manufacturing center of the world, cut off the supply of British goods, stimulating American manufacture. In addition, the British blockade of the American coast increased inland trade, so that goods flowed through Pittsburgh from all four directions. By 1815, Pittsburgh was producing $764K in iron; $249K in brass and tin, and $235K in glass products. When, on March 18, 1816, Pittsburgh was incorporated as a city, it had already taken on some of its defining characteristics: commerce, manufacture, and a constant cloud of coal dust.
Other emerging towns challenged Pittsburgh. In 1818, the first segment of the National Road was completed, from Baltimore to Wheeling, bypassing Pittsburgh. This threatened to render the town less essential in east-west commerce. In the coming decade, however, many improvements were made to the transportation infrastructure. In 1818, the region’s first river bridge, the Smithfield Street Bridge, opened, the first step in developing the “City of bridges” over its two rivers. On October 1, 1840, the original Pennsylvania Turnpike was completed, connecting Pittsburgh and the eastern port city of Philadelphia. In 1834, the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal was completed, making Pittsburgh part of a transportation system that included rivers, roads, and canals.
Manufacture continued to grow. In 1835, McClurg, Wade and Co. built the first locomotive west of the Alleghenies. Already, Pittsburgh was capable of manufacturing the most essential machines of its age. By the 1840s, Pittsburgh was one of the largest cities west of the mountains. In 1841, the Second Court House, on Grant’s Hill, was completed. Made from polished gray sandstone, the court house had a rotunda 60 feet in diameter and 80 feet high.
Like many burgeoning cities of its day, Pittsburgh’s growth outstripped some of its necessary infrastructure, such as a water supply with dependable pressure. Because of this, on April 10, 1845, a great fire burned out of control, destroying over a thousand buildings and causing $9M in damages. As the city rebuilt, the age of rails arrived. In 1851, the Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad began service between Cleveland and Allegheny City (present-day North Side). In 1854, the Pennsylvania Railroad began service between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Despite many challenges, Pittsburgh had grown into an industrial powerhouse. An 1857 article provided a snapshot of the Iron City:
939 factories in Pittsburgh and Allegheny City employing more than 10K workers producing almost $12M in goods using 400 steam engines. Total coal consumed 22M bushels Total iron consumed 127K tons In steam tonnage, third busiest port in the nation, surpassed only by New York City and New Orleans.
The iron and steel industry developed rapidly after 1830 and became one of the dominant factors in industrial America by the 1860s.
Ingham (1978) examined the leadership of the industry in its most important center, Pittsburgh, as well as smaller cities. He concludes that the leadership of the iron and steel industry nationwide was “largely Scotch Irish”. Ingham finds that the Scotch Irish held together cohesively throughout the 19th century and “developed their own sense of uniqueness.”
New immigrants after 1800 made Pittsburgh a major Scotch-Irish stronghold. For example, Thomas Mellon (b. Ulster 1813–1908) left northern Ireland in 1823 for the United States. He founded the powerful Mellon family, which played a central role in banking and industries such as aluminum and oil. As Barnhisel (2005) finds, industrialists such as James Laughlin (b. Ulster 1806–1882) of Jones and Laughlin Steel Company comprised the “Scots-Irish Presbyterian ruling stratum of Pittsburgh society.”
In 1859, the Clinton and Soho iron furnaces introduced coke-fire smelting to the region. The American Civil War boosted the city’s economy with increased production of iron and armaments, especially at the Allegheny Arsenal and the Fort Pitt Foundry. Arms manufacture included iron-clad warships and the world’s first 21” gun. By war’s end, over one-half of the steel and more than one-third of all U.S. glass was produced in Pittsburgh. A milestone in steel production was achieved in 1875, when the Edgar Thomson Works in Braddock began to make steel rail using the new Bessemer process.
Industrialists such as Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, Andrew W. Mellon, and Charles M. Schwab built their fortunes in Pittsburgh. Also based in Pittsburgh was George Westinghouse, credited with such advancements as the air brake and founder of over 60 companies, including Westinghouse Air and Brake Company (1869), Union Switch & Signal (1881), and Westinghouse Electric Company (1886). Banks played a key role in Pittsburgh’s development as these industrialists sought massive loans to upgrade plants, integrate industries and fund technological advances. For example, T. Mellon & Sons Bank, founded in 1869, helped to finance an aluminum reduction company that became Alcoa.
Ingham (1991) shows how small, independent iron and steel manufacturers survived and prospered from the 1870s through the 1950s, despite competition from much larger, standardized production firms. These smaller firms were built on a culture that valued local markets and the beneficial role of business in the local community. Small firms concentrated on specialized products, particularly structural steel, where the economies of scale of larger firms were no advantage. They embraced technological change more cautiously than larger firms. They also had less antagonistic relations with workers and employed a higher percentage of highly skilled workers than their mass-production counterparts.
Beginning in the 1870s, entrepreneurs transformed the economy from small, craft-organized factories located inside the city limits to a large integrated industrial region stretching 50 miles across Allegheny County. The new industrial Pittsburgh was based on integrated mills, mass production, and modern management organization in steel and other industries. Many manufacturers searched for large sites with railroad and river accessibility. They purchased land, designed modern plants, and sometimes built towns for workers. Other firms bought into new communities that began as speculative industrial real estate ventures. Some owners removed their plants from the central city’s labor unions to exert greater control over workers. The region’s rugged topography and dispersed natural resources of coal and gas accentuated this dispersal. The rapid growth of steel, glass, railroad equipment, and coke industries resulted in both large mass-production plants and numerous smaller firms. As capital deepened and interdependence grew, participants multiplied, economies accrued, the division of labor increased, and localized production systems formed around these industries. Transportation, capital, labor markets and the division of labor in production bound the scattered industrial plants and communities into a sprawling metropolitan district. By 1910 the Pittsburgh district was a complex urban landscape with a dominant central city, surrounded by proximate residential communities, mill towns, satellite cities, and hundreds of mining towns.
Representative of the new industrial suburbs was the model town of Vandergrift, according to Mosher (1995). Caught up in a dramatic round of industrial restructuring and labor tension, Pittsburgh steelmaker George McMurtry hired Frederick Law Olmsted’s landscape architectural firm in 1895 to design Vandergrift as a model town. McMurtry believed in what was later known as welfare capitalism, with the company going beyond paychecks to provide for the social needs of the workers; he believed that a benign physical environment made for happier and more productive workers. A strike and lockout at McMurtry’s steelworks in Apollo, Pennsylvania, prompted him to build the new town. Wanting a loyal workforce, he developed a town agenda that drew upon environmentalism as well as popular attitudes toward capital’s treatment of labor. The Olmsted firm translated this agenda into an urban design that included a unique combination of social reform, comprehensive infrastructure planning, and private homeownership principles. The rates of homeownership and cordial relationships between the steel company and Vandergrift residents fostered loyalty among McMurtry’s skilled workers and led to McMurtry’s greatest success. In 1901 he used Vandergrift’s worker-residents to break the first major strike against the United States Steel Corporation.
During the mid-19th century, Pittsburgh witnessed a dramatic influx of German immigrants, including a brick mason whose son, Henry J. Heinz, founded the H.J. Heinz Company in 1869. Heinz was at the forefront of reform efforts to improve food purity, working conditions, hours, and wages, but the company bitterly opposed the formation of an independent labor union.
As a manufacturing center, Pittsburgh also became an arena for intense labor strife. During the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, Pittsburgh workers protested and had massive demonstrations that erupted into widespread violence, known as the Pittsburgh Railway Riots. Militia and federal troops were called to the city to suppress the strike. Forty men died, most of them workers, and more than 40 buildings were burned down, including the Union Depot of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Strikers also burned and destroyed rolling stock: more than 100 train engines and 1000 railcars were destroyed. It was the city with the most violence of any affected by the strikes. In 1892, a confrontation in the steel industry resulted in 10 deaths (3 detectives, 7 workers) when Carnegie Steel Company’s manager Henry Clay Frick sent in Pinkertons to break the Homestead Strike. Labor strife continued into the years of the Great Depression, as workers sought to protect their jobs and improve working conditions. Unions organized H.J. Heinz workers, with the assistance of the Catholic Radical Alliance.
Andrew Carnegie, an immigrant from Scotland, a former Pennsylvania Railroad executive turned steel magnate, founded the Carnegie Steel Company. He proceeded to play a key role in the development of the U.S. steel industry. He became a philanthropist: in 1890, he established the first Carnegie Library, in a program to establish libraries in numerous cities and towns by the incentive of matching funds. In 1895, he founded the Carnegie Institute. In 1901, as the U.S. Steel Corporation formed, he sold his mills to J.P. Morgan for $250 million, making him one of the world’s richest men. Carnegie once wrote that a man who dies rich, dies disgraced. He devoted the rest of his life to public service, establishing libraries, trusts, and foundations. In Pittsburgh, he founded the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.
The third (and present) Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail was completed in 1886. In 1890, trolleys began operations. In 1907, Pittsburgh annexed Allegheny City, which is now known as the North Shore.
By 1911, Pittsburgh had grown into an industrial and commercial powerhouse:
Nexus of a vast railway system, with freight yards capable of handling 60K cars 27.2 miles (43.8 km) of harbor Yearly river traffic in excess of 9M tons Value of factory products more than $211M (with Allegheny City) Allegheny county produced, as percentage of national output, about: 24% of the pig iron 34% of the Bessemer steel 44% of the open hearth steel 53% of the crucible steel 24% of the steel rails 59% of the structural shapes
During the Prohibition era, 1920 to 1933, Pittsburgh was a hotbed of bootlegging and illicit alcohol consumption. Several factors fed into resistance to Prohibition, including a large immigrant population, anti-establishment animosity dating to the Whiskey Rebellion, fragmented local government, and pervasive corruption. The Pittsburgh crime family controlled significant portions of the illegal alcohol trade.
During that time, Prohibition Administrator John Pennington and his federal agents engaged in 15,000 raids, arrested over 18,000 people and closed down over 3,000 distilleries, 16 regular breweries, and 400 ‘wildcat’ breweries. Even the term “Speakeasy,” meaning an illegal drinking establishment, is said to have been coined at the Blind Pig in nearby McKeesport, Pennsylvania.
The last distillery in Pittsburgh, Joseph S. Finch’s distillery, located at South Second and McKean streets, closed in the 1920s. In 2012, Wigle Whiskey opened, becoming the first since the closure of Finch’s distillery.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette produced a large web feature on this period in the city’s history.
During the late 19th century, city leaders debated the responsibility and expense of creating a waterworks system and disposal of sewage. Downstream users complained about Pittsburgh’s dumping of sewage into the Ohio River. Allegheny County cities did not stop discharging raw sewage into rivers until 1939. Pittsburgh’s smoke pollution, seen in the 1890s as a sign of prosperity, was recognized as a problem in the Progressive Era and was cleared up in the 1930s-1940s. Steel plants deposited mountains of slag until 1972, especially in Nine Mile Run Valley.
In November 1927, 28 people were killed and hundreds were wounded in an explosion of a gas tank.
To escape the soot of the city, many of the wealthy lived in the Shadyside and East End neighborhoods, a few miles east of downtown. Fifth Avenue was dubbed “Millionaire’s Row” because of the many mansions lining the street.
On March 17 and 18, 1936, Pittsburgh suffered the worst flood in its history, with flood levels peaking at 46 feet. This catastrophe killed 69 victims, destroyed thousands of buildings, caused $3B (2006 dollars) in damages, and put more than 60,000 steelworkers out of work.
Oakland became the city’s predominant cultural and educational center, including three universities, multiple museums, a library, a music hall, and a botanical conservatory. Oakland’s University of Pittsburgh erected what today is still the world’s fourth-tallest educational building, the 42-story Cathedral of Learning. It towered over Forbes Field, where the Pittsburgh Pirates played from 1909 to 1970.
Between 1870 and 1920, the population of Pittsburgh grew almost sevenfold, with a large number of European immigrants arriving to the city. New arrivals continue to come from Britain, Ireland, and Germany, but the most popular sources after 1870 were poor rural areas in southern and eastern Europe, including Italy, the Balkans, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Russian Empire. Unskilled immigrants found jobs in construction, mining, steel mills and factories. They introduced new traditions, languages, and cultures to the city, creating a diversified society as a result. Ethnic neighborhoods developed in working-class areas and were built on densely populated hillsides and valleys, such as South Side, Polish Hill, Bloomfield, and Squirrel Hill, home to 28% of the city’s almost 21,000 Jewish households. The Strip District, the city’s produce distribution center, still boasts many restaurants and clubs that showcase these multicultural traditions of Pittsburghers.
The years 1916–1940 marked the largest migration of African Americans to Pittsburgh during the Great Migration from the rural South to industrial cities of the Northeast and Midwest. These migrants came for industrial jobs, education, political and social freedom, and to escape racial oppression and violence in the South. Migrants going to Pittsburgh and surrounding mill towns faced racial discrimination and restricted housing and job opportunities. The black population in Pittsburgh jumped from 6,000 in 1880 to 27,000 in 1910. Many took highly paid, skilled jobs in the steel mills. Pittsburgh’s black population increased to 37,700 in 1920 (6.4% of the total) while the black element in Homestead, Rankin, Braddock, and others nearly doubled. They succeeded in building effective community responses that enabled the survival of new communities. Historian Joe Trotter explains the decision process:
Although African-Americans often expressed their views of the Great Migration in biblical terms and received encouragement from northern black newspapers, railroad companies, and industrial labor agents, they also drew upon family and friendship networks to help in the move to Western Pennsylvania. They formed migration clubs, pooled their money, bought tickets at reduced rates, and often moved ingroups. Before they made the decision to move, they gathered information and debated the pros and cons of the process….In barbershops, poolrooms, and grocery stores, in churches, lodge halls, and clubhouses, and in private homes, southern blacks discussed, debated, and decided what was good and what was bad about moving to the urban North. The newly established Black communities nearly all endured, apart from Johnstown where blacks were expelled in 1923. Joe Trotter explains how the Blacks built new institutions for their new communities in the Pittsburgh area:
Black churches, fraternal orders, and newspapers (especially the Pittsburgh Courier); organizations such as the NAACP, Urban League, and Garvey Movement; social clubs, restaurants, and baseball teams; hotels, beauty shops, barber shops, and taverns, all proliferated. The cultural nucleus of Black Pittsburgh was Wylie Avenue in the Hill District. It became an important jazz mecca because jazz greats such as Duke Ellington and Pittsburgh natives Billy Strayhorn and Earl Hines played there. Two of the Negro League’s greatest baseball rivals, the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays, often competed in the Hill District. The teams dominated the Negro National League in the 1930s and 1940s.
Pittsburgh was a Republican stronghold starting in the 1880s, and the Republican governments provided jobs and assistance for the new immigrants in return for their votes. But the Great Depression starting in 1929 ruined the GOP in the city. The Democratic victory of 1932 meant an end to Republican patronage jobs and assistance. As the Depression worsened, Pittsburgh ethnics voted heavily for the Democrats, especially in 1934, making the city a stronghold of the New Deal Coalition. By 1936, Democratic programs for relief and jobs, especially the WPA, were so popular with the ethnics that a large majority voted for the Democrats.
Joseph Guffey, statewide leader of the Democrats, and his local lieutenant David Lawrence gained control of all federal patronage in Pittsburgh after Roosevelt’s landslide victory in 1932 and the election of a Democratic mayor in 1933. Guffey and Lawrence used the New Deal programs to increase their political power and build up a Democratic machine that superseded the decaying Republican machine. Guffey acknowledged that a high rate of people on relief was not only “a challenge” but also “an opportunity.” He regarded each relief job as Democratic patronage.
Pittsburgh was at the center of the “Arsenal of Democracy” that provided steel, aluminum, munitions and machinery for the U.S. during World War II. Pittsburgh’s mills contributed 95 million tons of steel to the war effort. The increased production output created a workforce shortage, which resulted in African Americans moving en masse during the Second Great Migration from the South to the city in order to find work.
David Lawrence, a Democrat, served as mayor of Pittsburgh from 1946 to 1959 and as Pennsylvania’s governor from 1959 to 1963. Lawrence used his political power to transform Pittsburgh’s political machine into a modern governmental unit that could run the city well and honestly. In 1946 Lawrence decided to enforce the Smoke Control Ordinance of 1941 because he believed smoke abatement was crucial for the city’s future economic development. However, enforcement placed a substantial burden on the city’s working-class because smoky bituminous coal was much less expensive than smokeless fuels. One round of protests came from Italian-American organizations, which called for delay in enforcing it. Enforcement raised their cost of living and threatened the jobs of their relatives in nearby bituminous coal mines. Despite dislike of the smoke abatement program, Italian Americans strongly supported the reelection of Lawrence in 1949, in part because many of them were on the city payroll.
Rich and productive, Pittsburgh was also the “Smoky City,” with smog sometimes so thick that streetlights burned during the day as well as rivers that resembled open sewers. Civic leaders, notably Mayor David L. Lawrence, elected in 1945, Richard K. Mellon, chairman of Mellon Bank and John P. Robin began smoke control and urban revitalization, also known as Urban Renewal projects that transformed the city in unforeseen ways.
“Renaissance I” began in 1946. Title One of the Housing Act of 1949 provided the means in which to begin. By 1950, vast swaths of buildings and land near the Point were demolished for Gateway Center. 1953 saw the opening of the (since demolished) Greater Pittsburgh Municipal Airport terminal.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the lower Hill District, an area inhabited predominantly by people of African descent, was completely destroyed. Ninety-five acres of the lower Hill District were cleared using eminent domain, forcibly displacing hundreds of small businesses and more than 8,000 people (1,239 black families, 312 white), to make room for a cultural center that included the Civic Arena, which opened in 1961. Other than one apartment building, none of the other buildings planned for the cultural center were ever built.
In the early 1960s, the neighborhood of East Liberty was also included in Renaissance I Urban Renewal plans, with over 125 acres of the neighborhood being demolished and replaced with garden apartments, three 20-story public housing apartments, and a convoluted road-way system that circled a pedestrianized shopping district. In the span of just a few years during the mid-1960s, East Liberty became a blighted neighborhood. There were some 575 businesses in East Liberty in 1959, but only 292 in 1970, and just 98 in 1979.
Preservation efforts by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, along with community neighborhood groups, resisted the demolition plans. The neighborhoods containing rich architectural heritage, including the Mexican War Streets, Allegheny West, and Manchester, were spared. The center of Allegheny City, with its culturally and socially important buildings, was not as lucky. All of the buildings, with the exception of the Old U.S. Post Office, the Carnegie Library, and Buhl Planetarium were destroyed and replaced with the “pedestrianized” Allegheny Center Mall and apartments.
The city’s industrial base continued to grow in the post-war era partly assisted by the area’s first agency entirely devoted to industrial development, the RIDC. Jones and Laughlin Steel Company expanded its plant on the Southside. H.J. Heinz, Pittsburgh Plate Glass, Alcoa, Westinghouse, U.S. Steel and its new division, the Pittsburgh Chemical Company and many other companies also continued robust operations through the 1960s. 1970 marked the completion of the final building projects of Renaissance I: the U.S. Steel Tower and Three Rivers Stadium. In 1974, with the addition of the fountain at the tip of the Golden Triangle, Point State Park was completed. Although air quality was dramatically improved, and Pittsburgh’s manufacturing base seemed solid, questions abound about the negative effects Urban Renewal continues to have on the social fabric of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, however, was about to undergo one of its most dramatic transformations.
Like most major cities, Pittsburgh experienced several days of rioting following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in April 1968. There were no further major riots, although tension remained high in the inner-city black neighborhoods.
Free market pressures exposed the U.S. steel industry’s own internal problems, which included a now-outdated manufacturing base that had been over-expanded in the 1950s and 1960s, hostile management and labor relationships, the inflexibility of United Steelworkers regarding wage cuts and work-rule reforms, oligarchic management styles, and poor strategic planning by both unions and management. In particular, Pittsburgh faced its own challenges. Local coke and iron ore deposits were depleted, raising material costs. The large mills in the Pittsburgh region also faced competition from newer, more profitable “mini-mills” and non-union mills with lower labor costs.
Beginning in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the steel industry in Pittsburgh began to implode along with the deindustrialization of the U.S. Following the 1981–1982 recession, for example, the mills laid off 153,000 workers. The steel mills began to shut down. These closures caused a ripple effect, as railroads, mines, and other factories across the region lost business and closed. The local economy suffered a depression, marked by high unemployment and underemployment, as laid-off workers took lower-paying, non-union jobs. Pittsburgh suffered as elsewhere in the Rust Belt with a declining population, and like many other U.S. cities, it also saw white flight to the suburbs.
In 1991 the Homestead Works was demolished, replaced in 1999 by The Waterfront shopping mall. As a direct result of the loss of mill employment, the number of people living in Homestead dwindled. By the time of the 2000 census, the borough population was 3,569. The borough began financially recovering in 2002, with the enlarging retail tax base.
Top corporate headquarters such as Gulf Oil (1985), Koppers (1987), Westinghouse (1996) and Rockwell International (1989) were bought out by larger firms, with the loss of high paying, white collar headquarters and research personnel (the “brain drain”) as well as massive charitable contributions by the “home based” companies to local cultural and educational institutions. At the time of the Gulf Oil merger in 1985 it was the largest buyout in world history involving the company that was No. 7 on the Fortune 500 just six years earlier. Over 1,000 high paying white collar corporate and PhD research jobs were lost in one day.
Today, there are no steel mills within the city limits of Pittsburgh, although manufacture continues at regional mills, such as the Edgar Thomson Works in nearby Braddock.
Pittsburgh is home to three universities that are included in most under-graduate and graduate school national rankings, The University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University. Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh had evolved in the mid-20th century along lines that followed the needs of the heavy industries that financed and directed their development. The collapse of steel put pressure on those two universities to reinvent themselves as research centers in science and technology which acted to pull the regional economy toward high-technology fields. Other regional collegiate institutions include Robert Morris University, Chatham University, Carlow University, Point Park University, La Roche College, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Trinity School for Ministry (an Episcopal seminary) and the Community College of Allegheny County.
Beginning in the 1980s, Pittsburgh’s economy shifted from heavy industry to services, medicine, higher education, tourism, banking, corporate headquarters, and high technology. Today, the top two private employers in the city are the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (26,000 employees) and the West Penn Allegheny Health System (13,000 employees).
Despite the economic turmoil, civic improvements continued. In the mid-1970s, Arthur P. Ziegler, Jr. and the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation (Landmarks) wanted to demonstrate that historic preservation could be used to drive economic development without the use of eminent domain or public subsidies. Landmarks acquired the former terminal buildings and yards of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, a 1-mile long property at the base of Mt. Washington facing the City of Pittsburgh. In 1976, Landmarks developed the site as a mixed-use historic adaptive reuse development that gave the foundation the opportunity to put its urban planning principles into practice. Aided by an initial generous gift from the Allegheny Foundation in 1976, Landmarks adapted five historic Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad buildings for new uses and added a hotel, a dock for the Gateway Clipper fleet, and parking areas. Now shops, offices, restaurants, and entertainment anchor the historic riverfront site on the south shore of the Monongahela River, opposite the Golden Triangle (Pittsburgh). Station Square is Pittsburgh’s premier attraction, generating over 3,500,000 visitors a year. It reflects a $100 million investment from all sources, with the lowest public cost and highest taxpayer return of any major renewal project in the Pittsburgh region since the 1950s. In 1994, Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation sold Station Square in to Forest City Enterprises which created an endowment to help support its restoration efforts and educational programs. Each year the staff and docents of Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation introduce more than 10,000 people - teachers, students, adults, and visitors - to the architectural heritage of the Pittsburgh region and to the value of historic preservation.
During this period, Pittsburgh also became a national model for community development, through the work of activists such as Dorothy Mae Richardson, who founded Neighborhood Housing Services in 1968, an organization that became the model for the nationwide NeighborWorks America. Activists such a Richardson shared the aim of Landmarks to rehabilitate Pittsburgh’s existing built landscape rather than to demolish and redevelop.
In 1985, the J & L Steel site on the north side of the Monongahela river was cleared and a publicly subsidized High Technology Center was built. The Pittsburgh Technology Center, home to many major technology companies, is planning major expansion in the area soon. In the 1980s, the “Renaissance II” urban revitalization created numerous new structures, such as PPG Place. In the 1990s, the former sites of the Homestead, Duquesne and South Side J&L mills were cleared. In 1992, the new terminal at Pittsburgh International Airport opened. In 2001, the aging Three Rivers Stadium was replaced by Heinz Field and PNC Park, despite being rejected by voter referendum. In 2010, PPG Paints Arena, replaced the Civic Arena, which at the time was the oldest arena in the National Hockey League.
Also in 1985, Al Michaels revealed to a national TV audience how Pittsburgh had transformed itself from an industrial rust belt city.
Present-day Pittsburgh, with a diversified economy, a low cost of living, and a rich infrastructure for education and culture, has been ranked as one of the World’s Most Livable Cities. Tourism has recently boomed in Pittsburgh with nearly 3,000 new hotel rooms opening since 2004 and holding a consistently higher occupancy than in comparable cities. Meanwhile, tech giants such as: Apple, Google, IBM Watson, Facebook, and Intel have joined the 1,600 technology firms choosing to operate out of Pittsburgh. As a result of the proximity to CMU’s National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), there has a boom of autonomous vehicles companies. The region has also become a leader in green environmental design, a movement exemplified by the city’s convention center. In the last twenty years the region has seen a small but influential group of Asian immigrants, including from the Indian sub-continent.
History of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
- Michael Bezallion, Pennsylvania fur trader, passed the future site of Pittsburgh en route from the Illinois country to Philadelphia, where he made a report of the trip.
- White traders began to establish trading posts in the territory of the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela valleys. The largest settlement was Logstown (now Ambridge), about four miles north of the fork of the Ohio.
- Conrad Weiser (1696–1760), the German, who for thirty years was prominent in Pennsylvania’s negotiations with the Indians, was the guest of the Delaware Indian Chief Shannopin at the mouth of Two Mile Run (the present Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh).
- August 7, Celoron de Blainville (1693–1759), with 43 French soldiers, 180 Canadians, and a band of Indians, floated past the site of Pittsburgh, once more claiming possession of the Ohio Valley for King Louis XV of France. Chaplain Father Bonnecamps kept a journal and made a map of the trip.
- May, Philippe Thomas Joncaire, with a troop of Indians, passed by en route to Logstown to establish a French trading house there.
- May 28, Joshua Fry, James Patton, and Lunsford Lomax, Virginia agents chosen to treat with the Indians at Logstown, held a conference with Chief Shannopin.
- November 23, The 21-year old Major George Washington (1732–99), emissary from Virginia’s Governor Robert Dinwiddie to the French commandant at Fort LeBoeuf on French Creek (now Waterford, Pa.), observed the land at the junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers (where Pittsburgh is today) and described it as “extremely well situated for a Fort; as it has the absolute Command of both Rivers. The Land at the Point is 20 or 25 Feet above the common Surface of the Water; and a considerable Bottom of flat, well timbere
- December 30, George Washington and his guide, Christopher Gist, were stranded on Garrison Island in the Allegheny River after their raft had been dashed to pieces by floating ice.
- February 17, William Trent (1715–87), the Indian trader, came to the forks. When the militiamen whom he had enlisted in the Monongahela Valley arrived, Trent began to build a fort and named it Fort Prince George.
- April 13, Ensign Edward Ward, temporarily in charge of Fort Prince George, learned that French troops were on the march against him.
- April 17, When the French force of about 500 men, under Commandant Pierre de Contreoeur, arrived at the forks, Ensign Ward and his 41 men had to surrender their building. The French began to build a large fort on the spot and named it Fort Duquesne, after the Marquis de Duquesne (1700–78), governor general of New France from 1752 to 1755.
- July 4, The French subdued Colonel Washington at Fort Necessity.
- July 28, The Scotsman Robert Stobo, a friend of Governor Dinwiddie, was one of two hostages taken to Fort Duquesne after the battle at Fort Necessity. During his imprisonment he sent out letters and a sketch of the fort to the English.
- May 24, The French commandant announced that Fort Duquesne was completed.
- July 9, A British expedition under General Edward Braddock, marching to attack Fort Duquesne, was defeated not far from the fort by an army of French and Indian warriors. Some of the English captives were burned alive by the Indians.
1756 Spring Fort Duquesne was damaged by a flood.
- August 30, The French commandant at Fort Duquesne learned that a British force led by General John Forbes was at Loyalbanna (the present Ligonier) and was planning to advance against the fort.
- September 14, Major James Grant, with Forbes’s army, received permission to attack Fort Duquesne. He led his force of 800 into disaster; one third of his men were killed.
- November 24, General Forbes’s army took possession of the remnants of Fort Duquesne, which the French had burned and evacuated earlier in the day.
- November 25, The English flag flew over the ruins of the demolished Fort Duquesne.
- November 26, Five thousand soldiers knelt near the fort in observance of Thanksgiving.
- November 29, A detachment of soldiers who had been with Major Grant on his fateful attack in September, buried the bodies of their dead comrades.
- November 29, …the camp at Fort Duquesne was referred to as Fort Argyle.
- December 1, General Forbes formally named the camp Pittsburgh. On January 21 the following year, writing from Philadelphia, the general told William Pitt, the English prime minister, that he had “used the freedom of giving your name to Fort Duquesne, as - - - it was in some measure the being activated by your spirits that now makes us Masters of the place.”
- December 4, Indian chiefs, at a conference in the fort, promised peace to Colonel Henry Bouquet (1719–65), the Swiss soldier who accompanied General Forbes. They also promised the return of all English captives.
- January 9, Temporary barracks, about a thousand feet from the site of Fort Duquesne, had been built; General Forbes authorized a payment of ÂŁ124/13/2 for the work.
- March 1, The building of a permanent fort — Fort Pitt — had begun under the direction of a new commanding officer, General John Stanwix, and engineer Harry Gordon.
- October 24, General Stanwix made a treaty of peace and friendship with the Indians.
- October 29, Adam Stephen, a lieutenant colonel in the Virginia regiment who survived Grant’s defeat, complained that the Pennsylvania Indian traders were taking over the lucrative fur trade and that the Indians had brought 20 tons of skins and furs to Fort Pitt in the previous three months.
- July, Colonel James Burd counted the population of Pittsburgh; he found that 149 people, besides the soldiers, were living there.
- August 12, General Robert Monckton, in command at Fort Pitt, reaffirmed Stanwix’s treaty with the Indians.
- August 12, James Boggs, Allegheny’s first white settler, built his cabin.
- March, Lieutenant Bernard Ratzer drew up a plan for the British military reservation which included 40 acres of vegetable and flower gardens and the “King’s Orchard” of apple and pear trees in the area between Fort Pitt and the Allegheny River.
- April 14, According to a count ordered by Colonel Bouquet, Pittsburgh’s population consisted of 163 men, 45 women, and 25 children, who lived in 160 houses outside the fort.
- October 12, George Croghan, an Irishman who came to America in 1741, was the most prominent of the Pennsylvania traders. As Indian agent at Fort Pitt, he noted that the Indians had returned 338 white captives to the fort since June 1759.
- December, Fort Pitt, surrounded by moats drawing water from the Allegheny River, was completed. Its cost was estimated between ÂŁ60,000 and ÂŁ100,000.
- January 9, The Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers, reaching a stage of 39.2 feet at the Point, badly damaged the fort. All but 13 barrels of powder were destroyed.
- May 2, The Indian Chief Delaware George a faithful friend of the British, was buried with full military honors on the north side of the Allegheny River opposite Fort Pitt.
- March 9, When the rivers rose to 41 feet at the Point, Fort Pitt was inundated by six inches of water.
- March 30, Pontiac’s uprising against the whites brought all the inhabitants from the outside within the confines of Fort Pitt. Most of the surrounding homes were demolished.
- June 3, Those houses which had not been destroyed were burned by the Indians.
- August 11, Colonel Bouquet’s army defeated the Indians at the Battle of Bushy Run on August 5 and 6, thus the siege of Fort Pitt had come to an end. The people, who had taken shelter in the fort, returned to the places where they once lived and set out to build new cabins.
- October 3, Bouquet’s army forced the Delaware and Shawnee Indians to fulfill their agreement and bring all their English captives to the fort.
- November 15, The Indians brought 60 captives to Fort Pitt
- November 15, Colonel Bouquet’s Redoubt — the Blockhouse, which is still in existence — was built outside the walls of the fort, midway between the Ohio and Monongahela bastions.
- November 15, John Campbell made a plan for the town, consisting of four blocks between Water and Second streets and Ferry and Market Streets, with an alley, Chancery Lane, between Ferry and Market.
- November 15, Richard and William Butler’s log cabins were the first to be completed after the lifting of the siege.
- March, Baynton, Wharton, and Morgan, the well-known Philadelphia trading firm, erected a storehouse, the first shingle-roofed building in Pittsburgh.
- April, Conferences between the Indians and the British were held at Fort Pitt; 1103 male Indians came with their retinue of wives and children.
- The Penn’s Pittsburgh Manor, some of it within the present Golden Triangle area, was surveyed and found to include 5766 acres.
- October, George Washington arrived for a visit in Pittsburgh. He noted in his diary: “We lodged in what is called the Town, distant about 300 yards from the Fort, at one Mr. Semples, who keeps a very good house of entertainment.”
- October 12, Captain Charles Edmonstone of the Eighteenth Royal Regiment, in command at Fort Pitt, sold the installation to William Thompson and Alexander Ross for 50 pounds New York currency. Thus ended the Crownâ€™s jurisdiction over the military reservation and fort at Pittsburgh.
- John Ormsby was granted the right to keep the first licensed ferry across the Monongahela River.
- Pennsylvania obtained permission from Great Britain to garrison militia at Fort Pitt.
- January 6, The unsettled boundary between Pennsylvania and Virginia became hotly contested when Dr. John Connolly posted a proclamation on the walls of Fort Pitt to announce his appointment by Lord Dunmore, governor of the southern colony, as “Captain, Commandant of the Militia of Pittsburgh and its Dependencies.” He ordered the people to assemble as a militia on January 25.
- January 24, Pennsylvania challenged Virginia’s claim to Pittsburgh by arresting Dr. Connolly and removing him to Hannastown to stand trial.
- February 2, By promising to return in April for trial, Dr. Connolly persuaded the sheriff of Westmoreland County to release him. He then obtained a commission as justice of the peace from the court of Augusta County, Virginia, which was held to include Pittsburgh, and returned to the forks, took possession of Fort Pitt, and organized his militia.
- April 25, Governor Dunmore ordered all the inhabitants “to pay their quit-rents and all public dues” to officers appointed by him.
- February 21, Dr. Connolly changed the name of Fort Pitt to Fort Dunmore. The Augusta County Court, which had been adjourned from Staunton, Virginia, on December 6, 1774, was organized at the Fort.
- February 23, Jacob Bausman was licensed by the Virginia Court to keep a ferry over the Monongahela at the foot of Wood Street where John Ormsby had his establishment for the previous two years.
- March, Governor Dunmore advised Dr. Connolly to disband his militia and devote himself to winning the support of the Indians for the British cause.
- May 16, In a convention held at Pittsburgh, frontiersmen of the territory set up a Committee of Safety approved the action of the colonies in their revolt against the Crown, and resolved that it was the “indispensable duty of every American” to resist tyranny.
- July 25, Dr. Connolly left for Virginia; Pennsylvania authority prevailed generally in the Pittsburgh area.
- August, John Neville (1731–1803), with 100 militia, took possession of the fort.
- August 25, A band of “patriots” burned the tea stock of the merchants Joseph Symonds and John Campbell.
- October 7, By the Treaty of Pittsburgh, the chiefs of the Indian tribes in the area pledged friendship and neutrality in the conflict between Great Britain and her colonies.
- October, By a Second Treaty of Pittsburgh, the Indians confirmed their agreement of the year before.
- June 1, Fort Pitt, once again bearing its proud name, became a United States fort when Brigadier General Edward Hand took it over from Captain John Neville.
- August 20, The Virginia Court moved out of the fort.
- June, David Rogers, with about 40 men, left Fort Pitt to bring a much-needed cargo of ammunition from New Orleans. His return was intercepted.
- August 11, Colonel Daniel Brodhead left Fort Pitt with 600 men to destroy the Seneca Indian villages along the upper Allegheny River.
- Hugh Henry Brackenridge arrived from Philadelphia to practice law. He soon became an important civic and political leader in western Pennsylvania.
- The German Evangelical Protestant (Congregational) Church, the first organized religious group in Pittsburgh, held services in a small block-house at the corner of present Wood and Diamond streets. Reverend John William Weber was pastor.
- June, In the first real estate sale on record, Isaac Craig and Samuel Bayard purchased three acres of land lying between Fort Pitt and the Allegheny River.
- June, Bouquet’s Redoubt-the Blockhouse was converted into a dwelling and continued as such until April 1, 1894.
- June, The Penns’ Pittsburgh Manor was laid out in lots by George Woods and Thomas Vickroy. The manor embraced the tongue of land between the two rivers as far as present Grant Street and Eleventh.
- August 15, The Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania ordered John Ormsby to “take possession of Fort Pitt in behalf of the Commonwealth, upon its being relinquished” by the United States.
- August 15, Lodge No. 45, Ancient Order of York Masons, was organized.
- February 28, The State Legislature granted a charter for the Pittsburgh Academy “for the education of youth in useful arts, sciences and literature.” Judge Hugh Henry Brackenridge was prime organizer.
- July 29, The Pittsburgh Gazette, first newspaper west of the Allegheny Mountains, was published as a weekly by John Scull and Joseph Hall, printers.
- July 29, In the columns of the newly launched gazette, Hugh H. Brackenridge wrote that, at the junction of the three rivers in the morning, “a light fog is usually incumbent.” But, he observed, “in as much as it consists of vapor. . . Which the sun of the preceding day had extracted from trees and flowers and in the evening had sent back into dew it is experienced to be healthful.”
- July 29, Niles Weekly Register reported that “36 log houses, one stone house, one frame house, and five small stores” extended along Chancery Lane and Market Street.
- September 24, The Penns donated two and one half lots each to the First Presbyterian, the German Evangelical Protestant, and the Trinity Protestant Episcopal churches.
- September 29, The First Presbyterian Church was incorporated by an act of the Legislature.
- September 29, David Redick was appointed by the Supreme Executive Council to lay Out the “Town Common and lots in the reserve tract opposite Pittsburgh.” The reserved tract had been authorized by the Legislature in September 1787.
- September 29, The first market house was erected.
- September 24, Mainly through efforts of Hugh H. Brackenridge, lawyer and state assemblyman, Allegheny County was created out of parts of Westmoreland and Washington counties; Pittsburgh was decreed the county seat.
- November 19, Lots in the reserved tract were sold at public sale in Philadelphia.
- December 16, The first Quarter Sessions Court of Allegheny County convened in Pittsburgh at Andrew Watson’s tavern.
- December 16, Regular mail service to Philadelphia was inaugurated.
- December 16, A Mechanical Society, devoted to the betterment of the workingman, was organized.
- March 14, The first Court of Common Pleas convened in Andrew Watson s tavern.
- July 2, The gazette reported: “Yesterday was brought to this place and buried, the bodies of two young men, named Arthur Graham and Alexander Campbell, who had gone out to fish. They were killed by the savages about two miles from this place.”
- July 2, Captain Thomas Hutchins, geographer of the United States, died at John Ormsby’s.
- April, Army garrison officers gave a theatrical presentation — Cato and All the ‘World’s a Stage.
- February, Isaac Craig was appointed quartermaster general and was given permission to repair Fort Pitt.
- September 6, Robert Johnson, the revenue collector, was tarred and feathered by angered citizens.
- November, An army hospital was established “in a rented house in the town,” with Dr. Carmichael in charge. Samuel Slater started a cotton mill with a staff of nine children from seven to twelve years of age.
- May 1, Captain Hughes, in command of the army garrison at Fort Pitt, occupied Fort Fayette (LaFayette), just completed near the Allegheny close to the old bastion. General Anthony Wayne and his army arrived in town.
1793 September 12, The city’s first fire engine was purchased at a cost of ÂŁ1200, and the Eagle Fire Engine and Hose Company, the first to be organized in the town, was formed with headquarters at First Street (Avenue) between Market and Ferry.
- October 14, Regular river packet service was inaugurated by Jacob Myers between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.
- October 14, Modern Chivalry, volume three, a novel by Hugh Henry Brackenridge. was printed by John Scull. It was the first book printed west of the Allegheny Mountains.
- October 14, George Anshutz built a small furnace in Two Mile Run (present Shadyside). One of its first tasks was to manufacture cannon balls for General Anthony Wayne’s army.
- April 22, Pittsburgh was incorporated as a borough.
May 19, 1794 George Robinson and Josiah Tannehill were chosen chief burgesses in the first borough election.
- August, Farmers who protested against the collection of excise tax on whisky marched to Pittsburgh from their rendezvous at Braddock’s Field.
- November 12, Burgess George Robinson and three other Pittsburghers were among 18 southwestern Pennsylvanians arrested by General Irvine’s troops during the “dreadful night” of the Whisky Insurrection.
1795 First glass factory was built by Major Isaac Craig and General O’Hara on the north bank of the Ohio River across from the Point. It manufactured bottles.
April 18, 1795 Weekly mail service was established between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
1796 A census of Pittsburgh showed a population of 1300.
1796 The first Methodist Episcopal Church service was held in the “unoccupied meeting house” of the Presbyterians.
January 28, 1797 Red Pole, great Shawnee Indian chief, died at Pittsburgh and was buried in Trinity churchyard.
August 5, 1797 Notice of July 8 advertised the sale of all building material remaining on the site of the abandoned Fort Pitt.
May 19, 1798 The ship President Adams was launched at nearby Elizabeth; it was built in Pittsburgh and armed for service against the Spaniards on the lower Mississippi. The Senator Ross was built in Pittsburgh the same year. Glass was blown at O’Hara’s Glass-works, the first flint glass made west of the Alleghenies.
1799 The first courthouse, a two-story brick structure, was completed. It stood on the western half of the Diamond. County, state, and federal courts convened here until 1841.
1799 Reformed Presbyterian Church was organized.
1800 Zadok Cramer, a New Jersey printer, purchased Gilkinson’s Book Store, renamed it the Sign of the Franklin Head, began a printing and book-binding business, and printed his first Almanack.
1800 Pittsburgh commercial life revolved around 63 shops, 23 of them general stores, six shoe shops, four bakeries, and four hat shops.
1800 Population: 1565; Allegheny County, 15,087.
1800 Perkins store, first “department store” west of Philadelphia, was opened.
August 16, 1800 The city’s second news-paper, Tree of Liberty, was published by John Israel, with Hugh Henry Brackenridge as chief backer and chief editorial writer.
November 24, 1801 The associate Presbyterian Church was organized. Zadok Cramer printed the first edition of the Navigator. a guide to river navigation.
1802 Jeffery Scaife Tin and Japanned Ware Manufactory, parent organization of the William B. Scaife & Sons Company began business in the Diamond.
1802 Pittsburgh Almanack stated that industry in Pittsburgh included one large brewery, two glassworks, one fine-glass factory, one large paper mill, several oil mills, powder works, ironworks, saltworks, saw - and grist - mills, and a boat yard.
August 9, 1802 The Borough Council ordered four public wells to be sunk on Market Street — the beginning of Pittsburgh’s water system.
1803 The Pittsburgh Almanack for the Year 1803 estimated the total value of Pittsburgh manufacturing at $358,903. Of that amount, iron manufacturing accounted for $56,548 from the production of 180 tons of castings and bar iron and 40 tons of nails. Textile manufacturing was second in value with $46,825.
1803 The rivers were beginning to be used for the shipment of coal from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia via New Orleans.
January 26, 1803 In the first theatrical production in the city, the Bromly and Arnold traveling troupe of actors presented a tragedy, The gamester, at the courthouse.
March 26, 1803 A public meeting was held to consider a proposal for a bank in the borough.
1804 A newly established stagecoach line was offering “speedy” six-day service between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Peter Eltonhead, an Englishman, founded the first large-scale cotton mill.
1804 General Presley Neville, burgess of Pittsburgh, asked George Stevenson, president of the Council, to study smoke problems and, in particular, the possibility of higher chimneys as a smoke-control measure. His letter stated that “not only the comfort, health and, in some measure, the con-sequence of the place, but the harmony of the inhabitants, depends upon speedy measures being adopted to remedy this nuisance.”
1804 The Pittsburgh Foundry (predecessor of Mackintosh-Hemphill Company), first in the city, was established at Fifth and Smithfield by Joseph McClurg.
January 9, 1804 Pittsburghâ€™s first bank, a branch of the Bank of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, opened for business at a location on Second Street, between Market and Ferry.
December, 1804 In the first recorded strike in Pittsburgh, traveling journeymen shoemakers “made a turnout for higher wages.”
1805 Commonwealth, a weekly newspaper, began publication.
July 1, 1805 Cornerstone was laid for the Old Round Church of St. Luke’s Protestant Episcopal Congregation. Its charter was granted on September 1.
January 21, 1806 The United States gazette for the Country, at Philadelphia, published a letter from a Pittsburgh correspondent reporting: “On Wednesday last (the 8th inst.) a duel was fought in the vicinity of Pitts-burgh between Tarleton Bates, Esq., the prothonotary of Allegheny County, and a person of the name of Stewart, a storekeeper here, in which Mr. Bates was killed at the second fireâ€¦The minds of the people of Pittsburgh appear much inflamed.”
February, 1806 The first company prepared to build a turnpike from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg was incorporated.
April 10, 1806 A flood of 37.1 feet was recorded.
1807 George Robinson and Edward Ensel glassworks was in operation. Anthony Beelen established the Eagle foundry.
1807 George Miltenberger’s Copper and Tinware Manufactory was established.
1808 Bakewell and Page purchased the Robinson and Ensel glassworks. In 1818 the firm furnished President Monroe “a complete set of flint glass, each piece engraved with the arms of the United States.”
1808 James B. Scott and Company (Follansbee Steel Corporation) was founded by James Park.
1809 Pittsburgh Steam Flour Mill, the first west of the Alleghenies, was established by Oliver and Owen Evans.
1810 Bank of Pittsburgh, second in the borough and first with local capital, was organized and operated for a time under the name of Pittsburgh Manufacturing Company.
1810 Population: 4786; Allegheny County, 25,317.
November 9, 1810 The city was inundated by a flood of 35.2 feet.
1811 The Reverend Francis Herron began a 49-year pastorate in the First Presbyterian Church.
May 31, 1811 The Vigilant Fire Company was organized.
June 24, 1811 First Masonic Hall dedicated.
August, 1811 Old St. Patrick’s Church, the city’s first Roman Catholic church, was dedicated at Liberty and Washington streets.
October 25, 1811 The New Orleans, which was built at a cost of $40,000 by Nicholas Roosevelt, sailed down the Ohio to establish the first regular packet service between Natchez and New Orleans and thus became the first steamboat to navigate western rivers.
1812 The first rolling mill was built by Christopher Cowan.
1812 Rigging for Oliver H. Perry’s fleet on Lake Erie was made in the borough. Steam-engine works, built by Oliver Evans and managed by Mark Stackhouse, went into operation in May.
1812 Christopher Cowan built a steam mill for slitting iron.
1812 Elliott Nursery was established at Smithfield Street.
May 7, 1812 William Turner and Company opened what is believed to have been the city’s first theater.
September 10, 1812 The Pittsburgh Blues, a military unit, left on a year’s expedition in the Ohio Country, in the service of the United States.
1813 The Comet, a stern-wheel steamboat, was built.
May 10, 1813 Humane Society was organized.
November 27, 1813 First recorded meeting of the Pittsburgh Permanent Library Company.
1814 A stern-wheel steamboat left Pittsburgh with a cargo of guns destined for General Jackson at New Orleans. Pepin, Brishard, and Cayetano conducted the first circus.
1814 Western Medical Society was organized
1814 Allegheny Arsenal was established by the federal government. It was designed by B. H. Latrobe and built in the Lawrenceville district under the direction of Colonel Abraham R. Butler at a cost of $300,000.
1814 Anchor Steam Paper Mill, first paper-mill in Pittsburgh, was built by Henry Holdehip.
June 10, 1814 A letter printed in the gazette said: “Although much of the prosperity of Pittsburgh is owing to its ‘Fires,’ it is not be concealed that the effects of those fires have become subjects of complaint. That the evil (if it be an evil to be enveloped in smoke) is daily increasing and that relief is now universally called for.”
November 23, 1814 Bank of Pittsburgh was reorganized with capital of $600,000 and George Wilkins as president.
1815 Pittsburgh Directory for 1815, the city’s first directory, was compiled and published by James M. Riddle.
1815 The Farmers and Mechanics Bank, founded by John Scull, was incorporated.
1815 The weekly Mercury began publication.
March, 1815 Newspapers advocated “some plan for smoke abatement.”
1816 Whale-oil lamps were installed as the city’s first street lights.
January 27, 1816 According to the gazette, Alexander Thompson, “who resides on the turnpike road 4~2 miles from Pittsburgh,” reported that during 1815, excluding iron shipments, a total of “5,800 road waggons laden with merchandise, etc., passed his farm for Pittsburgh. The greater part of these waggons returned loaded with cordage, salt petre, etc., to the east of the mountains.”
February, 1816 Flood waters reached a stage of 36.2 feet.
March 18, 1816 Pittsburgh was incorporated as a city under an act providing for a mayor, one select and one common council, 12 aldermen, and a recorder.
July 9, 1816 Ebenezer Denny, merchant, began serving term as the first mayor of Pittsburgh; James Ross as first president of the select council; William Wilkins as first president of the common council.
August 2, 1816 The Farmers and Mechanics Bank was chartered.
1817 First shoe-jobbing firm in United States, H. Childs and Company, was established.
1817 A branch of the second Bank of the United States was established in Pittsburgh with John Thaw as cashier. This bank took over the business of the defunct Bank of Pennsylvania and was named Office of Discounts and Deposits of the United States.
1817 John Darragh began his eight-year term as the city’s second mayor.
September 5, 1817 President James Monroe visited arsenal in the city.
March 25, 1818 Ten thousand men, women, and children witnessed the first execution of a white man in Allegheny County, the hanging of John Tiernan, who was found guilty of killing his best friend.
April 6, 1818 Pittsburgh first bank robbery, $104,000 was stolen from Farmers and Mechanics Bank; the accused robbers, Pluymart and Emmons, were captured soon thereafter.
May 20, 1818 A federal court for Western Pennsylvania was established here; Jonathan Hoge Walker was appointed first judge by President James Monroe. The Pittsburgh-Harrisburg turnpike was opened to travel.
February 18, 1819 Pittsburgh Academy was rechartered by the Legislature and renamed Western University of Pennsylvania; its location was on Third Avenue.
December 16, 1819 General James O’Hara, Pittsburgh’s pioneer industrialist, died at his home at the Point.
December 16, 1819 The first bridge across the Allegheny River (Federal and St. Clair streets) was completed. It served till 1860, when it was replaced by a suspension bridge.
December 16, 1819 Monongahela Bridge was erected at a cost of $102,000.
December 16, 1819 Angle iron was rolled at the Union Rolling Mill, the first complete rolling mill in the United States.
December 16, 1819 The city’s first steam cotton mill, James Arthurs and Sons Cotton Factory, began production.
1820 Population: 7248; Allegheny County, 34,927.
1820 The city’s Alms House was built.
1821 Turnpike was completed from Pittsburgh to Erie, via Butler, Mercer, and Meadville.
1821 The Pittsburgh Recorder, a Presbyterian journal, was first issued.
June, 1821 Pittsburgh Medical Society was organized.
1822 N. Holmes and Sons, the city’s first family-owned bank, was established.
April 28, 1823 Henry Clay was a visitor. The Apprentice Library was established as Pittsburgh’s first free public library.
1824 Western University of Pennsylvania conferred bachelor’s degrees for the first time. There were six in the graduating class.
1824 The Councils passed an ordinance providing for a central city water system.
1825 Allegheny Theological Seminary was established in Allegheny by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.
April 7, 1825 Western Theological Seminary was founded in Allegheny City by Presbyterian Church.
May 30, 1825 The Marquis de Lafayette arrived at the Mansion House for a two-week visit. One of the most spectacular social events was a ball held at Colonel Ramsay’s Hotel on Wood Street at Third Avenue in honor of the French statesman.
July 4, 1826 Composer Stephen Collins Foster was born at 3600 Penn Avenue.
September, 1826 The city’s first water reservoir was completed on Grant’s Hill.
December, 1826 Work was started on the Pennsylvania Canal.
1827 St. Paul’s Church was organized under leadership of Father Charles Bonaventure Maguire, and a building, which six years later became St. Paul’s Cathedral, was erected at Fifth Avenue and Grant Street.
February, 1827 The Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the first Negro church west of the Allegheny Mountains, was instituted at Water and Smithfield streets.
April, 1827 The Albion, first steamboat to travel up the Allegheny River as far as Kittanning, left the city.
June 20, 1827 Henry Clay, Secretary of State, visited the city again.
November 16, 1827 Western Theological Seminary was opened for study.
November 22, 1827 Western Penitentiary, the first state penal institution west of the mountains, was completed in Allegheny.
November 28, 1827 Contract was let to construct the Aqueduct to carry the Pennsylvania Canal over the Allegheny River to the city.
1828 John Irwin was elected the first burgess of Allegheny.
1828 First museum and art gallery was opened to public.
1828 Etna Iron Works, first iron-pipe manufacturing plant west of Alleghenies, was built by H. S. Spang and Son (Predecessor of Spang, Chalfant and Company).
April 14, 1828 Allegheny was incorporated as a borough.
May 3, 1828 Foundation stone was laid for the Washington Lock, the first of four, to connect the Pennsylvania Canal and the Monongahela River.
September, 1828 The city’s first water-supply system, with a reservoir on Grant’s Hill and a pumping station at the foot of Cecil Alley, was ready for service.
November 10, 1829 The Aqueduct carrying the Canal over the Allegheny River to the Canal basin in the city went into service.
1830 The anti-Masonic, anti-Jackson councils elected Mathew B. Lowrie mayor.
1830 Population: Pittsburgh, 12,568; Allegheny, 2801 citizens, eight slaves; Allegheny County, 50,552.
March, 1830 Natural gas was discovered in Saw Mill Run at depth of 627 feet.
1831 David G. Blythe, the artist, arrived in the city to study wood carving.
1831 John H. Mellor established on Wood Street a firm said to be the first piano house in America.
January 12, 1831 Pittsburgh Times began publication.
July 1, 1831 First steam ferry began operating at the foot of Penn Street. Duquesne Grays, a citizens’ militia, was organized.
1832 John M. Roberts and Son opened a jewelry and watchmaking establishment at Fifth Avenue and Market.
1832 Samuel Pettigrew was chosen mayor.
1832 The Farmer’s Deposit National Bank of Pittsburgh began business as the Pittsburgh Savings Fund Company.
February 10, 1832 Flood waters reached a level of 38.2 feet at the Point.
April 5, 1832 Orphan Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny, the present Protestant Home for Children and the oldest institution of its kind in Pennsylvania, was founded. It was incorporated in 1834.
1833 St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church was dedicated. It was consecrated the sect’s first cathedral in the city on August 7,1843.
July 4, 1833 Daniel Webster visited.
July 30, 1833 The gazette, under management of John I. Scull and Morgan Neville, became a daily paper.
September 2, 1833 The Pittsburgh Theater, known as Old Drury and located on Fifth Avenue between Wood and Smithfield streets, opened with the play Busy Body and the afterpiece Age of Tomorrow. Tyrone Power played 7-lam let in the third presentation at the theater.
1834 Pennsylvania canal system from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh was completed at a cost of $10,000,000.
1834 Samuel Pettigrew was returned to office in the first public election for mayor.
February 27, 1834 The first historical society was organized.
March, 1834 A route between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia via canal and rail-road (Pennsylvania Canal, Portage and Columbia railroads) was opened.
August 9, 1834 William Lesky, sheriff, issued a proclamation establishing a “general system of common schools.”
1835 The Pittsburgh, the first steam locomotive to be built west of the Allegheny Mountains, was built by McClurg, Wade, and Company.
April 8, 1835 The select and common councils authorized the first gas works to be built in the city.
September 11, 1835 Pittsburgh’s first public school opened in a rented room in a Seventh Street building; five pupils attended class taught by James F. Gilmore.
1836 Jonas R. McClintock was first successful public candidate for mayor.
1836 N. R. Smith founded a system of lyceums which dominated the city’s intellectual life for the next ten years.
March 26, 1836 The Councils adopted an ordinance establishing a system of police to include one captain of the watch, two lieutenants, and 16 watchmen.
March 31, 1836 The Monongahela Navigation Company was chartered and began construction of locks and dams in Monongahela River.
May 26, 1836 A city ordinance was passed authorizing the initial grading of Grant’s Hill, familiarly known as “the Hump,” a cut of ten feet in Fifth Avenue hill just east of Central City.
August 6, 1836 Fourteen trade unions amalgamated to form the Pittsburgh Central Labor Union.
October 13, 1836 A cornerstone was laid for construction of the second courthouse.
1837 Isaac Harris’ Directory for 1837 estimated the value of Pittsburgh manufacturing at $11,606,350.
1837 The Orphan Society built its first orphanage.
April 6, 1837 For the first time, manufactured gas lighting appeared on the streets of the city and in many stores.
May 15, 1837 All Pittsburgh banks suspended gold payments as the result of nationwide inflation caused by overexpansion of business and “disorderly currency.”
November 1, 1837 The first public school for Negroes was opened.
1838 Mechanics Bridge was built over the Allegheny River at Sixteenth Street.
1839 The bridge over the Allegheny River at Hand (Ninth) Street was completed. The roof of the bridge became a fashionable promenade.
1839 Grogan Company, jewelers, was established.
March, 1839 Over 1400 canal boats carrying 25,000 tons of freight passed through Pittsburgh.
September, 1839 Valley Forge, the first large iron steamboat, was built by Robinson and Minis.
1840 Pittsburgh developed as a coal port; in this year coal shipments out of city totaled 464,826 tons.
1840 Peter Duff’s Mercantile College (Duff’s Business College) established.
1840 Population: 21,515; Allegheny City, 10,089; Allegheny County, 81,235.
April 13, 1840 Allegheny was incorporated as a third-class city with a population of 10,989.
May 4, 1840 Clayton’s “aerial mail packet” balloon, bound for Philadelphia, took off from Pittsburgh and landed the same evening in the vicinity of Tarentum.
July 17, 1840 William Robinson was inaugurated as first mayor of Allegheny City.
January, 1841 En route to Washington for his inauguration, President-elect William H. Harrison visited the city.
April, 1841 The hostelry Monongahela House, opened its doors.
July 31, 1841 A strike followed by riots in six cotton factories in Allegheny. September 8: The Pittsburgh Weekly Chronicle began publication.
1842 The second courthouse, designed by John Chislett, was completed on Grant’s Hill.
March 20, 1842 Charles Dickens, the English author, arrived with his wife at the Exchange Hotel, Penn Avenue at Sixth, for a three-day visit.
September 10, 1842 Pittsburgh Daily Morning Post was first published. The Henry Oliver family, including 2-year-old Henry William Oliver, emigrated from Ireland to Pittsburgh.
1843 The Aqueduct was rebuilt on the suspension principle, using wire cable made by John Roebling. This was the first great public work in which wire cable was used in place of wooden beams.
August 7, 1843 The See of Pittsburgh was created with the Right Reverend Michael O’Connor as first bishop.
December 22, 1843 Seven Sisters of Mercy arrived from Ireland to establish their Order here.
1844 Joseph Woodwell, well known in the city as a wood carver of unusual ability, entered the hardware business in partnership in a store named Walker and Woodwell.
November 13, 1844 The Monongahela River was formally opened for navigation as far as Brownsville; seven dams and 11 locks were in operation.
1845 Steamboats were first used here for towing coal barges.
1845 The iron frigate Allegheny was built here for the United States Navy.
April 10, 1845 A fire that started in the back of an icehouse at Ferry Street and Second Avenue destroyed 982 buildings, made about 12,000 persons homeless, resulted in damage estimated between $5,000,000 and $8,000,000 and left one third of city in ashes.
May 22, 1845 Mary Cassatt, noted impressionist painter, was born in Allegheny. (She died in 1926.)
1846 First manufacture of a new explosive gun cotton.
1846 Samuel M. Kier, Pittsburgh druggist, began to sell crude oil for medicinal purposes.
1846 The covered wooden bridge over the Monongahela River at Smithfield Street was replaced by a wire suspension one, the first so constructed by John Roebling, builder of the Brooklyn Bridge.
1846 A Society of Jews, forerunner of the Rodef Shalom Congregation, was formed.
February 8, 1846 The Pittsburgh Dispatch, first successful penny newspaper west of Alleghenies, was founded by Colonel J. Heron Foster.
April 13, 1846 The Pennsylvania Railroad was incorporated.
December 22, 1846 Duquesne Grays and Jackson Blues, first Pittsburgh regiments, left by boat for New Orleans and Vera Cruz to join in the war against Mexico.
December 29, 1846 Pittsburgh dispatched its first telegraphic message, a report from General Bowman of the Pennsylvania militia notifying President Polk that the second Pennsylvania regiment was ready to leave for Mexico.
1847 The Post became the first city newspaper to utilize the telegraph for news coverage.
1847 Pittsburgh-born Jane Grey Swisshelm, reformer and abolitionist, began publication of The Saturday Visitor, a weekly journal.
January 1, 1847 The Sisters of Mercy opened their first hospital here, called it the “Mercy.”
March 1, 1847 The Joseph Woodwell Company, situated at Second Avenue and Wood Street, opened its doors to the public.
March 5, 1847 The Monongahela House, rebuilt after being destroyed in the 1845 fire, was opened.
March 9, 1847 A citizens’ meeting was held to plan erection of a public hospital.
July 13, 1847 The Mercantile Library Association, a union of several library groups, was founded.
February 1, 1848 The Mercury published the city’s first Sunday newspaper.
March 18, 1848 Western Pennsylvania Hospital (West Penn) was chartered.
May 9, 1848 Sisters of Mercy completed a hospital on Stevenson Street with bed capacity for 60 patients.
August 17, 1848 Allegheny Medical Society was organized as a branch of the State Medical Society.
August 17, 1848 Thirteen-year-old Andrew Carnegie and his family left Scotland for Pittsburgh.
August 17, 1848 Anesthesia in the form of chloroform was used for the first time in Pittsburgh by Dr. William H. Wright in a tooth extraction.
1849 Iron City Industrial Congress was organized by 23 local unions.
1849 Pittsburgh City Glass Works was started by Wilson Cunningham and his two brothers.
1849 A second cut, this one seven feet, was made in the “Hump.”
February 22, 1849 An advertisement appeared in Daily gazette announcing that “J. Horne, Trimmings, Notions, Millinery and Fancy Goods,” was open for business at 63 Market Street.
December 20, 1849 Puddlers and boilers in iron mills began a five-month strike in protest against a reduction in wages; this action led to later organization of the Sons of Vulcan.
December 20, 1849 A two-hour speech by Salmon P. Chase, Ohio Free-Soil senator, at Allegheny Market House, set the trend of abolitionist thinking in Pittsburgh.
December 20, 1849 First waterworks in Allegheny was completed.
1850 Colonel James Anderson established in Allegheny an Apprentices’ Library and opened it to working boys. Andrew Carnegie was one of the regular boy patrons.
1850 The value of Pittsburgh manufacturing was estimated at $50,000,000 by Samuel Fahnestock in the Pittsburgh Directory for the Year 1850.
1850 B. F. Jones resigned as manager of the Pennsylvania Canal to begin operating a puddling iron works on the south bank of the Monongahela River.
1850 Population: Pittsburgh, 46,601; Allegheny City, 21,262; Allegheny County, 138,290.
January, 1850 Passavant Hospital, founded in 1849 under the name Pittsburgh Infirmary by the Reverend William Passavant of Zelienople, was chartered.
January 7, 1850 Joseph Barker, an itinerant reformer, was elected mayor while serving a year’s term in jail for disturbing the peace.
September 10, 1850 Pennsylvania Railroad began operating trains between Pittsburgh and Johnstown.
1851 A Marine Hospital, designed to care for disabled rivermen, was established by the federal government at nearby Woods Run.
1851 The report-card system was established in the city schools.
January, 1851 Jane Grey Swisshelm, advocate of women’s rights, polled only three votes in her campaign for the office of mayor.
April 25, 1851 In the city’s greatest musical event of the era, Jenny Lind, under the management of Phineas T. Barnum, sang at Masonic Hall, Fifth Avenue, before 1000 persons who paid an average of $7 each for tickets sold on auction.
May 16, 1851 Evergreen Hamlet, an experiment in communal living, started.
July 30, 1851 Regular passenger service was inaugurated by the Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad (Fort Wayne) between Allegheny and New Brighton.
December 10, 1851 The Pennsylvania Railroad formally began business in the city of Pittsburgh with its rail line extended as far as Turtle Creek. At that point passengers transferred to stagecoach, which bridged a 28-mile gap in the rail connection.
1852 Pittsburgh Board of Health was created.
April 19, 1852 The rivers went to a stage of 35.1 feet in another flood.
August 19, 1852 Flood waters reached a mark of 31 feet, 9 inches.
September, 1852 The National Free-Soil Convention, one of the first mass abolitionist meetings in the country, was held in Pittsburgh.
November 17, 1852 The Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad posted regular schedules between Pittsburgh, Alliance, Canton, Massillon, and Wooster, Ohio. It offered four trains daily, the first leaving Pittsburgh at 8 A.M. and arriving in Wooster at 3:30 P.M.
November 29, 1852 The Pennsylvania Railroad opened an all-rail route from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, utilizing the Portage and Columbia railroads.
November 29, 1852 The Pennsylvania State Teachers Association was organized at a meeting in Pittsburgh.
1853 The Economites, a religious society near Ambridge, Pa., completed the Saw Mill Run Railroad to Banksville, a distance of three miles.
1853 The city’s first Jewish congregation held services in a temporary synagogue located over the Vigilant Fire Engine House on Third Avenue.
1853 The borough of West Pittsburgh was formed.
1853 The first Pittsburgh post office and federal government building was erected at Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street.
1853 The Pittsburgh Legal Journal (second law periodical in the United States and third in the world) was published by Thomas J. Keenan and John Hastings.
June, 1853 Benjamin F. Jones formed a partnership with Bernard and John Lauth and Samuel Kier, with whom he had operated the Mechanics Line, a canal boat line from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. They established on the south bank of the Monongahela River puddling furnaces and rolling mills under the name of Jones, Lauth and Company.
September, 1853 The Morning Post listed the following hotels in operation in Pittsburgh: Monongahela House, Exchange Hotel, Merchants Hotel, American Hotel, United States, Spread Eagle, Miller’s Mansion House, and Broadhurst Mansion House.
February 15, 1854 The Summit tunnel of the Pennsylvania Railroad was opened, allowing continuous rail travel between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.
March, 1854 The first bill was introduced in the Legislature to consolidate the cities of Pittsburgh and Allegheny.
September, 1854 The Pittsburgh Post reported a total of 400 deaths in two weeks in the city’s worst cholera epidemic.
September, 1854 Rodef Shalom Congregation was organized.
1855 A new city hall and market, at Diamond and Market, was completed.
March, 1855 Ladies were first employed as clerks in dry-goods stores.
March 24, 1855 Andrew W. Mellon was born in East Liberty.
July 19, 1855 The Dollar Savings Bank, founded as the Pittsburgh Dollar Savings Institution, was opened for business.
August 29, 1855 The first county Republican convention adopted an abolition resolution.
September 25, 1855 The first public high school (Central) was opened in rented quarters, at 508 Smithfield Street, for 114 pupils.
1856 Joseph L. Lowry built the first steam fire engine for the city.
1856 John Lauth, sold his interests in Jones, Lauth, and Company to the other partners. James A. Laughlin bought into the business.
January 29, 1856 The Allegheny Valley Railroad was opened to Kittanning.
February 22, 1856 The first national convention of Republicans met in Lafayette Hall in Pittsburgh for a two-day session to complete national party organization.
July 29, 1856 The Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad was incorporated and its line was opened through to Chicago from Allegheny.
1857 The Pennsylvania Railroad purchased the Pennsylvania Canal for $7,500,000.
1857 The Diamond Savings Institution (predecessor of the Union National Bank of Pittsburgh) was founded.
February 23, 1857 Novelist Margaret Wade Deland was born in Allegheny. (She died in 1945.)
August, 1857 The financial panic reached a climax in Pittsburgh when all local banks, with the exception of the Bank of Pittsburgh, suspended payments “until such time as the Philadelphia banks resume.”
September, 1857 Charlotte Jones, convicted of killing her aunt and uncle for their money in the notorious “McKeesport cabin murder,” became the first woman to be hanged in Allegheny County. She said, “I did this for the great love I had for Denny Fife.”
September 22, 1857 The first railroad bridge across the Allegheny River, a wooden structure, was opened to bring the Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad into the city of Pittsburgh.
1858 Mackeown and Finley agreed to sell to the A. C: Ferris and Company of New York City two thirds of their output of carbon oil. This contract marked the beginning of the use of petroleum products in New York.
1858 Samuel Kier set up his first commercial oil refinery or “still” in his drugstore basement at 363 Liberty Avenue.
1858 A small group of iron puddlers, meeting in an old Diamond Street hotel, organized the Sons of Vulcan, first union movement in the iron industry in Pittsburgh. The action was the result of the financial panic of 1857, which had forced their wage to be reduced to $3.25 per ton.
1858 In Millvale, the Kloman brothers began operating the forge works which led to the Carnegie steel organization. The first tin plate (iron coated with tin) ever made was produced by C. G. Hussey and Company.
March 10, 1858 The first train operated from Allegheny into the city’s first Union Station, located at Seventh Street and Liberty Avenue.
May 26, 1858 The United Presbyterian Church of North America was created by the merger of the Associate Reformed and the Associate Presbyterian churches. The merger took place in the old City Hall in Market Square.
1859 Cold rolling of iron and steel was invented and patented by Bernard Lauth, a partner of Benjamin F. Jones.
1859 H. Samson began operating as a funeral director.
January 10, 1859 The Western Pennsylvania Historical Society held its first meeting in the Merchants Exchange.
March 22, 1859 The Citizen Passenger Railway Company was granted a charter for construction and operation of first street railway in city. The first track was laid on Penn Avenue from St. Clair (Sixth) Street to 26th Street.
July, 1859 James Laughlin, a banker and merchant, built the first two Eliza blast furnaces with beehive coke ovens, on the north side of the Monongahela River, directly opposite the Jones, Lauth plant. The new plant was known as Laughlin and Company.
August 5, 1859 The first horsecar, “a single-truck vehicle, seating 14 passengers, dimly lighted at night,” began operating; the fare from Butler Street to East Liberty was six cents.
August 29, 1859 The petroleum industry had its birth when Colonel Edward L. Drake struck oil at 69 feet at Titusville about 75 miles north of the city.
September 1, 1859 The Union National Bank was organized as a successor to the Diamond Savings Institution.
November 16, 1859 Clinton, the second blast furnace built in the district, and the first to use coke for the blast, went into operation at the South Side plant of Graff, Bennett, and Company.
1860 Allegheny Observatory was founded.
1860 Population: 49,221; Allegheny City, 28,702; Allegheny County, 178,031.
June 22, 1860 An announcement was made of the opening of “books to receive subscription of stock” for construction of a “free bridge” over the Allegheny.
July 29, 1860 Professor S. Wilson ascended from Pittsburgh in his balloon, great Western, disappeared from view, and landed hours later on a bill near Sharpsburg.
October 1, 1860 The Prince of Wales, the later Edward VII of the United Kingdom, was warmly greeted by Pittsburghers when he arrived at the Monongahela House for an overnight stay. He visited factories and manufacturing establishments.
November 28, 1860 Because of Civil War clouds, all Pittsburgh banks except the Bank of Pittsburgh suspended specie payments.
December, 1860 The city refused to comply with the Secretary of War’s order for the transfer of guns from the Allegheny Arsenal to the South.
1861 Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, via connecting railroads, was extended to the city.
1861 The Trimble Construction Company began operations as the Crawford, Trimble and Gilliland Company.
February 15, 1861 From a balcony of the Monongahela House, President-elect Lincoln, who had stopped in the city on his way to Washington, in a reference to the secession from the Union of southern states, declared that “notwithstanding the trouble across the river, there is no crisis but an artificial one.”
April, 1861 Camp Wilkins, near Penn Avenue and 26th Street, was established by Governor Andrew G. Curtin; a home guard was organized.
April 24, 1861 Eighty men comprising “Turners Rifles” departed for Harrisburg to join Union troops; they became the first Pittsburgh soldiers to see action in the war.
August, 1861 Bernard Lauth retired and James Laughlin bought his interest. Jones, Lauth, and Company became Jones and Laughlin’s American Iron Works.
September 21, 1861 Property damage was heavy in a flood that reached a mark of 30 feet, 9Â˝ inches.
October, 1861 United States Sanitary Commission, designed to receive donations of clothing and medical supplies for the Army, was established by the Citizens Committee of 100, which had been selected at a mass meeting in City Hall on April 15.
January 1, 1862 Iron City Forge Company, the parent of Kloman and Company and of the Carnegie iron and steel interests, was organized as a partner-ship of the Kloman brothers, Thomas Miller, and Henry Phipps.
January 4, 1862 The Home for the Friendless was chartered.
September 17, 1862 Seventy-eight persons, mostly boys and girls employed there, were killed and twice as many injured in an explosion at the Allegheny Arsenal in Lawrenceville, where munitions were being manufactured for the Union army.
November 25, 1862 Ethelbert Nevin, composer, author, and pianist, was born in nearby Edgeworth. He was the composer of “The Rosary.”
1863 The iron frigates Manayunk and Umpqua were built.
1863 The Third National Bank of Pittsburgh was founded at the corner of Wood Street and Virgin Alley (Oliver Avenue)
March, 1863 The Pittsburgh Trades Assembly was organized by representatives of 46 local unions.
April, 1863 The United States Christian Commission, directed by the Reverend Herrick Johnson, assumed most of work of Sanitary Commission and hospital activities of the Subsistence Committee.
June 14, 1863 In a Sunday meeting at the Monongahela House, Pittsburgh businessmen and manufacturers, fearing a raid by the Confederate cavalry forces of J. E. B. Stuart, decided to suspend business and set up a defense.
June 16, 1863 Two thousand men, paid at rate of $L25 per day by their own employers, began digging rifle pits on hills as a line of defense around the city.
June 25, 1863 Pittsburgh militia and home guard prepared for an attack on receipt of a telegraphic message that Jeb Stuart’s troops had occupied McConnellsburg and were moving toward the city.
June 26, 1863 There were 11,828 men at work on 32 separate defense installations in the city.
July 4, 1863 All fortifications were completed, but the Confederate retreat after the Union victory at Gettysburg removed the threat to Pittsburgh.
August 5, 1863 Following their surrender to Union troops at Lisbon, Ohio, 118 officers of General John H. Morgan’s cavalry, the only Confederate prisoners held in Pittsburgh in the Civil War, were brought to Western Penitentiary.
1864 The firm that was the forerunner of the A. M. Byers Company was established.
January, 1864 New city hall, market house, and weight house, bordering on the public square in Allegheny City, were completed.
January 13, 1864 Stephen Collins Foster, Pittsburgh’s best-known composer, died destitute in New York.
March 21, 1864 Ulysses S. Grant, en route to take command of the Army of the Potomac, was the guest of honor at a dinner in the Monongahela House.
May 2, 1864 Andrew Carnegie, at 29, entered the iron-producing business by purchasing a sixth interest in the Iron City Forge Company for $8,925. Other shareholders included Andrew Kloman and Henry Phipps.
June 16, 1864 Allegheny City’s Sanitary Fair closed after raising $363,570 in 16 days for benefit of Union soldiers and their dependents. At the end of the war $200,000 unused funds were given to West Penn Hospital as a nucleus for an endowment.
June 30, 1864 The first train ran between Pittsburgh and Erie.
August 19, 1864 The Quarterly Trade Circular reported that there were 58 oil refineries in the city with a weekly capacity of 26,000 barrels.
November 11, 1864 Thurston’s (oil) Stock Exchange opened on Fourth Street.
December, 1864 Newspapers reported that the wage of iron puddlers had risen from $3.56 per ton in October 1861 to $9 per ton.
1865 The new Pennsylvania Railroad Station went into service. Located at 11th Street and Liberty Avenue, it was a four-story structure with upper floors assigned to a hotel.
1865 The Sisters of St. Francis converted a frame building into a hospital for 12 patients.
1865 Pittsburgh Diocese of the Protestant Episcopal Church was created. John E. Kerfoot was the first bishop. Pittsburgh School of Design was instituted.
1865 Merchants’ and Manufacturers’ Bank was organized.
February, 1865 After an eight-month strike, the first trade-union agreement in America was made between the Sons of Vulcan and the iron industry. Among major provisions of the con-tract was a sliding wage scale on economic conditions in the industry.
February 5, 1865 The Pittsburgh Clearing House Association was opened for business with John Harper as president.
March, 1865 Cyclops Mill, a Thomas Miller and Carnegie enterprise, was completed.
April 25, 1865 The Keystone Bridge Company was organized, designed to use iron from the Iron City Forge and the new Cyclops Mill.
May 1, 1865 Iron City Forge and Cyclops Mill were merged to form Union Iron Mills.
October 4, 1865 A tremendous ovation was given General Grant when he arrived in the city.
October 31, 1865 George Westinghouse, at 19, received his first patent for the invention of a rotary steam engine.
1866 Smith and Porter (H. K. Porter Company) began manufacturing locomotives in Pittsburgh. The first one operated under its own steam on street car rails across a Monongahela River bridge.
July 3, 1866 Peoples Savings Bank of Pittsburgh was chartered.
August, 1866 Homeopathic Medical and Surgical Hospital and Dispensary was founded.
August 29, 1866 The police night call, “All’s well,” was abolished.
September 13, 1866 Once more General Grant came to Pittsburgh, this time with President Andrew Johnson and Admiral David G. Farragut.
September 13, 1866 Annual exchange clearings of the Pittsburgh Clearing House Association, reflecting the amount of business activity in Pittsburgh, totaled $83,791,242.
1867 First fire-alarm telegraph system was established in Allegheny.
1867 Samuel Pierpont Langley was appointed Director of the Allegheny Observatory.
1867 Andrew Carnegie acquired the controlling interest in the Union Iron Mills.
1867 Rosenbaum and Company was established at 76 Market Street as Rosenbaum and Fleischman, a retail and wholesale millinery firm.
1867 The Peoples First National Bank and Trust Company was founded as the Safe Deposit Company.
1867 An act of the Legislature officially transferred to the city of Allegheny the Allegheny Parks, the land of which was originally the gift of the Penn family.
April, 1867 The councils of Allegheny and Pittsburgh agreed on a plan of union in the first definite step toward consolidation.
April 12, 1867 Monongahela Incline Plane Railroad, up the face of Mount Washington, was chartered.
June 30, 1868 The city of Pittsburgh extended its eastern boundary by annexing the townships of Pitt, Peebles, Liberty, Collins, and Oakland.
August 8, 1868 Cornerstone was laid for the new City Hall on Smithfield Street.
1869 H. J. Heinz, at 25, planted in Millvale a three-quarter of an acre patch of horseradish, and thus began the world-renowned H. J. Heinz Company.
January 9, 1869 The Boggs and Buhl department store was opened at 512 Federal Street in Allegheny as the Boggs, Blair and Buhl notions and dry goods shop.
April 13, 1869 In the first practical demonstration, an air-brake train made a trip from Union Station in Pittsburgh to Steubenville.
June 10, 1869 The Home for Aged Protestant Women was founded.
July, 1869 George Westinghouse’s first major enterprise, the Westinghouse Air Brake Company, was organized to manufacture air brakes for steam railways. The first site of the company was at 25th Street and Liberty Avenue.
September 10, 1869 Pennsylvania Female College (now Chatham College) opened. The new telephone switchboard provided service to 777 subscribers.
September 14, 1869 President Ulysses S. Grant visited the city.
December 11, 1869 Pennsylvania College for Women, founded by the Reverend W. T. Beatty, was incorporated.
1870 The 642-foot Monongahela Incline, first in the city, was completed to the top of “Coal Hill” (Mount Washington).
1870 Jacob, Henry, Morris, and Isaac Kaufmann, German immigrants with $1500 between them, opened a men’s clothing business in an I 8-by-28 foot storeroom at 1918 Carson Street, primarily to serve puddlers of the nearby Jones and Laughlin steel mill (Kaufmann’s Store, incorporated in 1871).
1870 The Pittsburgh Coal Exchange was chartered for coal companies engaged in river transportation.
1870 Allegheny Bar Association was incorporated.
1870 The establishment of Pittsburgh titles for land belonging to the Penns was completed.
1870 Population: 86,076; Allegheny City, 51,180; Allegheny County, 262204.
January 1, 1870 The Old Drury Theater closed its doors after 37 years of service.
January 2, 1870 Judge Thomas Mellon, the father of Andrew W. and Richard B. Mellon, retired from the bench to open a private banking establishment under the name of T. Mellon and Sons on Smithfield Street near Sixth Avenue.
January 17, 1870 The first professional teachers organization was established in the city.
April 6, 1870 The Pittsburgh and Ormsby Passenger Railroad Company was incorporated to construct a railway from the borough of Ormsby to a Market Street terminal.
June 13, 1870 Pittsburgh’s first paid fire department was organized.
September 28, 1870 Pennsylvania College for Women opened under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church.
October 13, 1870 The first Pittsburgh Weather Bureau was established by the War Department and Signal Corps at 25 Fifth Avenue.
1871 The Pittsburgh Grand Opera House, on Fifth Avenue, was completed.
1871 Making of steel castings from crucible steel was begun at the Pittsburgh Steel Casting Company.
1871 Baltimore and Ohio Railroad opened continuous service from the east to Pittsburgh.
January 24, 1871 The retail division of the Joseph Horne Company moved into Library Hall (Penn Avenue), a building which previously had housed Mercy Hospital.
May 30, 1871 General George G. Meade, a Civil War military leader, and Governor John W. Geary were speakers at a dedication of the Soldiers Monument on Monument Hill in Allegheny.
1872 The Mount Oliver Incline; 1600 feet long and the first to be cable-driven, was built.
April 2, 1872 The city of Pittsburgh annexed the boroughs of South Pittsburgh, Monongahela, Allentown, St. Clair, Lawrenceville, Temperanceville, Birmingham, Sligo, Mount Washington, West Pittsburgh, and Ormsby.
May, 1872 The Lucy furnace of Kloman, Phipps, and Carnegie went into blast.
May 18, 1872 It was reported that Pittsburgh oil refineries were using about 10,000 barrels of crude oil daily from the Oil Creek and Allegheny River fields.
May 23, 1872 The new City Hall, erected at Smithfield and Oliver Way at a cost of $600,000, was officially opened.
1873 The Duquesne Club was founded by a group of industrialists and financiers. The Pittsburgh Art Society was organized.
January 13, 1873 Carnegie, McCandless, and Company, with $750,000 capital, was organized to build a steel-rail mill at nearby Braddock; Andrew Carnegie had one-third interest.
1874 Construction started on the Union Bridge (Manchester) to connect Allegheny with the Point.
May 27, 1874 The Central District and Printing Telegraph Company was organized as the first telephone company in the city.
July 26, 1874 One hundred and fifty persons died in the “Butcher’s Run Flood” which deluged Allegheny, Woods Run, West End, South Side, and neighboring communities.
October 12, 1874 Edgar Thomson Steel Company, Limited, with $1,000,000 capital, was organized and took over Carnegie, McCandless, and Company.
November, 1874 The first Exposition Society was formed to exploit Pittsburgh goods, and built several great halls on Killbuck Island.
December 5, 1874 At a meeting in the Germania Bank Building, at Wood and Diamond, the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce was organized, with General Thomas H. Howe as the first president.
1875 Natural gas was first used in manufacturing.
1875 Women’s Club of Pittsburgh, the first such club in Pennsylvania and the second in the nation, was organized.
1875 Mrs. William A. Herron and Mrs. William Thaw organized the Pittsburgh Association for the Improvement of the Poor.
February 19, 1875 A “heavy smoke” entry in the daily journal of the Weather Bureau stated: “Extremely dark this morning. Had to keep all gaslights burning until 11 o’clock. Street lamps were lighted for a time after 9 o’clock (AM.)”
May 1, 1875 The Duquesne Incline Plane Company was chartered to build an incline to the top of “Coal Hill” (Mount Washington)
September 1, 1875 The first steel rail was rolled at the Edgar Thomson works, under the supervision of Captain William R. Jones. This was the first use of the Bessemer process in the United States.
1876 Poet Richard Realf dedicated his “Hymn of Pittsburgh” to the city. The poem started with the line, “My father was a mighty Vulcan”.
1876 The Point Bridge was completed, providing an important connection between the central portion of the city and the south and west parts.
1876 The London Bakery (predecessor of the Ward Baking Company of New York) was opened by R. B. Ward on Penn Avenue.
January 11, 1876 The See of Allegheny was created by the Roman Catholic Church.
January 11, 1876 Writer Mary Roberts Rinehart was born. (She died on September 22, 1958.)
July 8, 1876 Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce was chartered.
August 4, 1876 The unions of steel heaters and steel roll hands, in convention in Pittsburgh, merged to form the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers.
1877 The Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad completed organization and began building its first rail line from Pittsburgh to Youngstown.
1877 Armstrong Cork Company was organized.
1877 The first public exhibition of electric lights took place on Duquesne Heights.
June, 1877 First experiment with the telephone was made by Captain William Boylston and T. B. A. David of the Central District and Printing Telegraph Company.
July 19, 1877 Pittsburgh railroad workers struck in protest against a nationwide reduction of railroaders’ wages and a Pennsylvania Railroad order cutting employment of brakemen.
July 20, 1877 Large crowds gathered at 28th Street crossing of Pennsylvania Railroad; switches and trains were blocked.
July 21, 1877 Twenty-six were killed and many wounded in the “Battle of 28th Street,” which started when militiamen from Philadelphia fired on strikers.
July 22, 1877 The gazette proclaimed: “Riot Law Triumphant-The Reign of Anarchy in the Smoky City” The Union Depot was burned out and Pennsylvania Railroad property was destroyed as far as 33rd Street. Damage was estimated at $5,000,000.
August 18, 1877 The See of Allegheny of the Roman Catholic Church was merged with the See of Pittsburgh.
September 4, 1877 The first exposition opened on Smoky Island, Allegheny; the city’s first telephone was in operation there.
1878 T. B. A. David strung telephone wires from his office in the First National Bank Building to the Iron Exchange on Fourth Avenue and publicly engaged in the first telephone conversation in Pittsburgh.
July 21, 1878 Pittsburgh Oil Exchange (forerunner of the Pittsburgh Stock Exchange) was organized with a membership of 180.
October 1, 1878 Order of the Holy Ghost began operating a college.
1879 The city’s water pumping station at Brilliant went into operation.
1879 The beginning of electric street lighting.
February 24, 1879 The Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad inaugurated rail traffic between Pittsburgh and Youngstown.
March 27, 1879 The Pittsburgh and West End Railway Company was chartered; it ran a line from Fifth Avenue near the Union Station to West End and the Washington Turnpike.
1880 The Allegheny County Light Company, first ambitious electric light concern in the city, began operation with a generator that supplied energy to 40 lights at one time.
1880 The F. J. Kress Box Company was founded for the manufacture of wooden boxes.
1880 Assessed valuation of real estate in the city of Pittsburgh was set at $99,600,000.
1880 Population: 156,389; Allegheny City, 78,682; Allegheny County, 355,869.
1881 The Homestead mill of the Pittsburgh Bessemer Steel Company, built by Andrew Kloman and a group of other Pittsburgh industrialists, went into operation.
1881 The Union Switch and Signal Company, a pioneer in the manufacture of automatic signals for trains, was founded by George Westinghouse.
March, 1881 The Pittsburgh Press Club was organized by newspaper workers at a meeting in the Common Council Chambers at City Hall.
November 15, 1881 With Samuel Gompers a prime mover the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (American Federation of Labor) was organized, in a Pittsburgh convention, by the Knights of Labor and other trade unions, including the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers.
November 25, 1881 Andrew Carnegie made his first move to create a free library for Pittsburgh; he offered $250,000 on the condition that the city government agree to appropriate $15,000 annually for its maintenance. The city was unable to accept the gift as it had no funds on hand for such a purpose.
November 28, 1881 Pittsburgh Catholic College of the Holy Ghost (Duquesne University) received a state charter.
1882 Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania became the new name for the Old Residents’ Association of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, founded in 1879 as the fourth historical society in the city.
March 6, 1882 The Homestead mill of the Pittsburgh Bessemer Steel Company had its first strike when millworkers refused to sign “yellow dog” contracts; violence followed.
May 5, 1882 H. C. Frick Coke Company was incorporated with $2,000,000.
May 7, 1882 The second courthouse, on Grant’s Hill, was destroyed by fire.
June 1, 1882 A nationwide strike resulted from a general stoppage of work called by the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers in a wage dispute.
June 22, 1882 Jane Grey Swisshelm, newspaper publisher, reformer, author, and one of the first nurses to accompany Union troops in the Civil war, died.
December 4, 1882 Allegheny General Hospital was incorporated.
1883 The 17th Street Incline was built by the Penn Incline Company.
1883 Carnegie, Phipps and Company was organized to purchase and operate the Homestead mill, owned by a coalition of seven Pittsburgh firms.
1883 Jones and Laughlin’s American Iron Works became Jones and Laughlin, Limited, and the first stock was issued.
1883 Officers were Benjamin F. Jones, Sr., chairman, G. M. Laughlin, secretary treasurer; T. M. Jones, general manager.
January, 1883 The Penn Fuel Gas Company opened a line to 16th Street from Murraysville, location of the areaâ€™s first gas field opened in 1878, and thus brought the first natural gas into the city.
September 1, 1883 Western Pennsylvania Medical College was opened.
September 8, 1883 The county commissioners offered $2500 each to five outstanding architects to prepare sketches for a new courthouse and jail.
October 3, 1883 The first Exposition buildings on Smoky Island in Allegheny burned to the ground.
1884 An incandescent lamp was used for the first time in Pittsburgh in a restaurant located at 52–1/2 Fifth Avenue.
1884 The first school for nurses between the Allegheny Mountains and Chicago was opened at the Homeopathic Medical and Surgical Hospital and Dispensary.
1884 George Westinghouse began the manufacture of electric lamps.
1884 Monongahela Natural Gas Company was organized.
1884 Benjamin F. Jones, Sr., became president of the American Iron and Steel Association, a post he held for 18 years.
1884 A Postal Telegraph bureau was established in Pittsburgh as a rival for Western Union.
February 1, 1884 Henry Hobson Richardson, noted for his Romanesque architecture, was appointed by the county commissioners to design the new courthouse.
February 6, 1884 The city was flooded, the rivers reached a mark of 36.5 feet.
May, 1884 George Westinghouse drilled a gas well on his property in the Homewood district, and his home was the first in Pittsburgh to be lighted and heated by gas.
June 20, 1884 Pittsburgh Press, a daily newspaper, began publication as the Evening Penny Press.
July, 1884 George Westinghouse acquired control of the one-year-old Philadelphia Company for the development of natural gas; it became the world’s largest in that field.
August 5, 1884 William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody visited the city.
September 1, 1884 A contract for construction of the new courthouse was let to Norcross Brothers of Worcester, Massachusetts, on a bid of $2,243,024.
1885 Boggs and Buhl announced installation of a telephone. The store also introduced delivery service, utilizing a wheelbarrow and a horse and wagon.
January 5, 1885 The Pitt Medical College was opened.
October 13, 1885 The cornerstone for the new courthouse was laid on the 49th anniversary of the cornerstone laying for the previous courthouse.
October 30, 1885 The Western Pennsylvania Exposition Society was chartered for the purpose of establishing a technical school in the city, and buildings were erected on Duquesne Way; dissolved, April 10, 1934.
November, 1885 Elizabeth Cochrane (1867–1922), the Nellie Bly of the “Around the world in 72 days” fame began her newspaper career as a reporter for the Pittsburgh Dispatch. She investigated the factories and public institutions of the city and reported about them.
1886 George Westinghouse introduced Saturday as half holiday for employees and vacations with pay for salaried employees.
1886 Riverside Penitentiary of Western Pennsylvania (Western Penitentiary) was built in Woods Run on the Ohio River to replace the old institution in Allegheny.
1886 Andrew Carnegie offered the city of Allegheny $300,000 for a Carnegie free library, with provision that the city maintain it.
January 8, 1886 The Westinghouse Electric Company was established in Garrison Alley to manufacture and promote the use of equipment for the alternating electric current system.
August 19, 1886 Jones and Laughlin constructed two seven-ton Bessemer converters at the South Side plant for the job of making its first steel.
September, 1886 Western Pennsylvania Medical College was established on Brereton Street, near West Penn Hospital.
November 27, 1886 The Fidelity Trust Company was incorporated.
December, 1886 The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions changed its name to the American Federation of Labor.
March 18, 1887 Pittsburgh Hospital for Children was incorporated.
September 30, 1887 President Grover Cleveland visited Pittsburgh. At the sight of natural gas he remarked: “An uncanny picture, a superb spectacle”.
1888 The Oliver interests were reorganized to form the Oliver Iron and Steel Company.
July 31, 1888 Under the name of the Pittsburgh Reduction Company, the first aluminum producing company was organized at the home of Captain Alfred E. Hunt, 272 Shady Lane (Avenue), by five young men, all under 35. They were Captain Hunt, a military figure; Charles Martin Hall, developer of the new metal; Romaine C. Cole, George H. Clapp, and Howard Lash.
August 7, 1888 The first electric streetcar was placed in service by the Pittsburgh, Knoxville and St. Clair Street Railways, but was destined to failure.
September 24, 1888 The new Allegheny County courthouse and jail, designed by H. H. Richardson, was dedicated on the final day of the county’s centennial anniversary.
October 3, 1888 Fire destroyed Machinery Hall and other exposition buildings. The Arabian, the first steam locomotive to run in the United States, and Stephen Foster’s piano were among the exhibits destroyed.
November, 1888 Charles M. Hall and Arthur V. Davis poured the first commercial ingot of aluminum in the Smallman Street plant of the Pittsburgh Reduction Company.
1889 New exposition buildings were built at the Point.
April 29, 1889 The Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce began urging construction of a Lake Erie and Ohio River canal.
May 31, 1889 Pittsburgh dispatched aid to Johnstown, where the flood toll was mounting to 2300 dead.
September, 1889 Allegheny City’s first trolley operated on Pennsylvania Avenue and was the first to run into downtown Pittsburgh.
September 4, 1889 The Western Exposition opened.
September 12, 1889 The Fifth Avenue Horse Car System was replaced by cable cars, which reduced the running time from Downtown to East Liberty by 30 minutes to one hour. The five-and-a-half-mile system, built by the Pittsburgh Traction Company, was considered to be the city’s first “rapid transit” facility.
October 2, 1889 The Pittsburgh Reduction Company, its pilot plant having demonstrated the success of the Hall aluminum making process, was capitalized at $1,000,000, and 10,000 shares were issued.
October 26, 1889 South Side Hospital was founded.
October 28, 1889 The Union Trust Company of Pittsburgh was established in the Oil Exchange Building.
October 30, 1889 Mrs. Mary E. Schenley presented the city of Pittsburgh with 300 acres of land for park purposes, and Schenley Park, the city’s first, was developed.
November 16, 1889 Playwright George S. Kaufman was born in the city. (He died in 1961.)
December 8, 1889 Hervey Allen, novelist, was born in East Liberty. (He died on December 28, 1949.)
1890 The Joseph Horne Company was the first large store in the city to substitute electricity for gas illumination. The Pittsburgh Incline to Knoxville was rebuilt.
1890 Assessed valuation of Pittsburgh real estate totaled $207,300,000. Annual clearings of the Pittsburgh Clearing House Association totaled $786,694,231.
1890 Population: 238,617; Allegheny City, 105,287; Allegheny County, 551,959.
January 16, 1890 A. W. Mellon and his brother, Richard B. Mellon, acquired their first stock in the Pittsburgh Reduction Company.
January 25, 1890 Nellie Bly completed her trip around the globe in 72 days 6 hours and 11 minutes.
February 6, 1890 Andrew Carnegie repeated his original library proposal first made November 25, 1881, and offered to increase his gift to $1,000,000 to include funds for a museum of natural history and art gallery and for branch libraries.
February 13, 1890 The Carnegie Library in Allegheny, the first Carnegie Free Library, was opened to the public after being dedicated by President Benjamin Harrison.
March, 1890 Oil discovery in Westview.
June 4, 1890 Children’s Hospital opened.
July 17, 1890 The city of Allegheny celebrated its Golden Jubilee.
October 15, 1890 Western Pennsylvania Institute for the blind opened in Oakland. The site was given by Mrs. Mary Schenley.
December 13, 1890 Marc Connelly, playwright, was born in McKeesport, The Second Avenue Line, the city’s first successful electric trolley line, began operating between Downtown and Glenwood.
1891 The United States Glass Company, one of the country’s first large industrial combines, was formed; 17 flintglass factories, most of them in or near Pittsburgh, were acquired.
1891 A “Roads Congress” was held in Allegheny Carnegie Library lecture hall, under auspices of the Chamber of Commerce, to consider ways of improving public roads.
January, 1891 Pittsburgh eyes were on nearby Youngwood, where 100 miners were killed in a mine explosion.
February 6, 1891 Andrew Carnegie gave the promised $1,000,000 to be controlled by a Board of Trustees appointed by the City Council, for a library and other buildings to be erected in Oakland.
April 2, 1891 Coke workers went on strike at the Morewood mines of the H. C. Frick Company.
April 3, 1891 City Council adopted an ordinance authorizing erection of Carnegie Library on a 19-acre tract acquired from Mrs. Schenley.
April 13, 1891 Samuel Gompers, of the AFL, hailed the “eight-hour day” during a Pittsburgh visit.
September, 1891 The Alvin Theater opened with Pauline Hall and her opera company in La Belle Helene.
October, 1891 Three hundred delegates of the American Street Railway Association assembled at the Monongahela House for their 10th annual national convention. The convention slogan was “The Mule Must Go.”
December 19, 1891 First telephone line between Pittsburgh and New York City was in operation.
1892 The Castle Shannon Incline was built. City Council enacted Pittsburgh’s first antismoke ordinance, which proved to be a wholly ineffective instrument.
1892 Western University of Pennsylvania instituted a Department of Medicine and absorbed the Western Pennsylvania Medical College.
June 30, 1892 H. C. Frick discharged the entire labor force of 3800 workers at the Homestead works after they threatened to strike for higher wages.
July 6, 1892 Three hundred Pinkerton men were engaged by millworkers in a pitched battle at the Homestead works after arriving via the Monongahela River on two barges; 16 men were killed and many more wounded.
July 6, 1892 The central branch of the Pittsburgh Young Women’s Christian Association was incorporated.
July 13, 1892 National Guard troops were ordered to Homestead by the governor to prevent further violence; the strike ended soon thereafter.
1893 Highland Park opened.
1893 The Joseph Horne Company opened a modern new six-story building at Penn Avenue and Fifth (Stanwix).
1893 Construction work started on “steel headquarters” — the 15-story Carnegie Building on Fifth Avenue, regarded city’s first “skyscraper.”
March 20, 1893 Ground was broken for the first Ferris wheel, invented by George Washington Ferris of the city.
July, 1893 Construction began for Carnegie Public Library in Oakland.
December 7, 1893 Phipps Conservatory in Schenley Park was completed.
1894 Free textbooks were adopted in city schools.
1894 Jones and Laughlin scrapped 40 puddling furnaces and discontinued a highly successful wrought-iron business.
1894 Oliver Wire Company, a merger of all the Oliver wire interests, was incorporated.
1894 Mrs. Mary Schenley presented to the D.A.R. the Blockhouse at the Point.
March 15, 1894 Pittsburgh citizens contributed to a fund to be used to put 1000 to 2000 unemployed men to work on city projects.
April, 1894 Pittsburgh Stock Exchange was in operation.
April 3, 1894 The vanguard of General Coxey’s army of 300,000 unemployed men reached Pittsburgh en route to demonstrate in Washington, D. C.
December 1, 1894 The city of Pittsburgh annexed the borough of Brushton.
1895 The Carnegie Steel Company moved from 48 Fifth Avenue into its new building, the steel frame of which had been allowed to stand unfinished one year to demonstrate the use of steel as a construction material.
1895 The National Tube Works of John and Harvey Flagler became the first company in America to manufacture seamless steel tubing by the rotary piercing method for the bicycle, automobile, and pipe industries.
1895 Women were first admitted to the Schools of Law and Pharmacy at the Western University of Pennsylvania.
May 4, 1895 Presbyterian Hospital was founded.
June 22, 1895 Eye and Ear Hospital received a charter to operate.
September 13, 1895 Miss Agnes Watson was the first woman admitted to the Allegheny County Bar.
November 5, 1895 The Carnegie Library building was dedicated and opened to the public in a ceremony marked by Andrew Carnegie’s announcement of an additional gift for enlarging the building.
1896 The city purchased the Point Bridge for $750,000 and the Smithfield Street Bridge for $1,152,583.
February 27, 1896 The Pittsburgh Orchestra, which developed from the “Symphony Society,” presented its first concert at Carnegie Music Hall with Frederic Archer as conductor.
March 25, 1896 The 22nd Street Bridge, first toll free bridge to be built in the city, was dedicated to public use.
April 22, 1896 Experimental X-rays were successful at Homeopathic Hospital.
May 12, 1896 St. John’s Hospital was opened.
June 8, 1896 As the result of recurring typhoid epidemics, the city appointed a Pittsburgh Filtration Commission to study water problems; it subsequently recommended that the city’s water be filtered.
July 25, 1896 Pittsburgh Stock Exchange officially began operating under that name.
August 24, 1896 The conversion from cable cars to electric streetcars began on Fifth Avenue.
September 7, 1896 The Lumiere company’s Cinematographe, the French forerunner of motion pictures, opened in Harry Davis’ Avenue Theater.
September 23, 1896 The police department organized a bicycle corps.
November 5, 1896 The First International Art Exhibition was held at Carnegie Institute with 312 paintings on display; 19 Pittsburgh artists were represented.
1897 The 15-story Park Building, one of the city’s earliest “skyscrapers,” was erected on Fifth Avenue.
May 3, 1897 Joseph Horne and Company department store was destroyed by fire.
October 29, 1897 The Union Trust Company and Pittsburgh Stock Exchange were destroyed by fire.
November 3, 1897 In a Founders Day speech at Carnegie Institute, President William McKinley praised Pittsburgh for its progressive spirit.
November 18, 1897 D. Herbert Hostetter announced that five of the largest gas companies in the city were consolidated into a new company capitalized at $5,000,000. He also announced a plan to build an $800,000 plant on the site of the Pittsburgh Gas Company on Second Avenue.
1898 The Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce opposed free and unlimited grants of street franchises, contending that they should be held by the city in trust for the people.
1898 Victor Herbert, cellist and composer of operas, began a six-year reign as conductor of the Pittsburgh Orchestra.
1898 Willa Cather, novelist, joined the staff of the Pittsburgh Dispatch. Two years later she became reporter for the Pittsburgh Leader, the city’s leading newspaper.
1898 Mesta Machine Company was formed by the merger of the Leechburg Foundry (George Mesta) and the Robinson-Rea Manufacturing Company.
March 1, 1898 The borough of Beltzhoover was annexed by the city.
April 29, 1898 Troops for service in the Spanish-American War entrained for camp at Mount Gretna.
November 4, 1898 The Edgar Thomson Steel Works began shipping rails to South Africa and Japan.
1899 City Council authorized a purifying system for the city water supply.
1899 Pittsburgh Coal Company of Pennsylvania was organized.
1899 The Duquesne Club erected a five-story building on Sixth Avenue.
1899 National Tube Works consolidated with other pipe producers to form the National Tube Company.
April 4, 1899 James Whitcomb Riley, poet, lectured in Pittsburgh.
May, 1899 The city’s first six-hole golf course, known as Belmar, was laid out in Homewood, and the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association came into being.
July 4, 1899 First automobile races conducted in Schenley Park.
September, 1899 Western University began playing regular football schedules at Recreation Park; it was the first school in the city to do so.
1900 Assessed valuation in the city totaled $321,700,000.
1900 Annual clearings of the Pittsburgh Clearing House Association amounted to $1,615,641,592.
1900 Isaac Seder and Jacob A. Frank formed a partnership and organized a wholesale firm known as the Pittsburgh Wrapper Manufacturing Company, the forerunner of the Frank and Seder Store.
1900 The 12-story Empire Building was erected at 508 Liberty Avenue.
1900 Population: Pittsburgh, 321,616; Allegheny City, 129,896; Allegheny County, 775,058.
March, 1900 Barney Dreyfuss began a 32-year reign as owner and president of the Pittsburgh Pirates professional baseball club.
April 1, 1900 The Carnegie Company, with capitalization of $320,000,000, was formed by the merger of the H. C. Frick Coke Company and Carnegie Steel Company, Limited.
July 1, 1900 Grant Boulevard (Bigelow Boulevard), a “rapid transit” road to the east, conceived in 1891 by E. M. Bigelow and cut out of the side of Bedford Hill, was opened to traffic after three years of work.
November 14, 1900 At a dinner of Carnegie Institute trustees in the Schenley Hotel, Andrew Carnegie proposed an endowment of $1,000,000 for establishment of a polytechnic school on condition that the city provide a suitable site for it.
December 12, 1900 At a testimonial dinner for him in New York, Charles M. Schwab, president of the Carnegie Company, made a speech that impressed one of the guests, J. P. Morgan, and led later to organization of the United States Steel Corporation, the greatest steel corporation in the world.
1901 The 18-story Arrott Building on Wood Street and the 16-story Peoples-Pittsburgh Trust Building on Fourth Avenue and Wood were completed.
February 1, 1901 United States Steel was incorporated; the founding companies included Federal Steel Company, American Steel and Wire Company, National Tube, National Steel, American Tin Plate, American Steel Hopp Company, and the American Sheet Steel Company.
February 17, 1901 Ethelbert Nevin, Pittsburgh composer of “Cradle Song,” “A Day in Venice,” “The Rosary,” and other well-known songs, died.
March 7, 1901 The “ripper” act, changing the city charter, became law. William J. Diehl, of the Magee-Flinn “ring,” was ousted as mayor; Adam M. Brown, first president of the Allegheny County Bar Association and a judge of Common Pleas Court, was named first city recorder.
March 11, 1901 Andrew Carnegie sold his steel interests to J. P. Morgan receiving value of $492,000,000 for it.
March 14, 1901 Andrew Carnegie announced a $4,000,000 pension plan for employees and a gift of $1,000,000 for maintenance of the Homestead, Braddock, and Duquesne libraries established by him.
March 17, 1901 All exposition buildings near the Point, excepting Machinery Hall, were destroyed by fire. They were soon replaced by new structures.
April 1, 1901 J. P. Morgan completed organization of the world’s largest steel trust. The United States Steel Corporation was capitalized at $1,402,000,000. Charles M. Schwab became its first president.
April 17, 1901 First automobile accident in the city was reported.
April 20, 1901 The Triangle had a flood equaling that of February 1884, when floodwaters reached a level of over 36 feet.
1909 and July 14, 1901 The Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers called a general strike against the U.S. Steel Corporation subsidiaries, the first steelworker’s strike since 1892. and The Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers was eliminated as a bargaining factor in the steel industry as the result of a 14-month strike.
August 5, 1901 Newspapers and the general public demanded construction of a water filter system as hospitals became crowded with 266 victims of typhoid fever.
September 21, 1901 The Mellons sold their street car interests to the Philadelphia Company.
October 12, 1901 The new Pennsylvania Railroad Station, at 10th and Liberty, went into service.
October 20, 1901 The Iron City Trades Council (Pittsburgh Central Labor Union) was organized by craft and trade unions of the city.
November 10, 1901 The first Sunday gazette was issued.
December 27, 1901 The Pittsburgh Railways Company was created by the merger of several city traction companies, including Southern Traction.
1902 The l4-story Keystone Bank Building was built at 325 Fourth Avenue.
January 1, 1902 The Pittsburgh Railways Company took over properties of the Consolidated Traction Company and United Traction Company, and began operating a city-wide system of 400 miles of single track.
January 5, 1902 Andrew Carnegie announced a gift to form Carnegie Technical Schools, the present Carnegie Institute of Technology.
January 30, 1902 The notorious Biddle boys, Edward and John, convicted murderers of grocer Thomas D. Kahney and Detective Patrick Fitzgerald, sawed their way out of their cells, overpowered guards, and escaped from the county jail.
March 1, 1902 Another flood disabled the city, the rivers rising to a level of 35.6 feet at the Point.
March 15, 1902 The first tenants moved into the 20-story Frick Building, erected by H. C. Frick on Fifth Avenue.
June 21, 1902 The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) won a legal suit to prevent removal of the historic Blockhouse from its original site at the Point.
July, 1902 T. Mellon and Sons was incorporated as the Mellon National Bank.
July 4, 1902 A crowd estimated at between 75,000 and 100,000 assembled on Flagstaff Hill to hear a Fourth of July oration by President Theodore Roosevelt.
July 14, 1902 The Union Savings Bank began operations.
October 25, 1902 Henry Steele Commager, noted historian, was born in the city. Benjamin F. Jones, Sr. died; Jones and Laughlin, Limited, and Laughlin and Company, Limited were reorganized to form Jones and Laughlin Steel Company.
1903 The 24-story Farmers Bank Building, on Liberty Avenue, and the 13-story Bessemer Building, at 100 Sixth Street, were constructed.
February 24, 1903 A “Greater Pittsburgh” bill was passed in Harrisburg to permit annexation of the territory surrounding the city of Pittsburgh.
April 23, 1903 The office of mayor was restored to the city charter; William B. Hays, who had taken office as city recorder on March 17, 1903, assumed the title of mayor.
June 9, 1903 The Pennsylvania Railroad presented plans to Councils for construction of a new passenger station in East Liberty.
October, 1903 Three months prior to the Wright Brothers’ historic Kitty Hawk flight, Samuel Pierpont Langley, director of the Allegheny Observatory and builder of the famous “Whirling Table” in the early 1880s, experimented with a man-carrying airplane, which became known as “Langley’s Folly.”
October 13, 1903 The first of baseball’s modern World Series ended in Pittsburgh before 7455 persons at Exposition Park; the Pirates were defeated by Boston, 4 to 3, and lost the Series three games to five.
October 19, 1903 The Wabash Bridge over the Monongahela collapsed.
November 4, 1903 Mrs. Mary E. Schenley died in London.
December 7, 1903 The Nixon Theater, built by Samuel F. Nixon-Nirdlinger with support from Senator George T. Oliver and others, was described as the “world’s most perfect playhouse” at its formal opening.
1904 McCreery’s Department Store opened for business at Sixth and Wood with 450 employees.
January 23, 1904 The rivers reached a 32-foot flood level.
February 4, 1904 City Councils passed an ordinance permitting the Wabash Railroad to enter the city.
February 9, 1904 Henry W. Oliver, who was instrumental in opening up the Mesabi iron ore regions to Pittsburgh steel and iron manufacturers, died at the age of 64 at his home at Ridge and Grant Avenues.
March 21, 1904 Virgin Alley, one of the first streets in the city, was renamed Oliver Avenue in honor of Henry W. Oliver.
July 2, 1904 After three years’ struggle and conflict, George Jay Gould’s Wabash Railroad operated its first train out of Pittsburgh — a special to the World’s Fair at St. Louis.
1905 A special windshield glass was invented by Banker Brothers.
1905 George Jay Gould built his ornate Wabash Railroad terminal and 11-story office building on Liberty Avenue.
1905 Ground was broken 20 miles down the Ohio River for the new Aliquippa works of Jones and Laughlin. The Gulf Oil Company began using its first tank wagons in Pittsburgh to haul gasoline and other fuel. The 13-story Diamond National Bank Building was erected.
April 3, 1905 On a Schenley Park site provided by the city, ground was broken for the first group of buildings for the Carnegie Technical Schools.
May 16, 1905 The world’s first mainline electric locomotive was demonstrated in the East Pittsburgh railway yards.
June 19, 1905 The “Nickelodeon,” the country’s first all-motion picture house, was opened by Harry Davis and John P. Harris at 433–35 Smithfield Street with the showing of two short films, “Poor but Honest” and “The Baffled Burglar.” It was a great success, with people flocking to the place and marveling at the moving figures.
July 25, 1905 The Pennsylvania Railroad began construction of elevated rail-road tracks on Duquesne Way along the Allegheny River.
October 16, 1905 First Carnegie Technical Schools buildings were opened.
October 31, 1905 The ‘Gayety,’ which later became one of the best-known burlesque houses in the nation, opened as a legitimate theater for the carriage trade.
1906 Among the large structures built in the city in this year were the Fort Pitt Hotel, the 21-story Commonwealth Building on Fourth Avenue, the 19-story Frick Annex on Diamond, and the 19-story Benedum-Trees Building on Fourth Avenue.
January 7, 1906 The Carnegie Steel Company announced plans for a $7,000,000 expansion of the Homestead works.
January 20, 1906 Historic old City Hall, in “the Diamond,” a Civil War landmark, was destroyed by fire.
February 4, 1906 The University Club was in the process of purchasing a site on Grant (Bigelow) Boulevard, in the Bellefield district, for its new home.
April 2, 1906 George W. Guthrie was inaugurated as Mayor. He held office for three years.
June 12, 1906 By a majority of 19,943 votes, an act of the Legislature uniting the cities of Pittsburgh and Allegheny was approved in a public referendum.
July 1, 1906 The Pennsylvania Railroad’s elevated line on Duquesne Way was ready for service, and the removal of tracks from Liberty Avenue (where since 1851 they had occupied the center strip of the street from 11th Street to the Point) was completed.
October 24, 1906 St. Paul’s Cathedral, one of the city’s most notable examples of Gothic architecture, built at a cost of $885,481, was consecrated.
1907 The city’s first Bureau of Smoke Control was instituted. William Holdship Rea was chief inspector, 1907–09. Pittsburgh Reduction Company was renamed the Aluminum Company of America.
1907 Pittsburgh’s death rate was 143.6 per 100,000 persons.
1907 The 21-story Union National Bank Building was erected at 306 Fourth Avenue and the 12-story Century Building at 130 Seventh Street.
1907 The Frank and Seder organization rented a storeroom on Fifth Avenue and launched a retail business.
March 15, 1907 Duquesne Way was under nine feet of water and River Avenue on the North Side under 14 feet in a flood that recorded a crest of 38.7 feet.
April 11, 1907 Andrew Carnegie formally presented the $6,000,000 Carnegie Institute in a dedication ceremony witnessed by 20,000.
April 15, 1907 An ordinance giving the Pittsburgh Subway Company the right to build a subway to East End was introduced in Councils.
May 4, 1907 The historic old Union Bridge, built about 1835 over the Allegheny River at the Point, was closed to traffic, and dismantling of it began.
June 19, 1907 The Schenley Park oval and matinee race track was opened.
October 21, 1907 Lillian Russell at the Nixon Theatre in the comedy, Wildfire.
October 23, 1907 The Pittsburgh Stock Exchange closed for a three-month period because of the effects of the nationwide depression.
November 18, 1907 The United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Guthrie-Watson Greater Pittsburgh bill.
December 7, 1907 Pittsburgh officially annexed Allegheny City and became a city of 521,000 population, the sixth largest in the nation.
1908 The number of typhoid cases in Pittsburgh was 1853 for the year 1908, compared with 2969 in 1905, and 5730 in 1906.
1908 The Jones and Laughlin Steel Company built a 12-story office building on Ross Street.
January 4, 1908 Beechview borough was annexed.
February, 1908 Wages of millworkers at the Homestead works were reduced 10 to 30 per cent by the Carnegie Steel Company.
February 3, 1908 Judge Thomas Mellon died at his home on Negley Avenue at the age of 95.
May 26, 1908 Carry Nation, the celebrated crusader against the saloons, came for a visit.
July 11, 1908 Western University of Pennsylvania was rechartered as the University of Pittsburgh.
October 2, 1908 As a climax of the city’s sesquicentennial festivities, two cornerstone — laying ceremonies were staged in Oakland, one for Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and the other for State Hall (School of Mines), first building to be erected in the new University of Pittsburgh campus.
December 18, 1908 The city’s filtration plant, undertaken in 1905, began delivering the first filtered water to residents.
May 4, 1909 The city’s first taxicab company, organized by John Weibley, began operating with a fleet of 18 motorized cabs.
May 23, 1909 Cornerstone was laid for the $300,000 East Liberty Y.M.C.A.
May 29, 1909 President William H. Taft arrived for a two-day visit, watched the Pirates lose to Chicago, 8 to 3, and participated in the dedication of Memorial Fountain in Arsenal Park.
May 31, 1909 Gladys Schmitt, novelist, was born in the city.
June, 1909 Montefiore Hospital was founded.
June 9, 1909 The University of Pittsburgh began its removal from the North Side to Oakland, where it dedicated State Hall, laid the cornerstone for Thaw Hall (School of Engineering) and broke ground for the School of Medicine.
June 10, 1909 The Pennsylvania Railroad and borough of Wilkinsburg agreed on a plan for elevating the main-line tracks and thus eliminating all grade crossings in the borough.
June 27, 1909 Mayor William A. Magee, inaugurated on April 5 of this year was credited with settling the two-day strike of 2900 motormen and conductors; settlement was a blow to railroads, which had put on 400 extra cars in absence of trolley service.
June 29, 1909 In the final game played in Exposition Park, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated Chicago, 8 to 1.
June 30, 1909 Forbes Field, named after the head of the British forces in 1758, General John Forbes, was dedicated; 30,338 persons watched the Pirates lose the opening game there to Chicago, 3 to 2.
July 15, 1909 Rioting workers of the Pressed Steel Car Company, near McKees Rocks, clashed with guards; Coal and Iron Police and State Constabulary were called out; many strikers were wounded by volleys of buckshot fired to halt their charges; state police were ordered to “shoot to kill” if attacked by strikers.
August 23, 1909 Five were killed, scores injured in two more riot battles between police and Press Steel Car strikers.
August 29, 1909 Plans were announced for a $450,000 state armory (18th Regiment) on a site in Schenley Farms.
September 12, 1909 The Pittsburgh Aero Club was organized, with Philip S. Flinn as first president, and planned an international balloon race for Pittsburgh as its first project.
October 16, 1909 The Pittsburgh Pirates, winners of 110 games in their regular season, defeated the Detroit Tigers, 8 to 0, to win the seventh and deciding game of the World Series before 17,562 fans at Forbes Field.
1910 Population: Pittsburgh, 553,905; Allegheny County, 1,018,463.
1910 U. S. Bureau of Mines established a center in Oakland District.
1910 Annual clearings of the Pittsburgh Clearing House amounted to $2,587,325,785.
1910 New 215-bed Homeopathic Hospital opened at Center and Aiken avenues. Assessed valuation of real estate in the city rose to $745,700,000.
1910 A. W. and R. B. Mellon announced that they were providing funds for creation of Mellon Institute for Industrial Research.
1910 The Pittsburgh Courier was published for the first time.
1910 John Kowalski, marine engine maker, recorded the first flight of an airplane built in Pittsburgh when he accidentally took off in a four-cylinder plane he had devised.
1910 Because of lack of funds, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra was disbanded.
January 23, 1910 Three were dead and communications and streetcar service disrupted in a nine-inch snowfall.
April 1, 1910 The new Henry W. Oliver Building, 25 floors high, was ready for occupancy.
October 9, 1910 Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall was dedicated.
1911 The Pittsburgh Industrial Development Commission was organized by the Chamber of Commerce for the purpose of securing diversified industries for Pittsburgh; it received contributions of $136,473 to begin work. The Jenkins Arcade was erected on Liberty Avenue.
January 1, 1911 The first old age retirement plan for United States Steel employees was created with a fund of $12,000,000. of which $4,000,000 had been provided by Andrew Carnegie ten years before.
January 19, 1911 The Elizabeth Steel Magee Hospital, founded by Christopher L. Magee, began operation.
February 2, 1911 New St. Joseph’s Hospital was opened to the public.
March 1, 1911 The Pittsburgh Catholic College of the Holy Ghost became Duquesne University and was chartered to award degrees in major educational fields.
March 16, 1911 The county commissioners formally declared the Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, 16th, and 30th Street Bridges free to the public.
May 26, 1911 A new city charter act, replacing the Select and Common Councils with a single Council of nine members, was signed by Governor John K. Tener.
November 5, 1911 Calbraith Perry Rodgers, Pittsburgh aviator, completed the first transcontinental flight, which started at Sheepshead Bay, Long Island, on September 17. Rodgers Field in Allegheny County was later named for him.
November 23, 1911 An Art Commission was organized under a state act to pass official judgment on plans for buildings, bridges, and other structures in the city.
December 31, 1911 New West Penn Hospital was opened.
1912 The 26-story First National Bank Building, the city’s tallest to this date, was erected at 511 Wood Street.
1912 The Syria Mosque in Oakland was dedicated.
1912 The Gulf Oil Company opened on Baum Boulevard the first company-owned service station in the world, forerunner of the modern super-service station.
March 22, 1912 A 28-foot crest was reached by the rivers.
April 5, 1912 A contract was let for the grading of Grant’s Hill on Fifth Avenue from Smithfield Street to Sixth Avenue and from Fourth to Sixth Avenue.
April 20, 1912 The Carnegie Technical Schools were renamed Carnegie Institute of Technology.
June 12, 1912 Alexander Moore, editor of the Pittsburgh Leader, was married to the singer, Lillian Russell.
October 18, 1912 In a pre-election speech before 12,000 persons at Duquesne Gardens, Governor Woodrow Wilson, of New Jersey, Democratic candidate for president, attacked the government’s “protective tariff.”
October 19, 1912 The Pitt Panthers were defeated, 45 to 8, by Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indians.
October 21, 1912 William Jennings Bryan appeared before 4000 at the Lyceum and made three other speeches in the Pittsburgh district in behalf of the democratic ticket.
November 5, 1912 Although Woodrow Wilson won over Bull Moose candidate Theodore Roosevelt and regular Republican candidate William Howard Taft in the presidential election, Roosevelt carried Pittsburgh by a plurality of 8300 votes.
November 26, 1912 Andrew Carnegie, at 77, turned over all but $25,000,000 of his vast fortune to the Carnegie Corporation for charitable and philanthropic distribution.
December 11, 1912 City and county officials agreed on a joint plan to erect a City-County Building at Grant and Diamond.
1913 The Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania built a 20-story office building and equipment headquarters on Seventh Street.
1913 The Central District Telephone and Printing Company was incorporated with other telephone companies into the Central District Telephone Company.
January 1, 1913 The first parcel-post deliveries were made in Pittsburgh by the post office at a rate of five cents for the first pound and one cent for each additional pound.
January 9, 1913 The rivers crested at 31 feet in another flood.
January 14, 1913 The famous evangelist Billy Sunday held a revival meeting in a tabernacle erected for that purpose on the site of the present Heinz Chapel.
November 25, 1913 A number of people were killed in a sewer explosion.
1914 Dr. Heinrich Koppers sold the patents for his by-product coke ovens to Andrew Mellon for $300,000, and the Koppers Company, founded in Illinois, was reorganized with main offices in Pittsburgh.
1914 The Gulf Oil Company began the practice of issuing free road maps to motorists, one of the most successful promotion efforts in the country.
January 1, 1914 Excavations of 14.9 feet at Fifth and Grant and of 16.3 feet at Fifth and Wylie completed the grading of Grantâ€™s Hill.
January 25, 1914 A public subscription campaign for the University of Pittsburgh was completed with a total of $2,000,000 collected.
March 10, 1914 The cornerstone was laid for the Masonic Temple on Fifth Avenue in Oakland.
March 12, 1914 George Westinghouse died in his country home in Lenox, Massachusetts.
June 5, 1914 Ten thousand Westinghouse workers went on strike.
July 31, 1914 The Pittsburgh Stock Exchange suspended operations (for four months) because of the economic effects of the World War.
August 6, 1914 Eugene (Wild Bill) Heth piloted a Wright biplane to Pittsburgh, the first to carry a passenger, Colonel Harry C. Fry, to the city.
February 1, 1915 The Carnegie Steel Company announced that it was increasing employment rolls by 8000 in order to meet increasing demands for steel.
February 26, 1915 The Mellon Institute for Industrial Research, on O’Hara Street, Oakland, was dedicated.
August 1, 1915 All steel mills in Pittsburgh were operating night and day to meet steel demands of nations at war.
August 9, 1915 The new Manchester Bridge, connecting the Point with the North Side, was ready for traffic.
August 9, 1915 Rosenbaum and Company moved into its new building at Sixth and Liberty.
December 24, 1915 Henry Clay Frick repaid schoolchildren the savings ($169,000) they lost when the Pittsburgh Bank for Savings closed its doors.
January, 1916 The Pittsburgh Coal Company was created through the merger of the Pittsburgh Coal Company of Pennsylvania and the Monongahela River Consolidated Coal and Coke Company.
March, 1916 The William Penn Hotel was completed on Grant Street at Sixth at a cost of $6,000,000.
March 18, 1916 The cornerstone was laid for the new City-County Building.
April 27, 1916 A strike of 24,000 miners was settled.
May 1, 1916 Martial law was declared in Braddock following riots at the Edgar Thomson works.
May 9, 1916 Thirty thousand Westinghouse workers were on strike.
June 30, 1916 Pittsburgh troops entrained for the Mexican border as trouble increased in Mexico.
July 6, 1916 A $200,000 fire destroyed the city block bounded by Second and Third avenues and Market and Ferry streets.
August 25, 1916 The Mellons purchased a site at the corner of Smithfield Street and Oliver Avenue for construction of a new bank building.
September 16, 1916 Beginning of the last exposition held in the old Exposition Buildings.
September 17, 1916 Schenley High School in Oakland opened.
1917 The 15-story Union Trust Building, rated architecturally as one of the finest structures in the nation, was erected on a Grant Street block-square site.
January 27, 1917 The Grand Opera House was destroyed by fire, along with other Fifth Avenue buildings, including the Frank and Seder Store.
May 1, 1917 The new Chamber of Commerce Building, at Seventh and Smithfield, was completed.
May 5, 1917 Enrico Caruso, the great Italian tenor, gave his first Pittsburgh concert.
July 20, 1917 The first draft lists were published; many Pittsburghers were destined to go overseas in the 28th and 80th divisions.
July 25, 1917 Ex-President Theodore Roosevelt visited the city; 30,000 people listened to his address.
July 29, 1917 The University of Pittsburgh organized a hospital unit to go overseas.
December 22, 1917 Trolley fares were raised to six cents.
December 24, 1917 Twenty were killed in a Mount Washington streetcar accident in one of the city’s worst transit tragedies.
March 7, 1918 The new Grand Theater (Warner) was opened on the site of the old Opera House.
March 11, 1918 Pittsburgh branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland began business at Ninth Street and Liberty.
April 1, 1918 Daylight-saving time, conceived and promoted by Robert Garland, of Pittsburgh, went into effect.
April 23, 1918 Sixteenth Street Bridge burned.
May 18, 1918 Explosion at nearby Etna Chemical Company killed 114 persons, many of them were residents of the city.
June 1, 1918 A Red Cross benefit show, starring George M. Cohan, established a box-office record for the city with one-night receipts of $138,000.
July 12, 1918 Pittsburgh ranked third in the nation in per capita sales of war savings stamps.
August 24, 1918 Pittsburgh fire fighters staged a strike for higher wages, leaving the city without fire protection for six hours.
October 5, 1918 An influenza epidemic, starting at the Cantonment Hospital in Point Breeze, victimized 23,268 Pittsburgh residents. Of the total, 1374 died of lobar pneumonia and 678 of bronchopneumonia.
October 20, 1918 Allegheny County went $10,000,000 over its $165,000,000 quota in the fourth Liberty Loan drive.
October 29, 1918 A group of the city’s leading citizens met and formulated the Citizens Committee on City Plan for Pittsburgh; C. D. Armstrong was elected president; R. B. Mellon, vice-president, and J. D. Hailman, secretary.
November 11, 1918 A summary at the Armistice showed approximately 60,000 Allegheny County men had seen service in the war, mostly in the 80th and 28th divisions; 1527 died or were killed in action; government war contracts executed in Pittsburgh totaled $215,405,000.
December, 1918 Frederick Bigger, one of the city’s first planning engineers, was named full-time executive secretary of the Citizens Committee on City Plan; under his direction work was started toward a master plan; studies were initiated to cover playgrounds, a street plan, transit problems, parks, railroads, and waterways
1919 Natural gas was discovered in nearby McKeesport.
1919 Air transportation was inaugurated in Pittsburgh with the organization of the Kennedy Aircraft Company.
1919 Mayer Field, Pittsburgh’s first commercial airport, was established in Bridgeville by Casper P. Mayer, realtor and aviation pioneer.
March, 1919 The Aero Club — for Pitt and Carnegie Tech war fliers — was organized in a leather shop on First Avenue, with Barney Mulvihill as president and Joseph M. (Hap) Slater as vice-president.
May 10, 1919 The Pittsburgh district went over the top in the fifth Liberty Loan with subscriptions totaling $117,210,350.
May 14, 1919 Henry John Heinz, founder of the H. J. Heinz Company, one of the world’s largest food manufacturing firms and owner of one of the nation’s outstanding private art collections, died of pneumonia at the age of 75 at his home, 7009 Penn Avenue.
May 15, 1919 The streetcar system suspended operation at midnight when motormen and conductors struck to enforce demands for a 12-cent hourly pay increase.
July 8, 1919 Pittsburgh voters authorized a $22,996,000 improvement program, including $6,000,000 for a proposed Downtown subway system.
August 1, 1919 The five cent zone fare was discontinued; trolley fares were raised to 10 cents.
August 11, 1919 Andrew Carnegie died in his eighty fourth year at his summer home, “Shadowbrook,” in Lenox, Massachusetts, after three days of pneumonia. His philanthropies up to this time had totaled $350,000,000.
August 15, 1919 Three thousand streetcar men again walked off the job, this time in protest against War Labor Board’s award of a six-cent-an-hour raise, only half of what they asked.
August 26, 1919 The Pittsburgh Railways Company attempted to operate strike-bound cars; the result was a series of riots in downtown Pittsburgh and other sections of the city; many of the strikers were injured.
August 28, 1919 The streetcar strike was broken when the national union expelled local leaders; the strikers returned to work with great reluctance.
September 21, 1919 A campaign to unionize the steel industry started in Pittsburgh when a strike was called by National Committee for Organizing Iron and Steel Workers, headed by William Z. Foster, later general secretary of the American Communist party; 365,000 steel workers struck throughout nation for union recognition and reduction of the 12-hour day.
September 29, 1919 The United States Bureau of Mines dedicated its new $1,000,000 laboratories on Forbes Street in a three-day ceremony.
October 17, 1919 Dr. Frank Conrad began regular broadcasting of phonograph records (8XK).
October 23, 1919 King Albert of Belgium visited the city.
November 1, 1919 Forty two thousand miners in Pittsburgh district left jobs in start of nationwide strike closing coal mines; the National Guard was alerted.
December 2, 1919 Gulf Oil Company opened its first Downtown gasoline service station, at Liberty Avenue and Water Street.
December 2, 1919 Henry Clay Frick, industrial and financial leader of Pittsburgh, died suddenly at his New York residence at the age of 69; his body was brought to Pittsburgh for burial. His philanthropies while living were said to total $60,000,000. His probated will disposed of a total estate of $143,000,000 and left $20,000,000 to public, educational, and charitable institutions of Pittsburgh. The city received a 150-acre plot for a park in Fern Hollow, below Beechwood Boulevard, in addition to a $2,000,000 endowment fund to maintain it.
December 10, 1919 The nationwide coal strike ended, but a national coal conservation order, restricting use of coal everywhere except in private homes, went into effect under rigid enforcement.
December 20, 1919 Ground was broken for the Liberty Tubes with Governor William C. Sproul participating. 1920 “Population: 588,343; Allegheny County, 1,018,463.
January 2, 1920 A total of 233 suspected leaders of the Communist movement in Pittsburgh were arrested by federal agents in two days as part of a nationwide roundup ordered by Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer.
January 11, 1920 Judges wore gowns in court for the first time in Allegheny County.
January 13, 1920 The Pennsylvania Railroad announced a $100,000,000 improvement and expansion program for the Pittsburgh area.
January 15, 1920 Henry Ford came to Pittsburgh to place in person $15,000,000 worth of steel contracts in the area.
January 20, 1920 The national steel workers’ organizing strike ended after the fourth month without achieving its objective.
January 22, 1920 B. F. Jones, Jr., of Jones and Laughlin Steel, purchased the old Monongahela House for $750,000 with the intention of converting it into an office building.
February 28, 1920 The great Italian tenor, Enrico Caruso, sang at the Syria Mosque.
March 1, 1920 The United States Supreme Court declined to dissolve the United States Steel Corporation and its subsidiary companies as asked by the federal government in a suit alleging violation of antitrust laws.
April 28, 1920 Dr. John Brashear, noted astronomer and maker of astronomical lenses and other scientific instruments, died at 80 at his South Side home.
June, 1920 The Citizens Committee completed the first of a series of six major studies leading toward a comprehensive city plan, issued a report analyzing the city’s recreational deficiencies, and recommended a system of playgrounds.
November 2, 1920 Allegheny County women appeared at polling places to cast their first ballots.
November 2, 1920 Station KDKA, first licensed radio broadcasting station, gave the Harding-Cox election returns as its first scheduled broadcast Allegheny County gave Harding a plurality of 105,000 over Governor Cox.
November 6, 1920 Repeated landslides occurred below Bigelow Boulevard as rainfall continued; engineers waged a losing fight in their efforts to stop the slides and protect Pennsylvania Railroad tracks.
November 20, 1920 General George W. Goethals, builder of the Panama Canal, on invitation of city officials, came to Pittsburgh and inspected the Bigelow Boulevard slide. He reported: “The situation will prevail until all has come down.”
December 31, 1920 The Citizens Committee on City Plan was incorporated and chartered as the Municipal Planning Association, with a goal of promoting “orderly and efficient development of municipalities” and “scientific methods of city and municipal planning.”
January 2, 1921 Church service was broadcast from the Calvary Protestant Episcopal Church in East Liberty — the worldâ€™s first such broadcast.
February 4, 1921 Andrew W. Mellon, Pittsburgh financier, was appointed Secretary of the Treasury, and James J. Davis, former union steelworker of Pittsburgh, was named Secretary of Labor in the cabinet of President Warren G. Harding.
February 16, 1921 To relieve traffic congestion, City Council banned automobile parking on Downtown streets between 4:30 and 6 P.M. daily.
May 25, 1921 Madame Marie Curie, famed French scientist and co-discoverer of radium, arrived in Pittsburgh for a visit but was taken ill and confined to the home of Mrs. Henry R. Rea in Sewickley. Although weak from her illness, Madame Curie appeared at Memorial Hall the following day to receive her fifty-ninth honorary degree, conferred by Chancellor Bow-man of the University of Pittsburgh.
June 4, 1921 The Carnegie Corporation of New York announced a $21,662,888 appropriation for Carnegie Institute and Carnegie Tech.
June 29, 1921 The Reverend Hugh C. Boyle was consecrated bishop of the Catholic diocese of Pittsburgh; 100,000 persons assembled in and around St. Paul’s Cathedral for the ceremony.
June 30, 1921 The $30,000,000 will of the late steel magnate, William P. Snyder, was contested in court.
July 13, 1921 The body of Thomas F. Enright, first American soldier killed in action in the World War, was brought home to Pittsburgh. The Enright Theater in East Liberty was later named in his honor.
August 8, 1921 The Boulevard of the Allies was dedicated.
October, 1921 KQV, the city’s second radio station, began operation.
November 4, 1921 Secretary of War Weeks gave the county commissioners final warning to raise all bridges over the Allegheny River in order to make the river free for navigation.
November 4, 1921 Census report for 1920 listed 20,297 persons over 10 years of age in Pittsburgh as illiterate.
November 8, 1921 William A. Magee, Republican, was elected Mayor of Pittsburgh by 50,000 votes over William N. McNair, Democrat.
November 10, 1921 Marshal Ferdinand Foch, leader of French forces in the war, was given a tremendous ovation during a daylong visit to Pittsburgh.
November 26, 1921 A. W. and R. B. Mellon presented a 14-acre H. C. Frick estate tract in Oakland, valued at $2,500,000, to the University of Pittsburgh for further development of a campus. This became the site of the Cathedral of Learning.
1922 Radio Station WCAE began broadcasting.
January 2, 1922 Mrs. Enoch Rauh, long active in welfare work, became the first woman to hold a cabinet post in a major Pennsylvania city when she took office as head of the Department of Charities in the new Magee administration.
January 2, 1922 Westinghouse’s radio station KDKA at East Pittsburgh was broadcasting nightly from 7:30 to 10 o’clock.
January 9, 1922 Mrs. Minnie Penfield was the first woman to serve on a jury in Allegheny County.
April 9, 1922 The cost of the Boulevard of the Allies, nearing completion, was expected to be $1,600,000 per mile, said to be most expensive road construction job in the world.
April 15, 1922 Hotel Chatham, a “popular hostelry” on lower Penn Avenue, was purchased by the Manufacturers Club of Pittsburgh for its headquarters.
May 11, 1922 The first Liberty Tube was completed.
June 3, 1922 Announcement was made of a $7,000,000 plan to develop the Hotel Schenley into a “galaxy of the finest and most modern metropolitan structures” by building apartments immediately adjoining the hotel.
June 5, 1922 A posse of humane agents routed 500 “cocking main” enthusiasts assembled in an amphitheater at Keller’s Grove, Mount Nebo Road, a historic spot for cock fighting.
June 6, 1922 Mrs. Lillian Russell Moore, wife of Alexander Moore, died at the age of 61 at her Point Breeze home.
October 21, 1922 Part of Reserve Township was annexed to the city.
November 5, 1922 A new record for auto fatalities in a single day in Allegheny County was established when the coroner’s office reported five deaths.
November 21, 1922 A $1,000,000 fire destroyed three buildings at the Duquesne Steel Foundry.
1923 Jones and Laughlin became a corporation and sold its first stock on the open market.
February 13, 1923 Henry Ford announced purchase of the Allegheny Plate Glass Company plant at Glassmere for establishment of the first Ford plant in the Pittsburgh district.
February 14, 1923 Daily newspapers Dispatch and Leader ceased publication.
March 4, 1923 Alexander Moore, of Pittsburgh, was appointed ambassador to Spain.
June 5, 1923 The Pittsburgh Skin and Cancer Foundation opened a clinic at 1901 Fifth Avenue.
June 6, 1923 Governor Pinchot created a Metropolitan Plan Commission for the city.
August, 1923 Harry Greb, of Pittsburgh, defeated Johnny Wilson in New York to win the middleweight title he held for three years.
August, 1923 The city’s first zoning ordinance, one of the earliest in the United States, became effective amid claims of opposition that it would discourage construction in the city.
October, 1923 The Municipal Planning Association issued its final report; it included recommendations for canalization of the Ohio River, a river rail terminal, greater use of wharves, and a system of water-storage reservoirs for flood protection advocated by the 1911 Flood Commission.
October 2, 1923 Boulevard of the Allies was opened to traffic.
October 24, 1923 Historic Mount Mercy Academy, on Fifth Avenue, suffered $100,000 damages in a fire which injured seven.
October 24, 1923 In a speech at Syria Mosque, David Lloyd George, war-time Premier of Great Britain, pleaded for mercy to end wars.
October 27, 1923 The last horse car on Sarah Street suspended operation.
November 13, 1923 Twenty thousand persons attended formal opening of new banking room of Union Trust Company at Fifth and Grant.
November 13, 1923 The first unit traffic-light system was installed as an experiment at all corners intersecting the Boulevard of the Allies in the downtown area.
1924 Bettis Field, sponsored by Samuel Brendel, Harry Neal, and D. Parr Peat, of McKeesport, was established on the Pittsburgh-McKeesport road as a commercial flying enterprise.
January 1, 1924 The Schenley Apartments, consisting of five structures in a new-type housing development, were ready for occupancy at monthly rents of $150 and up.
January 4, 1924 The rivers hit a crest of 30.4 feet causing $5,000,000 damage, heaviest from a flood in the city since 1913.
January 30, 1924 The Liberty Tubes were opened for a two-week chemical test.
February 7, 1924 Parts of lower St. Clair Township were annexed.
April 10, 1924 It was announced that the first city-county airport would be built and named in honor of Calbraith Perry Rodgers of the city, first aviator to span the U.S. on November 5, 1911.
April 21, 1924 A few days after her final performance in The Closed Door here, Eleanora Duse, celebrated tragedienne on tour, died in her suite at the Schenley Hotel.
May 10, 1924 The city’s fifth trolley strike in 15 years started; the Downtown area was jammed with automobile traffic; the Pittsburgh Railways imported 900 electric railways operators and guards from New York to run trolleys.
May 10, 1924 The Liberty Tubes were closed for further work on the ventilation system after 12 persons were overcome by gas; a trolley strike had caused a traffic jam in them.
May 12, 1924 Motormen and conductors voted to return to work, ending the 39-hour streetcar strike.
May 22, 1924 Seven police inspectors and three fire chiefs were demoted in the biggest police shake-up in 20 years.
June, 1924 Rodgers Airfield, on a 41-acre tract near Aspinwall, was completed for operation as the first city-county airport.
November 3, 1924 A total of $2,266,893 was pledged by 8341 Jewish residents of the city for construction of new Montefiore Hospital.
November 4, 1924 Calvin Coolidge, in winning the presidential election, carried Allegheny County by 75,000 votes.
November 6, 1924 Pitt Chancellor John G. Bowman announced plans for a “52-story” Gothic skyscraper to be built at a cost of $10,000,000 and known as the Cathedral of Learning.
December 1, 1924 In the face of heated protests, the county commissioners asked for bids for the razing of the Ninth Street Bridge.
1925 The United States Steel Corporation developed a process for producing seamless pipe 16 inches in diameter, more than twice the size previously possible.
February 1, 1925 Burton W. Marsh, the city’s first traffic engineer, submitted his first traffic survey to City Council, recommending strict parking regulations for the downtown area.
March 8, 1925 H. P. Davis, president of Westinghouse, urged broadcasting stations to link themselves together by short wave for simultaneous broadcasting of programs.
March 31, 1925 City Council enacted an ordinance eliminating the practice of compelling policemen to work two days a month without pay.
April 1, 1925 A city assessor’s report fixed total taxable values of Pittsburgh’s 28 wards of realty at $990,000,000.
April 13, 1925 A bill to create a Greater Pittsburgh by joining all boroughs and townships to the city was killed in committee at Harrisburg.
April 22, 1925 George Mesta died.
May 10, 1925 Evangeline Booth visited the city to dedicate the new Salvation Army home for business girls, located on the Boulevard of the Allies.
May 13, 1925 County commissioners tabled action on a plan to remove the county jail from Its Ross Street site, purchase nearby sites, and erect a $3,500,000 county office skyscraper and jail.
May 14, 1925 The largest electric locomotive in the world, 152 feet long and weighing 1,275,900 pounds, was given a test run at Westinghouse’s East Pittsburgh yards.
May 19, 1925 The fund for construction of the Cathedral of Learning reached a total of $5,597,782 — more than twice as much as ever raised in the city’s history for an educational or philanthropic purpose.
May 23, 1925 The Young Men’s and Women’s Hebrew Association in Oakland was dedicated.
June 26, 1925 The Philadelphia Company dedicated its new $3,500,000 building, on Sixth Avenue, and President Arthur W. Thompson announced a five-year, $100,000,000 utility improvement program.
June 27, 1925 The Keystone Athletic Club announced purchase of the old St. Charles Hotel property, at Third Avenue and Wood, and plans for construction of a 20-story, $3,000,000 building.
July 8, 1925 Plans were announced for erection of another Downtown skyscraper — the Law and Finance Building.
September 26, 1925 Pitt Stadium, with a capacity of 60,000, was formally opened with the Panthers defeating Washington and Lee, 28 to 0, before a crowd of 20,000.
October 15, 1925 The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Washington Senators, 9 to 7, in the seventh and deciding game of the World Series before 42,856 at Forbes Field; Downtown stores suspended business, and traffic stopped as Pittsburghers celebrated the victory.
November, 1925 General W. W. Atterbury, president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, in Pittsburgh with other railroad officials to inspect the $14,000,000 station and street improvement program, stated: “While Pittsburgh has called for all the Pennsylvania Railroad could produce, Pittsburgh itself has been our greatest producer.” Motor buses were introduced on a large scale on city streets.
November 6, 1925 United States Steel stock jumped 5–1/2 points in one day to 138, highest quotation ever recorded to this date.
1926 The $1,650,000 Webster Hall, on Fifth Avenue, was erected as a hotel to specialize in club residences for men.
January 5, 1926 R. B. Mellon, president of the Mellon National Bank, was elected chairman of Allegheny County Planning Commission.
January 26, 1926 Marcus Loew announced plans to erect the largest theater in Pennsylvania, a 4000-seat house on the site of the old Hotel Anderson, Sixth and Penn, at cost of $2,500,000.
February 3, 1926 Twenty men were killed in an explosion that wrecked a mine of the Pittsburgh Terminal Company at Horning, near Castle Shannon.
March, 1926 The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, reorganized and financed by its own musicians, began playing public concerts.
May 18, 1926 Pittsburgh voters approved a $19,902,000 bond issue for various city improvements.
June 12, 1926 Approximately $60,000,000 was being expended to improve steel mills in the area.
June 13, 1926 The new Seventh Street Bridge was opened.
June 28, 1926 Plans were announced for a $7,000,000 campaign for establishment of a Presbyterian “medical center.”
June 28, 1926 Duquesne Light Company announced a plan to build the “largest and most modern” electric power plant in the world at Shippingport on the Ohio River at a cost of $40,000,000.
September 27, 1926 Ground was broken for the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning.
November, 1926 Double-deck trolleys, declared too dangerous for Pittsburgh, were abandoned.
November 6, 1926 Official opening was held for Armstrong Tunnels, named for Commissioner Joseph G. Armstrong.
November 13, 1926 An air show featured dedication of Bettis Field as a Pittsburgh-McKeesport airport.
November 27, 1926 Carnegie Tech upset Notre Dame, 19 to 0 at Forbes Field before 45,000.
1927 Construction crews began erecting the Pittsburgher Hotel on Diamond Street.
April 1, 1927 Forty-five thousand miners in the district joined in a nationwide coal strike.
April 21, 1927 Carrying .a single pouch of mail, an open cockpit Waco belonging to Clifford Ball, Inc., the city’s pioneer airline, inaugurated airmail service between Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
April 24, 1927 After a Sunday concert, which drew an audience of 4000, nine members of the executive board of the Pittsburgh Symphony were arrested on charges of violating “blue laws”. All were found guilty and fined $25 each by Alderman Samuel McKinley; group included Richard S. Rauh, secretary of the society; Edward Specter, chairman of the orchestra committee; Elias Breeskin, assistant conductor, and seven others.
June 3, 1927 Carrick Borough was annexed to the city.
June 12, 1927 The Buhl Foundation was established with a $15,000,000 gift announced by Henry Buhl, Jr.
June 12, 1927 The New Point Bridge was dedicated.
June 25, 1927 Frick Park, 380 acres in Squirrel Hill willed to the city by H. C. Frick, was opened for public use.
August 2, 1927 After a series of negotiations the Post-Gazette came into being under ownership of Paul Block, and the Sun-Telegraph was organized under ownership of William Randolph Hearst.
August 3, 1927 Charles Lindbergh, the first to fly alone over the Atlantic to Europe, was feted by the city.
August 12, 1927 The widening of Grant Street, Downtown, was started.
October, 1927 The new Roosevelt Hotel, at Sixth Street and Penn, was opened.
October 8, 1927 The Pittsburgh Pirates lost the fourth straight game of the World Series, 4 to 3, to the New York Yankees.
October 13, 1927 President Coolidge was guest speaker at the Carnegie Institute’s 31st Founders Day exercises at Carnegie Music Hall. He also appeared before Carnegie Tech students in accordance with a promise made to them by Samuel H. Church, Institute president, and made a speech — a nine word address: “I shall not break Colonel Church’s promise to you.”
December 27, 1927 J. P. Morgan, Jr., New York financier, became chairman of the board of the United States Steel Corporation.
February 27, 1928 Stanley Theater opened.
March 27, 1928 The Liberty Bridge was dedicated and opened to public use.
May, 1928 The 23-story Clark Building, on Liberty Avenue, was ready for occupancy.
May 2, 1928 Air express service was inaugurated between Pittsburgh and Cleveland by the Clifford Ball Air Line; 1000 spectators watched Pilot Dewey Noyes take off in a plane carrying first express parcels.
May 31, 1928 The National Elimination Balloon Races, witnessed by 150,000 persons at Bettis Field, resulted in the death of two balloonists — W. W. Morton and Lieutenant Paul Evert, of the United States Army.
June 26, 1928 Allegheny County voters approved a $43,680,000 bond issue for public works, including $6,000,000 for a town hall, $2,550,000 for a county office building, and $10,930,000 for new boulevards and highways.
July 3, 1928 Fire destroyed the Cameo Theater building at 347 Fifth Avenue.
July 12, 1928 State Superior Court approved Sunday symphony concerts for Pittsburgh; Sabbath Association announced it intended nevertheless to demand enforcement of the blue laws of 1794.
July 16, 1928 The first film “talkie,” titled Tenderloin, was introduced at the Stanley Theater. Previewers said it had less than 10 minutes’ “audible” dialogue, and one commented the “project is so new that its possibilities scarcely can be gauged yet.”
July 17, 1928 Called the “scenic boulevard of Pittsburgh,” Mount Washington Roadway, to the top of Mount Washington, was opened with a mile-long parade followed by a celebration.
August 8, 1928 Westinghouse staged what was said to be the world’s first demonstration of “motion pictures broadcast by radio” — “television” — in its East Pittsburgh laboratories. The idea was worked out by Dr. Frank Conrad, assistant chief engineer at Westinghouse.
August 15, 1928 Air passenger service from the city was instituted.
October 28, 1928 Site for a new county airport (Lebanon Church Road) was chosen.
November 6, 1928 In the election of Herbert Hoover as President, Allegheny County gave Hoover 213,681 votes, and Al Smith 159,718.
November 19, 1928 Two thousand scientists, representing 20 different nations, assembled at Carnegie Tech for the opening of the Second International Conference on Bituminous Coal, initiated in 1926 by Tech President Thomas S. Baker.
November 26, 1928 A constitutional amendment to permit Pittsburgh and Allegheny County to consolidate into a metropolitan district was approved by a state-wide vote.
January 11, 1929 Declaring that the city should assume leadership in the fight against air pollution, City Council authorized installation of smoke prevention equipment at the city’s pumping station at Brilliant.
January 13, 1929 President James A. Farrell, of the United States Steel Corporation, announced a $20,000,000 expansion program for subsidiary plants at Duquesne, McKeesport, and Braddock.
February 1, 1929 The 37-story Grant Building, tallest in the city and topped by an airplane beacon spelling out Pittsburgh in Morse code, was ready for occupancy.
February 7, 1929 A metropolitan charter bill, designed to make Pittsburgh the fifth largest city in the United States with a consolidated population of 1,319,684, was prepared for the State Legislature.
March, 1929 The 32-story Koppers Building was opened to tenants.
June 25, 1929 The Pittsburgh Metropolitan District Charter, submitted to an Allegheny County vote, failed to acquire the required two thirds majority in each of 62 municipalities, a majority of the total in the county; city voters were eight to one in favor of the bill, but only 47 municipalities cast two thirds vote.
June 28, 1929 A five-day work week was adopted by the building trades of Pittsburgh.
July 12, 1929 Contract for the new airport on Lebanon Church Road was signed.
September, 1929 Freda Seund became the first woman in Pittsburgh to be instructed in flying and to solo at a Pittsburgh airfield.
September 24, 1929 Mount Mercy College for Women was opened.
October 18, 1929 A crowd of 100,000 persons viewed a river pageant marking the completion of the canalization of the Ohio River.
November 5, 1929 Pittsburgh residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of adoption of voting machines in Pennsylvania.
November 5, 1929 R. B. Mellon, president of Mellon National Bank, resigned as chairman of the County Planning Commission in order, he said, to make a trip to Europe. His action was construed as an indication that a proposal to built a $6,000,000 town hall would be delayed.
December, 1929 The Gulf Oil Company was making final plans for erection of its 11 million dollar office building at Seventh and Grant.
December 16, 1929 Maurice Falk announced creation of a $10,000,000 fund by the Maurice and Laura Falk Foundation for welfare and charitable purposes.
December 21, 1929 Saw Mill Run Boulevard was opened to the public.
1930 Population: 669,817.
1930 KDKA announced the erection of a powerful transmitter at Saxonburg.
January 3, 1930 The United States purchased land for a new Post Office Building.
January 12, 1930 Pittsburgh taxi drivers held a mass meeting at Duquesne Gardens to begin a strike against the Green and Yellow Cab companies in protest against what they claimed was a pay cut.
January 28, 1930 United States Steel reported record peacetime profits of $197,531,349.
February 14, 1930 Police used tear-gas bombs to disperse a crowd on Center Avenue; two cabs were burned and 10 persons arrested as taxi strike violence continued.
April 16, 1930 The cornerstone was laid for the new $2,700,000 county office building at Ross and Diamond Streets.
July 9, 1930 Jones and Laughlin announced a $20,000,000 expansion program for its plants in Pittsburgh and Aliquippa.
July 10, 1930 The Better Traffic Committee recommended a ban on all Downtown curb parking; it also urged Mayor Charles H. Kline to eliminate the practice of “fixing” traffic tags.
July 11, 1930 The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad applied for a federal permit to build a river-rail terminal on the Monongahela River.
August 27, 1930 Sara Soffel was sworn in by Judge Richard Kennedy as judge of County Court, the first woman jurist in Pennsylvania.
September, 1930 Construction work started on the $6,000,000 Mellon Institute building at Fifth and Bellefield.
September 18, 1930 Chamber of Commerce recommended to the United States Census Bureau a Greater Pittsburgh metropolitan area with 4043 square miles in 13 counties of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia with a population of 2,203,000.
October 2, 1930 Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd addressed 3000 at Syria Mosque during National Safety Congress here.
October 12, 1930 Eucharistic Congress was held in Forbes Field.
October 21, 1930 City Council passed an emergency proposal to set up a fund of $100,000 to aid families in need.
October 21, 1930 McCann and Company opened for business in its new 10-story building at Diamond and Ferry Streets.
November 25, 1930 The Mississippi Valley Association, in convention at St. Louis, endorsed proposed construction of an Ohio River-Lake Erie canal at the request of Pittsburgh and Youngstown business interests.
November 25, 1930 A capacity audience filled the Stanley Theater for a benefit show for Pittsburgh unemployed and needy families; among those featured were Phil Baker, Fred Stone and Dick Powell.
December, 1930 The Gulf Oil Company was engaged in the construction of a research center at Craft Avenue and the Boulevard of the Allies.
December 30, 1930 A deed of trust filed by Andrew Mellon created the A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust.
January 15, 1931 The Chamber of Commerce reported that 27 new manufacturing plants and warehouses, representing investments totaling $2 9,502,−000, started operations in the Pittsburgh district in 1930.
January 16, 1931 Their funds exhausted, relief agencies warned that approximately 47,750 Pittsburgh district residents would “begin starving” immediately.
January 27, 1931 Gulf Oil opened a new refinery on Neville Island.
February 5, 1931 McClintock-Marshall and Bethlehem Steel Companies merged.
March 11, 1931 The Homer Smith, pleasure steamboat, burned at the North Side wharf.
March 17, 1931 The county commissioners voted $3,000,000 for construction of the Homestead High Level Bridge.
May 11, 1931 Pittsburgh’s first police radio “cruisers” were patrolling the streets as WPOU, police radio station, began broadcasting.
June 3, 1931 Buhl Foundation announced plans for a 45-acre housing development on Mount Washington to be known as Chatham Village, the first low-rent community housing project in the nation.
June 14, 1931 Florenz Ziegfeld’s Follies opened the new season of their 23rd edition at the Nixon Theater; among those featured in the cast were Helen Morgan, Gladys Glad, Ruth Etting, Harry Richman, and, in the chorus, two Pittsburgh girls — Zecil Silvonia and Mony Lange.
June 25, 1931 Mayor Kline was indicted with Bertram L. Succop, former director of supplies, on 49 counts of misdemeanor in office.
June 30, 1931 About 5000 hunger strikers paraded in the city streets.
July 23, 1931 Forty-two aged men and women were killed in or died from the effects of a fire that destroyed the Little Sisters of the Poor Home at Penn Avenue and South Aiken; 157 others were hurt.
July 29, 1931 Wiley Post and Harold Gatty, renowned round-the-world fliers, were given an enthusiastic welcome in Pittsburgh.
August 19, 1931 The McKees Rocks-Ohio River Boulevard Bridge was opened.
September 15, 1931 For the first time in Allegheny County, voting machines — 186 of them — were used in the primary election.
September 21, 1931 The Bank of Pittsburgh announced its decision to close to conserve interests of depositors and stockholders.
September 30, 1931 The 583 feet tall Gulf Building went into construction.
October 28, 1931 The Edgar Thomson works in Braddock prepared to re-open; plans were announced to reemploy about 7000 at Homestead and Braddock.
December 4, 1931 Hunger Marchers, en route in trucks and autos to Washington, D.C., to urge an unemployment insurance bill, stopped over in Pittsburgh and requested food and shelter from Helping Hand Society headquarters.
December 22, 1931 Five million dollars were distributed to various institutions by the H. C. Frick estate.
1932 Of the 197 homes designed on Buhl Foundation’s Chatham Village, 129 were completed.
January 5, 1932 Led by Father James R. Cox, a jobless army of 15,000 men left St. Patrick’s Church, at Seventeenth Street and Liberty Avenue, and headed for the Capital of the nation; many were afoot in a driving rain.
January 6, 1932 The county government was reorganized, and six departments were created: Highways, Property and Supplies, Parks, Airport, Elections, and Law.
January 8, 1932 Exhausted and hungry, Father Cox’s jobless army arrived home after making a plea to Congress and President Hoover for immediate relief and jobs and warning that “something must be done to avert violence.”
January 17, 1932 More than 55,000 persons, in a rally at Pitt Stadium, cheered Father Cox, “Shepherd of the Unemployed,” as he announced formation of the “Jobless Party” and himself as its candidate for president.
January 22, 1932 Patrick T. Fagan, president of District 5, United Mine Workers, announced union acceptance of a 10 per cent wage cut for coal miners employed by the Pittsburgh Terminal Coal Corporation.
February 4, 1932 A. W. Mellon, at the age of 76, was appointed ambassador to Great Britain after serving 11 years as Secretary of the Treasury.
February 5, 1932 Barney Dreyfuss, president and owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates since 1899 and an organizer of the first World Series, died at the age of 66 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
February 7, 1932 Winston Churchill visited the city.
March 28, 1932 In order to provide employment for the needy, the city began to extend the Mount Washington Road project; six stations were also set up for free food distribution.
March 28, 1932 The “Snodgrass-Herron” plan for a $5,500,000 Downtown subway to relieve traffic congestion was presented to Council.
April 26, 1932 A $5,000,000 unemployment relief bond issue was approved in the primary election by Pittsburgh voters.
May 14, 1932 Mayor Charles H. Kline and his ousted supplies director, Bertram L. Succop, were found guilty of misconduct in office in a jury trial in Butler.
June 6, 1932 A “Bonus Army”, World War I veterans seeking payouts from the government, marches through Pittsburgh en route to Washington.
June 8, 1932 Students demonstrated against General Douglas MacArthur when he delivered the commencement address at the University of Pittsburgh.
June 8, 1932 Construction was started on the new $8,000,000 federal building and post office on Grant Street.
September 5, 1932 Organized labor of Pittsburgh held its first parade in a dozen years and ended it at West View Park, where William Green, president of the AFL, called for shorter working hours and a more equitable distribution of wealth.
September 10, 1932 Thirty thousand persons attended the dedication of the George Westinghouse Bridge, the $1,750,000 link in relocated Lincoln Highway over Turtle Creek.
September 15, 1932 Mayor Kline returned to City Hall and to his “political fence mending” after Judge Thomas D. Finletter reversed a jury verdict and set him free; former Supplies Director Succop was sentenced to one year in jail.
October 15, 1932 President Herbert Hoover campaigned in the city.
October 19, 1932 Speaking as a presidential candidate before 30,000 at Forbes Field, Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, of New York, expressed opposition to payment of the soldiers’ bonus “until the government has balanced the budget and has a surplus of cash in the treasury.” It was his first public; declaration on the bonus issue since his nomination.
November 8, 1932 Franklin D. Roosevelt carried Allegheny County by 40,000 votes in the Democratic sweep that placed him in the White House.
November 14, 1932 Distribution of free milk to 50,000 needy and undernourished children was started in 500 schools of Allegheny County.
November 14, 1932 The Duquesne National and Diamond banks closed their doors because of heavy withdrawal of deposits.
December, 1932 The Duquesne Club was building a 13-story addition to its Sixth Street headquarters.
December 2, 1932 Property owners threatened a “taxpayers’ strike” unless Mayor Kline reduced proposed $25,000,000 budget for 1933 by 25 per cent.
December 15, 1932 City Council lowered the mill levy and cut Mayor Kline’s budget 20 per cent.
February 10, 1933 The 10th Street Bridge was completed and opened to traffic.
March 5, 1933 The Pittsburgh Stock Exchange closed at the start of a bank holiday ordered by the President; the Pittsburgh Clearing House prepared to issue scrip.
March 9, 1933 At a rally of 2000 persons in Syria Mosque, plans were made to send a delegation to Harrisburg to fight for city-manager form of government for Pittsburgh.
March 14, 1933 Thirty-three banking institutions in Pittsburgh reopened for normal business activity and were crowded through the day with thousands of depositors.
March 31, 1933 Mayor Charles H. Kline, described as a “defeated and broken man,” resigned after seven years in office; Council President John S. Herron became Mayor.
April 7, 1933 The Post-Gazette reported: “With a whoop of joy, thousands of parched Pittsburgh throats greeted the end of the Great Dry Era at 12:01 o’clock this morning.” Large crowds milled about outside Pittsburgh breweries waiting for first legalized 3.2 beer.
April 11, 1933 A group of 224 men — the first from Pittsburgh to join President Roosevelt’s reforestation army — entrained for Virginia.
August 5, 1933 Relocated and widened Pittsburgh-Butler Highway (Route 8) was opened to traffic.
September 1, 1933 The Chamber of Commerce estimated that 95 per cent of all Pittsburgh businesses were enrolled under the banner of the NRA Blue Eagle.
September 20, 1933 Modern professional football began in Pittsburgh when the Pittsburgh Pirates, under ownership of Arthur J. Rooney, lost, 23 to 2, to the New York Giants before 25,000 at Forbes Field.
October 9, 1933 After President Roosevelt ordered “captive mine” owners to make peace, 75,000 miners of western Pennsylvania returned to work. Philip Murray, international vice-president of the United Mine Workers, and Thomas Moses, president of the H. C. Frick Coke Company, began negotiating differences.
October 11, 1933 Three thousand men ended a six-day attempt to “bring back prosperity” by staying on the job and producing steel while barricaded inside the Clairton byproducts plant of Carnegie Steel Company.
November 7, 1933 Pittsburghers voted out the “blue laws” and voted in Sunday baseball and other sports. They also approved a constitutional amendment to permit the State Legislature to draft a new metropolitan charter for Pittsburgh.
November 7, 1933 William McNair was elected Mayor.
November 10, 1933 In a conference at the White House, President Roosevelt advised Mayor-elect McNair and his campaign chairman, David L. Lawrence: “Now give the people of Pittsburgh good administration.”
December 1, 1933 Richard Beatty Mellon, junior partner in the Mellon banking empire, brother of A. W. Mellon, died at the age of 75 in his Fifth Avenue mansion.
January 1, 1934 New year reports showed Pittsburgh business in 1933 increased 18 per cent in volume over 1932.
January 2, 1934 According to news accounts, “pandemonium broke loose” at City Hall as Mayor McNair, in his first day in office, began feuding with Council over confirmation of his cabinet appointments.
January 14, 1934 Civil Works Administrator Harry L. Hopkins ordered an investigation into trade union charges of “political favoritism” in the hiring of men for CWA jobs in Pittsburgh.
February 13, 1934 Plans were announced for a $350,000 juvenile court and detention home in Oakland.
February 26, 1934 An Akron-to-Pittsburgh passenger train of the Pennsylvania Railroad plunged off a bridge at Merchant Street as it sped into the North Side station; nine persons were killed and 39 injured.
March 27, 1934 Steel mills in the Pittsburgh district retained the 40-hour week and granted 10 per cent pay raises so 100,000 steel workers, increasing district payrolls by a total of approximately $1,750,000 per month.
June, 1934 Hervey Allen, Pittsburgh novelist, visited in the city.
June 28, 1934 The government approved a $25,000,000 loan to the Allegheny County Authority for a construction program entailing 12,000 jobs for unemployed men.
August 9, 1934 Pittsburgh artist John Kane became a controversial figure in the national art world.
October 13, 1934 Postmaster James A. Farley dedicated Pittsburgh’s new $7,000,000 post office-federal building in an outdoor ceremony on Grant Street.
December 28, 1934 One of the lecturers at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, attended by a selected group of 400 scientists, was Professor Albert Einstein; he spoke on the “equivalent of mass and energy” in the Carnegie Tech Little Theater.
January 2, 1935 Business activity in Pittsburgh in 1934 was 68 per cent higher than 1933; industrial production was up 5.6 per cent over 1933 and 20 per cent over 1932, according to business summaries.
January 19, 1935 Andrew Mellon announced that he would give his art collection to the federal government to be housed in a gallery in Washington, D.C.
February 25, 1935 The United Engineering and Foundry Company of Pittsburgh received a $3,000,000 order for the Zaporoptal Steel Works in Soviet Russia — one of the largest contracts ever placed in the United States for foreign shipment.
February 26, 1935 In what was said to be the largest industrial dismantling project in the city’s history, the National Tube Company began disassembling its Pennsylvania plans, Second Avenue, and Republic plant, on 24th Street, South Side.
March 1, 1935 A slight earth tremor was felt in the city.
March 4, 1935 In a Democratic caucus in Harrisburg, State Democratic Chairman David L. Lawrence demanded that the McNair ripper bill be pushed through the Legislature. While he later denied having made such a speech in the caucus, he was quoted as saying: “I put him [McNair] in, and I’ll take him out.”
March 21, 1935 Two Pittsburghers — William P. Witherow, representing industry, and Philip Murray, representing organized labor — were named by President Roosevelt to the NRA board.
March 21, 1935 Father Cox’s Old St. Patrick’s Church, a 125-year-old Pittsburgh landmark and one of the most popular churches in the city, was destroyed by fire.
April 12, 1935 The Monongahela House, where policy-making party caucuses were held prior to and during the first Republican convention in 1856 and said to be, for that reason, the “birthplace of the Republican Party,” closed its doors. A plan to convert it to Jones and Laughlin office building failed to materialize.
May 12, 1935 Nearly 6000 persons gathered in and about the chapel for dedication of the East Liberty Presbyterian Church, built at a cost of more than $4,000,000 by Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Mellon as a memorial to their respective mothers.
June 3, 1935 Mayor McNair installed a bed in his office in preparation for a long siege in the event the ripper bill against him was passed by State Legislature.
June 19, 1935 The Pittsburgh Metropolitan District Charter bill, amended drastically by the House, was defeated in the State Senate.
June 23, 1935 The McNair ripper bill died with adjournment of the Legislature.
October 14, 1935 Andrew Mellon announced a gift of $10,000,000 for construction of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; his private art collection, accumulated at a cost of $25,000,000 and valued at $40,000,000, was made immediately available to the gallery.
November 5, 1935 Pittsburgh and Allegheny County voters approved Sunday movies by a vote of three to one.
November 24, 1935 Large crowds filled theaters of the city as Sunday movies were shown for the first time.
December 16, 1935 In the city’s healthiest economic signs since before the 1929 crash, Jones and Laughlin announced a $40,000,000 expansion program, including a new $25,000,000 sheet and strip mill on Second Avenue, and the Pennsylvania Railroad placed an order for 10,000 brake sets with the Westinghouse Air Brake Company.
January 2, 1936 Business reviews showed a definite upturn of Pittsburgh business in 1935; general business activity was up 14.7 per cent over 1934 and 45.3 per cent over 1932; department store sales were up 6.5 per cent.
February 25, 1936 Dr. Robert E. Doherty, Yale dean and electrical researcher, was elected president of Carnegie Tech to succeed Dr. Thomas S. Baker.
February 26, 1936 An ice gorge formed in the Allegheny River and moved toward Pittsburgh; flood waters swept over many Western Pennsylvania communities.
March 17, 1936 (St. Patrick’s Day): The rivers rose to 34 feet at the Point, and for the first time in 23 years water flowed over the city’s low-level streets.
March 18, 1936 Floodwaters reached a crest of 46.4 feet, highest in the city’s history, and began receding; some streets were inundated by 20 feet of water.
March 19, 1936 More than 60 persons were believed dead as the flood stage dropped to 32.1 feet; health, relief, and city agencies mustered support to fight disease, hunger, and cold; explosions and fires added to the peril.
March 19, 1936 Between 5000 and 7000 men, women, and children were rescued from flooded homes in the McKees Rocks “Bottoms.”
March 20, 1936 The flood death toll was reported at 46 known dead and 384 injured; the Red Cross was attempting to assist 50,000 homeless persons; drinking water was restored; bandits and vandals roamed the area.
March 20, 1936 Municipal officers from 200 cities arid towns in the Tri-State area met here in an emergency conference to discuss flood prevention for the future.
March 22, 1936 The Pittsburgh district struggled to get back to normal, but 110,144 men, women, and children remained homeless in Allegheny County.
March 24, 1936 City Council asked the federal government for $10,000,000 to replace and repair 1000 homes destroyed and 8000 damaged by flood waters.
March 27, 1936 The flood death toll rose to 74. The Chamber of Commerce, representing the business interests of Pittsburgh, informed the federal government that the delay of an adequate flood-control program, sought since 1907, had cost Allegheny County between $150,000,000 and $200,000,000 in property loss.
March 30, 1936 The National Guard was withdrawn, the Triangle was reopened.
April 18, 1936 Mayor McNair was jailed for disobeying a court order directing him to return a $100 fine to an alleged numbers writer who had successfully appealed his conviction to County Court; the Mayor was released from jail on agreeing to return the fine.
June 17, 1936 The Steel Workers’ Organizing Committee held its first meeting in the Commonwealth Building and named Philip Murray, international vice-president of United Mine Workers, as chairman of a planned organizing campaign.
June 22, 1936 Congress passed the flood-control act, setting up funds for flood-control work in this district.
June 27, 1936 Newly completed Allegheny General Hospital was dedicated.
October 2, 1936 Addressing 50,000 persons at Forbes Field, President Roosevelt predicted a balanced budget based on an increase in national income.
October 6, 1936 With no advance notice, William H. McNair resigned and turned the office of Mayor over to Cornelius P. Scully, president of Council and McNair’s bitterest personal enemy in his three years in office.
October 8, 1936 The Reverend Charles E. Coughlin, Detroit radio priest and head of the National Union for Social Justice, in a speech to an overflow crowd of 4500 at Syria Mosque, charged that President Roosevelt “has adopted communistic activities.”
October 11, 1936 One hundred thousand Catholic men of Pittsburgh assembled at Pitt Stadium for a eucharistic rally.
October 13, 1936 Mayor McNair repented and withdrew his resignation, but Council declined to accept it. Mayor Scully fired Leslie Johnston, public works director.
October 27, 1936 Governor Alfred M. Landon, of Kansas, appeared in Pittsburgh as the Republican presidential candidate and spoke to a crowd of 20,000 at Duquesne Gardens.
November 3, 1936 A total of 560,000 Allegheny County citizens voted in the presidential election to set a balloting record, 150,000 above the previous high. President Roosevelt carried the county by 188,478 votes; county Democrats won five seats in Congress, two in the United States Senate, and 27 in the State House.
November 8, 1936 At the conclusion of a two-day meeting of the CIO, headed by John L. Lewis, Lewis refused to meet William Green of AFL to discuss peace terms between the two union groups.
December 20, 1936 In a mass meeting at the Fort Pitt Hotel, Philip Murray, CIO chairman, declared in his keynote speech that “the company union must be put out of business.” Employee representatives of 42 steel plants pledged full support to the CIO in its drive to organize all steel workers into one trade union.
January 1, 1937 Pittsburgh business in 1936 was at its highest level since 1930, up 29.2 per cent from 1935.
January 14, 1937 With 500 business guests in attendance, the Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corporation formally opened a new $10,000,000 plant in Homestead, a 100-inch semicontinuous plate mill with a capacity of 729,000 tons per year.
January 15, 1937 William A. Irvin, president of United States Steel, and Benjamin F. Fairless, president of Carnegie-Illinois, announced plans for the expenditure of $60,000,000 for the expansion and improvement of plants at Clairton and Braddock.
January 20, 1937 Three-month strike of 6000 Pittsburgh Plate Glass workers ended with an agreement for an eight-cent hourly pay raise.
February 3, 1937 The famed Lucy Furnace, first blast furnace built by Andrew Carnegie and named for his brother’s wife, was dismantled.
March 17, 1937 Five United States Steel subsidiaries, headed by Benjamin F. Fairless, of Carnegie-Illinois, signed the first wage contract with the Steel Workers Organizing Committee. It established in the steel industry the $5-a-day minimum wage, the 40-hour week, vacations with pay, seniority rights, and grievance procedure.
April 21, 1937 Buhl Foundation gave $750,000 to the city for a planetarium and institute of popular science on the site of the old Allegheny City Hall.
April 26, 1937 Rivers hit crest of 35.1 feet, but only low-lying areas were affected. State Senator William B. Rodgers, Jr. demanded federal government make an immediate start on the long-delayed flood control program.
May 4, 1937 The Better Traffic Committee endorsed Mayor Scully’s plan to make Forbes Street and Fifth Avenue one-way streets and to construct a short trolley loop in the downtown area.
May 6, 1937 Andrew W. Mellon dedicated the $10,000,000 Mellon Institute at the start of a five-day program in Carnegie Music Hall, highlighted by an announcement of a new successful treatment for pneumonia, developed by Institute scientists. Among the scores of leading scientists in attendance were three Nobel prize winners — Drs. H. C. Urey, W. P. Murphy, and Irving Langmuir.
May 11, 1937 Mayor Scully proposed a $70,400,000 “pure water supply” to be brought to Pittsburgh and neighboring communities by an aqueduct system from northern creeks.
May 12, 1937 Twenty-five thousand men were idled at Jones and Laughlin’s Pittsburgh and Aliquippa plants by a strike ordered by Philip Murray in the Steel Workers Organizing Committee organizational drive. Jones and Laughlin and a group of other operators were accused by the union of violating the Wagner Labor Relations Act by refusing to sign wage scale contracts.
May 20, 1937 In the nation’s largest collective bargaining election, steel workers in Jones and Laughlin plants voted 17,028 for the CIO Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers and 7207 against.
May 21, 1937 Governor Earle signed a bill to create a turnpike commission to is-sue $50,000,000 to $65,000,000 in bonds to finance construction of an “all-weather” toll highway from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg.
May 22, 1937 The Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corporation broke ground for its new Irvin works in West Mifflin Township estimated to cost $63,000,000 and employ 4000 men.
June 2, 1937 The Stephen C. Foster Memorial adjoining the Cathedral of Learning was dedicated.
June 4, 1937 The Westinghouse Electric Corporation was building a cyclotron.
June 7, 1937 As the climax of a week-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of its founding, the University of Pittsburgh celebrated the completion of its 42-story Cathedral of Learning a decade after construction on the building was started.
September 10, 1937 The Kelsey-Hayes Wheel Company of Detroit, nation’s largest manufacturer of auto wheels, announced purchase of a Neville Island property as site for a $1,000,000 plant to employ 1500 persons.
September 13, 1937 The Post-Gazette initiated a series of articles by Ray Sprigle, exposing United States Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black as a member of the Ku Klux Klan; the articles led to demands for Justice Black’s resignation.
September 13, 1937 The PWA in Washington announced a $2,847,000 appropriation for construction of a proposed psychiatric hospital on the Pitt campus.
September 16, 1937 The AFL-Central Labor Union expelled its president, Patrick C. Fagan, for his support of Mayor Scully. The Mayor had opposed the union’s endorsement of the Kane-McArdle faction in the Democratic primary. All other CIO delegates were also expelled, and Fagan immediately announced formation of a “CIO-Central Labor Union” (Steel City Industrial Union).
September 20, 1937 Andrew W. Mellon, who died on August 26, left his vast estate to his son, Paul Mellon, and son-in-law, David K. E. Bruce, to be administered “as they shall deem advisable and for best interests of my estate.” The will bound them only to the deed that created the A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, under which Mr. Mellonâ€™s bequest to the public was estimated at between $100,000,000 and $500,000,000.
October 1, 1937 In a nationwide radio talk Justice Hugo Black admitted membership in the Ku Klux Klan, as charged by Ray Sprigle, but stated that he resigned after a successful primary race for the United States Senate and disclaimed all sympathy for the movement.
October 20, 1937 Chief Justice John W. Kephart, of the State Supreme Court, dedicated the new $350,000 Juvenile Court here, calling it a “monument to an enlightened judicial system.”
October 20, 1937 Ground was broken at Crooked Creek dam site on upper Allegheny River, first of a network of dams to protect the Pittsburgh area from floods.
October 21, 1937 After a 10-year rebuilding job, directed by Edward Specter, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, backed by a successful public campaign for $300,000, presented its first concert as a major orchestra with Otto Klemperer as guest conductor.
October 27, 1937 Benjamin F. Fairless was elected president of the U.S. Steel Corp.
November 20, 1937 The Homestead High Level Bridge was dedicated.
December 2, 1937 Allegheny Housing Authority was established.
December 3, 1937 Air pilots said Pittsburgh appeared “like a ball of black ink” as one of the city’s heaviest smoke screens cut Downtown visibility to 300 feet, slowed traffic, and caused lights to be turned on at high noon; home furnaces were held to be the chief cause.
December 8, 1937 Pittsburgh became the center of national steel production when United States Steel decided to move its management headquarters to Pittsburgh.
December 8, 1937 The federal government earmarked $10,000,000 for low-cost housing projects planned by the Pittsburgh Housing Authority.
January 1, 1938 Reports showed that, de-spite a recession in the closing months of the year, Pittsburgh business activity for 1937 was up 8.7 per cent over 1936; the total resources of 97 banks in Allegheny County were reported to be $1,507,604,000.
January 1, 1938 At this date wage contracts between the Steel Workers Organizing Committee and the steel industry totaled 445.
January 20, 1938 Fallingwater, Edgar Kaufmann’s country home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, was viewed by interested visitors.
January 27, 1938 A plan for creating a historic memorial park in Pittsburgh, covering a 36-acre area at the Point and including proposed restoration of Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne on their original sites, was before the National Park Service in Washington.
January 27, 1938 The WPA fixed the cost of a proposed sewage-disposal system to end stream pollution in Allegheny County at $25,000,000.
March 3, 1938 Fritz Reiner, noted Hungarian conductor, was appointed full-time director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
March 26, 1938 Six hundred Pittsburgh business and civic leaders, at a dinner in the William Penn Hotel, were informed that Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes had approved the Point as a site for a historic memorial. A Point Park commission was promoting the plan under chairmanship of Frank C. Harper.
April 5, 1938 Myron C. Taylor resigned as chairman of the board of United States Steel.
April 14, 1938 Using the same gold-plated shovel that started the grading of Grant’s Hill, known locally as the Hump, Mayor Scully broke ground for the $1,050,000 Buhl Planetarium.
May 2, 1938 Ray Sprigle was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his expose of Justice Hugo Black’s affiliation with Ku Klux Klan.
May 5, 1938 Downtown traffic was bottled up by a city-wide strike of parking-lot and garage attendants called by taxi-cab drivers’ union.
May 11, 1938 The Pittsburgh Railways Company, which had emerged from a receivership in 1922, again went into bankruptcy.
May 12, 1938 Homeopathic Hospital changed its name to Shadyside.
May 12, 1938 A survey conducted by the city’s Bureau of Smoke Regulation indicated that smog was a major factor in Pittsburgh’s high pneumonia death rate.
May 17, 1938 The Allegheny and Ludlum Steel companies were merged.
June, 1938 Steel Workers Organizing Committee contracts in the steel industry were increased to cover 529 mills.
June 24, 1938 Carnegie-Illinois announced a reduction in steel prices to approximately the level prior to 1938.
September 2, 1938 Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan, solo transatlantic flier, was a special guest at the opening of Allegheny County’s Sesquicentennial Anniversary celebration.
October 1, 1938 The Pittsburgh Housing Authority announced its first low-cost housing project would be located in the Hill District and named Bedford Dwellings, initial step in a $40,000,000 city-county slum-clearance program.
November 8, 1938 The Democrats lost heavily in Allegheny County.
November 15, 1938 In its first constitutional convention at the Grotto, in North Side Pittsburgh, the CIO became a permanent organization; it also voted for a “no compromise” stand for peace on its own terms in its three-year war with the AFL.
November 20, 1938 After five years in construction, the Heinz Chapel, topped by a 235-foot spire, was dedicated on the Pitt campus as the gift of the Heinz family.
November 21, 1938 David L. Lawrence testified in Harrisburg before a legislative committee investigating charges that he and other high officers of state had engaged in a conspiracy involving “bribery, extortion, and coercion.”
December, 1938 The Pittsburgh Regional Planning Association, successor to the Municipal Planning Association, undertook a series of studies to attempt to find ways of halting the decline of property values in Pittsburgh.
December 13, 1938 The world’s largest slabbing mill went into operation at the Edgar Thomson works of Carnegie-Illinois in Braddock.
December 15, 1938 Nearly 2000 business leaders attended dedication of new $60,000,000 Irvin works.
December 19, 1938 Again with the gold-plated “Hump shovel,” Mayor Scully broke ground for the $3,000,000 Bedford Dwellings, low-cost housing community for 420 families.
January, 1939 A $5,000,000 Monongahela River front improvement was started with WPA funds.
January 3, 1939 The effects of a business recession were felt in 1938, when business activity was down 39.3 per cent from 1937.
February 21, 1939 Army engineers recommended a $207,000,000 Beaver-Youngstown canal with “dead end” at Youngstown. Pittsburgh civic and business interests immediately mobilized to continue their 20-year fight for a canal extending to Lake Erie.
March 5, 1939 The University of Pittsburgh’s greatest era as a national football power ended with the resignation of Dr. John B. (Jock) Sutherland as head coach.
March 10, 1939 Pitt students went on strike in protest against Dr. Sutherland’s resignation and against what they called “autocratic administrative evils” and the “bungling policies” of Chancellor John G. Bowman.
March 13, 1939 The city began construction of an $890,000 incinerator plant, its first, at the foot of 29th Street in Lawrenceville.
March 14, 1939 A new metropolitan commission was created at a meeting of business, labor, and civic representatives; its purpose was to formulate a “political reorganization which will produce the maximum of efficiency under the maximum of home rule.”
April 17, 1939 The newly proposed metropolitan plan of government, seeking to establish Pittsburgh as the nation’s fifth city in size with a population of 1,700,000, was defeated at Harrisburg when it failed to receive the backing of Allegheny County senators, Democrats and Republicans alike.
April 27, 1939 After five years of planning, work was underway to widen and re-build Bigelow Boulevard into a four-lane highway at a cost of $1,800,000.
April 27, 1939 Federal Court issued an injunction, sought by the Pittsburgh Railways Company, to restrain the city from enforcing a one-way traffic plan on Forbes and Fifth Avenue during closing of Bigelow Boulevard.
May 27, 1939 A 310-family project in McKees Rocks, with rents averaging $12.50 to $15 per month, was authorized by President Roosevelt for immediate construction as the first project in Allegheny County’s $19,000,000 public-housing program.
June, 1939 A glass house, the first of its kind to be made, was built in the city to be exhibited at the World’s Fair in New York.
June 2, 1939 Because of improved business conditions, Westinghouse made full restoration of pay cuts ordered in 1938.
June 19, 1939 State Supreme Court upheld a verdict awarding $800,000 to Pennsylvania Railroad for damages against the city as the result of 1920 Bigelow Boulevard landslide.
September 3, 1939 Thousands of persons of all faiths, attending the county fair, joined in a peace demonstration as Great Britain declared war on Nazi Germany.
October 24, 1939 Buhl Planetarium, built at a cost of $1,100,000 and containing a giant projector, was dedicated; 400 scientists were guests at the first sky show.
November 3, 1939 Pittsburgh had its first movie “world premiere” in Hollywood style, with the showing of Allegheny ‘Uprising at Loew’s Penn’; among guests was Claire Trevor, one of the stars of the film.
November 16, 1939 After a three-month study, Robert Moses, of New York, and other leading planners unveiled their comprehensive “arterial plan” for solution of the Triangle traffic problem. At a total cost of $38,000,000, the plan included a Pitt Parkway, from a point east of Wilkinsburg to downtown Pittsburgh; a cross-town highway at upper border of the Triangle; reconstruction of Duquesne Way as the first step in a highway system to encompass the Triangle; removal of the Wabash Station and railroad tracks leading to it.
December 8, 1939 Democratic State Chairman David L. Lawrence was acquitted by a Dauphin County jury of three counts of conspiracy, one of statutory blackmail, and one of violating election laws. Thus the politically inspired charges came to nothing. Next day five thousand cheering Democratic leaders and workers gave Lawrence an enthusiastic welcome when he arrived at Pennsylvania Station from Harrisburg.
December 26, 1939 The Duquesne Light Company announced a $16,000,000 program of expansion and construction in the Pittsburgh district.
1940 Population: 671,659.
January 2, 1940 Pittsburgh business activity for 1939 was 34.9 per cent over that of 1938, approaching 1929 levels in the closing months.
January 5, 1940 City and county officials announced that the $38,000,000 “Moses Plan” would be put into motion in 1940 with reconstruction of Duquesne Way, at a cost of $2,500,000, as the first project. Next on the list were a $1,400,000 Liberty Tubes grade separation plaza and a $1,500,−000 extension of Saw Mill Run Boulevard to West End.
January 25, 1940 “Musical Americana” the national radio program of Westinghouse, was instituted by KDKA.
February 15, 1940 A 20-inch snowfall stopped auto and trolley traffic and forced a two-day suspension in business and trading activities.
March 26, 1940 Investigators for the Dies Congressional Committee raided Pittsburgh Communist headquarters at 305–7 Seventh Avenue following arrest of James H. Dolsen, local Communist leader, on a congressional contempt citation.
March 27, 1940 David L. Lawrence and seven other state Democratic leaders went on trial in Harrisburg on charge of conspiring to “mace” state payrolls (forcing employees to make political contributions); the original charges were made by ex-Attorney General Charles J. Margiotti. On April 12 Lawrence and his co-defendants were acquitted by a Dauphin County Court jury.
April 15, 1940 Bedford Dwellings, the first large federal public housing development, was completed.
June 4, 1940 The Pirates played their first night game in Forbes Field.
June 4, 1940 Irving S. Olds succeeded Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., as Chairman of the United Steel Corporation.
June 13, 1940 Industrial leaders met with public officials to plan mobilization of Pittsburgh district resources for the nation’s $5,000,000,000 defense program.
June 28, 1940 Highland Park Zoo, completely overhauled and modernized, was reopened to the public.
August 1, 1940 A reorganization plan, consolidating 55 interlocking street transit systems into a single company, was filed, in Federal Court by trustees for the bankrupt Pittsburgh Railways Company.
August 18, 1940 Spear and Company leased a Wood Street 14-story building, formerly occupied by McCreery’s Department Store, and announced plans for a $1,000,000 renovation program.
August 22, 1940 Preparations were made to raze old Allegheny General Hospital and 25 other buildings in a congested North Side section, site of a huge new Sears, Roebuck and Company store and parking lot.
August 23, 1940 The two-level Water Street Bypass, built at a cost of $3,000,000 to relieve Downtown congestion, was opened to traffic.
September 16, 1940 The Mesta Machine Company received an $8,390,000 contract for “artillery material,” largest national defense order placed in the Pittsburgh district to this date.
October 1, 1940 The nation’s longest toll expressway, the 160-mile, $70,000,000 Pittsburgh-to-Harrisburg “dream highway,” was opened, and 1560 motorists paid tolls to use it the first day. Governor James ordered the speed limit fixed at 50 miles per hour.
October 3, 1940 Wendell L. Willkie spoke at a campaign rally in Forbes Field.
October 4, 1940 Fritzie Zivic, of Pittsburgh, won the decision from the favored Henry Armstrong to capture world’s welterweight title in a bout at Madison Square Garden, New York.
October 10, 1940 Plans for a park at the Point were announced.
October 11, 1940 After inspecting the flood-control program in the area, President Roosevelt arrived in Pittsburgh for a brief visit; in a two-and-a-half hour period he toured steel mills, inspected armament plants, and personally dedicated the $13,800,000 Terrace Village, second largest public-housing project in the nation.
October 16, 1940 A total of 188,876 Allegheny County men registered for the nation’s first peacetime draft; of that number, 89,069 were city residents.
November 5, 1940 A record vote of 630,000 was cast in Allegheny County which gave President Roosevelt a majority of 105,599 over Wendell L. Willkie.
November 14, 1940 Two hundred men, women, and children escaped serious injury and probable death when the roof of the 50-year-old Harris-Alvin Theater, on Sixth Street, collapsed, bringing down tons of masonry and rafters; four persons were slightly hurt.
November 14, 1940 Mayor Scully created a new Point Park commission, with Councilman Fred Weir as chairman.
November 22, 1940 Philip Murray was unanimously elected president of the CIO at the conclusion of its Atlantic City convention; in a speech he protested President Roosevelt’s efforts to force a merger of the CIO and AFL.
November 25, 1940 A group of 40 young men, comprising the city’s first draft contingent, passed physical examinations and entrained for Fort Meade, Maryland.
December 11, 1940 For his work in labor and national defense, Philip Murray was honored by the Junior Chamber of Commerce as Pittsburgh’s “man of the year”.
December 18, 1940 Crucible Steel Company announced a $10,000,000 expansion of its Midland plant.
1941 An influenza epidemic caused the absence of 6000 pupils and 138 teachers from the city’s schools.
January 1, 1941 Spurred by war demands for goods, business activity in the Pittsburgh district in the closing months of 1940 equaled that of 1929, according to surveys. Steel firms were operating at 100 per cent of capacity; all mills were planning major expansion; defense contracts placed with Pittsburgh district industries totaled $75,000,000.
February, 1941 Mrs. Alan M. Scaife presented a cyclotron to the University of Pittsburgh.
February 5, 1941 Dr. I. Hope Alexander, city health director, stepped up his efforts for a smoke-abatement campaign as a black smoke pall blotted out the sun and hung over the city. The Allegheny County Medical Society endorsed efforts to obtain an anti-smoke law.
February 9, 1941 Howard Heinz, president of the H. J. Heinz Company, and son of its founder, died at the age of 63 in a Philadelphia hospital.
February 13, 1941 City Hall was flooded with mail complaints about the smog that continued to blanket the city.
February 14, 1941 The Koppers Company received orders totaling $10,000,000 for coke ovens.
February 19, 1941 Eight members of City Council visited St. Louis in a body to witness the effects of that city’s smoke-control program. They were advised by Mayor Bernard F. Dickmann that Pittsburgh’s air could be cleansed, too, “if you have the courage of your convictions.”
March, 1941 Richard K. Mellon was elected president of Pittsburgh Regional Planning Association to succeed Howard Heinz.
March 20, 1941 Dr. Joseph H. Barach of Presbyterian Hospital, in the first public hearing before the smoke commission, testified that smog increased the incidence of colds, pneumonia, and other illnesses in Pittsburgh.
April 14, 1941 A major strike in the steel industry was averted when “Big Steel” signed a pact with the Steel Workers Organizing Committee for a 10-cent hourly wage increase for 240,000.
June 5, 1941 The University of Pittsburgh Bureau of Business Research reported that business activity in Pittsburgh was at its highest level in the 57 years for which records were available.
June 22, 1941 Paul Block, publisher of the Post-Gazette, died at the age of 63 in the Hotel Waldorf-Astoria in N.Y.C.
October 1, 1941 Pittsburghâ€™s eight major hotels were closed by a strike of 2400 AFL service employees.
October 1, 1941 A new and more stringent smoke control ordinance was passed by the City Council. Its enforcement was postponed because of the war.
October 16, 1941 The 15-day strike which closed the hotels was settled when union members voted to accept pay raises totaling $215,000 a year.
October 22, 1941 M. W. Clement, president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, announced the beginning of a program to modernize the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Station.
December 4, 1941 W. P. Witherow, Pittsburgh industrialist, was elected president of the National Association of Manufacturers.
December 7, 1941 Pittsburgh was shocked over the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
December 8, 1941 More than 1200 Pittsburgh young men volunteered for enlistment in the armed services in one day.
December 12, 1941 Dr. Frank Conrad, father of radio broadcasting, died.
January 1, 1942 An industrial review for 1941 showed the steel industry produced approximately 18,000,000 net tons of steel ingots in 1941 to set a new production record; the output was 200 per cent greater than that of 1938 and 500 per cent over 1932.
January 1, 1942 The amount of prime defense contracts awarded to Pittsburgh industries totaled $137,865,000, and industry expansion projects amounted to $137,106,000. During the previous year, 23,000 workers were added to payrolls of iron and steel industry in the area.
January 1, 1942 United States Steel prepared to move ahead with construction of a $75,000,000 mill in Homestead.
February 9, 1942 Archaeologists excavating near the intersection of the Boulevard of the Allies and Liberty Avenue found what was believed to be part of the curtain of Fort Pitt.
February 16, 1942 A total of 115,000 Allegheny County men in the expanded 20-to-44-year age group registered for the draft.
March 1, 1942 Domestic use of natural gas was curtailed as a war measure.
March 3, 1942 A 17-inch snowfall, one of the city’s heaviest in history, paralyzed traffic.
March 5, 1942 The Dravo Corporation became the first defense industry to receive the all-Navy “E” in a ceremony highlighted by the launching of a submarine chaser built by Dravo.
March 5, 1942 Air raid drills were organized.
April 6, 1942 An estimated 300,000 persons assembled in the Downtown area to watch 35,000 marchers in an Army Day demonstration of loyalty and patriotism.
April 7, 1942 For the first time since labor’s split in 1936, CIO President Philip Murray and AFL President William Green spoke from the same platform and renewed their pledge of labor peace in a rally at Syria Mosque.
April 19, 1942 The 13 and 16 year-old sons of David L. Lawrence, national Democratic committeeman, were both killed in an automobile crash north of Pittsburgh.
April 19, 1942 Corporal Frank Basa, wounded hero of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, was welcomed home by 40,000 persons who turned out for a parade in Lawrenceville.
April 20, 1942 Following an auction sale of prize dairy herds, bulldozers began leveling an 1100-acre tract of the old Bell farm in Moon Township for a $3,000,000 defense airport.
April 29, 1942 Pittsburgh and nine surrounding counties were designated by the federal government as a defense rental area, and rents were frozen.
May, 1942 After serving as first assistant to nine city solicitors, Anne X. Alpern was appointed city solicitor by Mayor Scully as replacement for William A. Stewart, who entered the army. She was the first woman to become the chief legal officer of a major American city.
May 23, 1942 The United Steel Workers of America, successor to the Steel Workers Organizing Committee, in convention at Cleveland, elected Philip Murray its first president at $20,000 a year.
May 28, 1942 Philip Murray was ousted as vice-president of the United Mine Workers as result of his break with John L. Lewis; John O’Leary, of Pittsburgh, was appointed to succeed him.
June 8, 1942 First “blackout” practice took place.
July 3, 1942 The Army War Show was given at Pitt Stadium.
July 17, 1942 United Steel Workers’ wage policy committee, meeting at William Penn Hotel, accepted a 44-cents-a-day wage increase granted by War Labor Board to employees of “Little Steel” firms.
September 11, 1942 Western State Psychiatric Hospital, a 17-story building started in 1938 and built at a cost of $2,500,000, was dedicated by Governor Arthur H. James.
September 16, 1942 The Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railroad began razing its huge steel train shed behind the old Wabash Station and consigned it to the Pittsburgh scrap drive.
November 22, 1942 Women bus drivers were first employed
December 9, 1942 H. J. Heinz, II, president of the 1942 United War Fund, which conducted a successful $4,500,000 drive, was honored by the Junior Chamber of Commerce as the “man of the year”.
December 9, 1942 John P. Busarello, a John L. Lewis follower, was elected president of District 5, United Mine Workers, defeating Patrick T. Fagan, holder of the office for 22 years and a leader of the Murray forces.
December 25, 1942 For the first time in Pittsburgh’s history the steel mills operated on Christmas Day.
December 30, 1942 Allegheny and Monongahela rivers overflowed, crested at 36.6 at the Point, forced war plants and Downtown theaters to close, made 7500 persons temporarily homeless, and disrupted auto and trolley traffic.
January 2, 1943 The Pittsburgh district was recognized as the nation’s No. 1 steel center after its 1942 record of having produced 20,000,000 tons of steel, chiefly for war purposes; employment was up 10 per cent.
February 1, 1943 Judge Sara M. Soffel, of Common Pleas Court, became the first woman ever to preside over an Allegheny County criminal court.
February 1, 1943 The Allegheny County War Transportation Committee appealed for “no compromise” co-operation from business in proposed plan to stagger working hours in order to prevent serious traffic congestion.
March 11, 1943 Twenty-nine German aliens living near war plants in the Pittsburgh district were arrested.
May 17, 1943 The USO-Variety Club Canteen at Pennsylvania Station was opened with 1700 servicemen as guests.
May 20, 1943 Pittsburgh police, enforcing an OPA ban on pleasure driving, stopped scores of motorists and cited a total of 403 in two days for violation of ration rules.
May 24, 1943 Drastic curtailment of bus and taxi service was required by ODT’s 40 per cent cut in Pittsburgh’s gasoline allotment; the city faced a serious transportation problem as Pittsburgh Railways eliminated five bus routes, curtailed nine others.
May 26, 1943 The nation’s first gasoline “night court,” set up by the OPA office here to speed up action against pleasure driving, opened in the Fulton Building.
June 3, 1943 Mayor Scully had his gas-ration privileges suspended for three months for violating the OPA driving ban by making a 350-mile trip to West Virginia.
July 14, 1943 A federal grand jury began a probe of an insurgent strike which hampered coal production in Western Pennsylvania for nearly a month and slowed steel mills.
July 20, 1943 Colonel Richard K. Mellon, 44-year-old Pittsburgh financier, was named director of the Pennsylvania Selective Service.
August 19, 1943 The $2,000,000 Duquesne Way improvement, another link in the planned Downtown arterial highway system, was opened to traffic. The county commissioners announced that the next step in the Moses Plan would be construction of a cross-town highway at a cost of about $10,000,000.
September, 1943 The Allegheny Conference on Community Development was incorporated as a private, nonprofit organization “to develop, stimulate, encourage, and coordinate” planning activities in the area.
September 12, 1943 A “Hollywood Cavalcade” at Forbes Field sold $87,000,000 in United States war bonds; among those featured were Greer Garson, Fred Astaire, and Harpo Marx.
October 1, 1943 The 19-county western Pennsylvania area went $6,567,000 over its $305,808,900 quota in the third War Loan bond drive.
October 11, 1943 Samuel Harden Church, 85, president of Carnegie Institute, died at Shadyside Hospital after he was stricken at his desk while planning the Institute’s 46th annual Founders Day.
October 26, 1943 William Frew was elevated from the position of vice-president to the presidency of Carnegie Institute.
November 29, 1943 Contracts for the long planned Pitt Parkway (known as the Parkway East today) were signed in Harrisburg but the start of construction was postponed to the end of the war; the cost for the nine-and-a-half mile toad was estimated at$20,000,000.
January 2, 1944 Harry S. Truman, Democratic nominee for vice-president, called for the re-election of President Roosevelt at Syria Mosque.
January 14, 1944 Although granted a 10 per cent raise at the first of the year, 290 city garbage collectors staged their eighth strike in three years for higher wages.
January 18, 1944 A “ceiling zero” smog blanketed Pittsburgh and prevented thousands of war workers from reaching their jobs and homes
January 23, 1944 Private haulers, hired by the city to collect accumulation of garbage, were operating under protection of an 80-man police squad after some trucks were attacked by roving pickets.
January 24, 1944 On the 11th day of the garbage strike, City Council passed two ordinances to end the three-year-old municipal operation and to place the collection of garbage in the hands of private contractors.
February 2, 1944 The city garbage collectors voted to return to work and began hauling away 9000 tons of refuse that had accumulated during their 20-day walkout.
February 24, 1944 Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra went on tour.
April 24, 1944 Technical Sergeant Charles E. “Commando” Kelly, Pittsburgh’s first Congressional Medal of Honor winner in World War II, received a hero’s welcome when he arrived home.
May 10, 1944 Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt made her second visit to Pittsburgh in three months, spent the day touring the city.
May 30, 1944 LST-750, financed by Allegheny County residents through the purchase of $5,000,000 worth of extra war bonds, was launched at Dravo’s East shipyard on Neville Island before a crowd of 25,000.
June 8, 1944 In a mass rally outside the East Pittsburgh plant, 20,000 employees of Westinghouse reaffirmed a no-strike pledge for duration of the war.
July 13, 1944 The fifth War Loan went $5,000,000 over the $334,914,500 quota for the 19-county Western Pennsylvania area.
August 7, 1944 A survey showed that war contracts completed to date or underway in Pittsburgh district plants totaled $903,398,644, with $322,000,000 of it delivered to the front lines.
October 20, 1944 Governor Thomas E. Dewey, of New York, Republican candidate for president, in a pre-election address at Hunt Armory in Pittsburgh, charged the New Deal with having “turned collective bargaining into political bargaining.” While in the city he conferred with top union representatives of 65,000 coal miners in Western Pennsylvania.
November 8, 1944 In winning his fourth term, President Roosevelt carried Allegheny County with a 75,582 majority over Thomas E. Dewey.
November 9, 1944 As the county’s first postwar project, the county commissioners scheduled construction of the $4,000,000 Dravosburg Bridge over the Monongahela River.
November 14, 1944 In one of the district’s worst trolley disasters, six persons were killed and 34 injured when a Homestead-East Pittsburgh streetcar loaded with war workers crashed into the rear of an empty East Liberty-Homestead car at Munhall Junction.
December 4, 1944 Pittsburgh realty values dropped to $980,000,000, their lowest point in 25 years and about $30,000,000 under the 1941 assessment.
December 11, 1944 Thousands of Monday night Christmas shoppers were stranded Downtown by a 15-inch snowfall; all hotels were filled to capacity and lobbies were pressed into service as shelter; mills, schools, and many other activities were forced to suspend for two days.
1945 Work stoppages were reduced 50 per cent during the year by a United States Steel — United Steel Workers agreement on principle of a “fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay,” setting up 32 job classifications and eliminating “speed up.”
January, 1945 Pittsburgh Foundation was instituted.
January 3, 1945 Mayor Scully signed an ordinance setting the 1946 budget at $25,417,422 — highest since 1931.
January 30, 1945 Park H. Martin, who, as chief engineer of the County Works Department, formulated the county’s long-range planning program in 1936, was appointed executive director of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development by Dr. Robert E. Doherty, chairman.
February 16, 1945 Dr. John G. Bowman the nation’s highest-paid educator of the day at $31,500 a year, resigned after 15 years as chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh; Dr. Rufus H. Fitzgerald, vice-chancellor, was designated his successor.
March 7, 1945 Heavy production losses resulted and 25,000 persons in industry were idled by swollen rivers which rose to a crest of 33.4 feet.
April 10, 1945 The city marked the 100th anniversary of its great fire of 1845 with a parade and pageantry.
April 12, 1945 The city and county governments, business, schools, and all other activities were suspended, all churches scheduled special prayer services, and Mayor Scully asked all amusement places to close in mourning for President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
May 30, 1945 Dr. Paul R. Anderson, dean of Lawrence College in Appleton, Wisconsin, was elected president of Pennsylvania College for Women to succeed Dr. Herbert L. Spencer.
June 8, 1945 Councilman George E. Evan, chairman of the Pittsburgh Housing Authority and a pioneer in slum-clearance planning, died at the age of 69.
June 25, 1945 One hundred thousand persons turned out to extend a hero’s welcome to 64 officers and enlisted men returning home from the war.
July 25, 1945 Stockholders of the Pittsburgh Coal Company approved a merger with the Consolidation Coal Company.
August 9, 1945 Russian labor leaders arrived to tour the district’s steel mills.
August 14, 1945 The city was jubilant over the surrender of Japan.
August 17, 1945 Pittsburgh district industries laid off 7000 workers as the first cancellation of a war contract became effective.
November 6, 1945 David L. Lawrence, 56-year-old Democratic state chairman, was elected Mayor of Pittsburgh by a margin of 12,000 votes; five Democratic councilmen retained their seats.
November 14, 1945 At meeting of civic leaders in the Duquesne Club, Richard K. Mellon, president of Regional Planning Association, urged concerted action on plans for a proposed 36-acre $6,000,000 state park at the Point.
December 5, 1945 Council passed an ordinance setting the highest real estate levy in the city’s history-28 mills on land and 14 mills on buildings, a 12 per cent increase over that of 1945.
December 15, 1945 Artemas C. Leslie, son of State Senator Max G. Leslie, was elected district attorney by the judiciary to succeed Russell H. Adams, judge-elect.
December 18, 1945 The county commissioners approved a resolution to create the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority to build and operate a $50,000,000 county-wide sewage disposal system.
December 21, 1945 Park Superintendent Ralph E. Griswold angrily resigned in protest against an “archaic administrative system” for maintaining and operating the city’s $25,000,000 park system.
1946 Carnegie Institute of Technology received an $8,000,000 grant from the Carnegie Foundation.
January 7, 1946 Sworn in as the city’s 47th mayor for the start of the 13th year of unbroken Democratic rule in the city, Mayor David L. Lawrence promised that his basic objective was to make Pittsburgh “outstanding where it is now merely good.”
January 10, 1946 The Commonwealth asked the city and county to contribute a total of $6,000,000 as their share of the estimated $31,000,000 cost of the Penn-Lincoln Parkway.
January 15, 1946 In the Pittsburgh district 18,000 Westinghouse employees joined a nationwide strike of 200,000 electrical industry workers seeking a $2-a-day wage increase.
January 20, 1946 In the largest single walk-out in the nation’s history, 800,000 CIO United Steel Workers — 227,000 of them in the Pittsburgh district — closed down the steel industry after President Truman’s 11th hour fact-finding efforts failed. The first picket line appeared at the Irwin works and National Tube plant.
January 21, 1946 All mills in the district were silent, steel production hit a 50 year low; Philip Murray, in nation-wide broadcast from Pittsburgh, accused American business of an “evil conspiracy” to destroy labor unions.
January 27, 1946 R. K. Mellon and Sarah Mellon Scaife announced gift of a 13Â˝-acre tract of land at Fifth and Penn and $100,000 in cash for development by the city of a public recreation center.
February 12, 1946 Trolley service was suspended and the area was blacked out by a one-day strike of 3400 Duquesne Light employees demanding a 20 per cent cost-of-living pay increase.
February 15, 1946 Seventy thousand United States Steel employees in the Pittsburgh area began to return to work following the signing of an agreement for an 18Â˝-cent hourly wage increase, ending a 27-day shutdown of mills.
February 28, 1946 Attorney General James H. Duff, a Carnegie citizen, was slated as Republican nominee for governor.
March 1, 1946 Threats of a power blackout were removed when Duquesne Light’s independent union agreed to arbitrate the wage dispute.
March 6, 1946 A $200,000, five-alarm fire destroyed a building-supply building at 410 Liberty Avenue, and flames spread to the nearby Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railroad trestle and to part of the old Wabash Terminal.
March 14, 1946 The county commissioners proposed a $300,000 people’s bond issue for public improvements, including $8,000,000 for the Greater Pittsburgh Airport and an Ohio River Boulevard extension through the North Side into the Triangle.
March 14, 1946 The Farmers Deposit National Bank prepared to become a $200,000,000 institution with acquisition of the Pitt National Bank.
March 18, 1946 Maurice Falk, Pittsburgh philanthropist, co-founder of the Falk Chemical Company, and originator of the Maurice and Laura Falk Foundation, died at the age of 79 in Florida.
March 22, 1946 Another fire, with damages estimated at $500,000, gutted the Wabash Terminal and railroad trestle and damaged 11 warehouses. It was this group of structures which blocked the development of the Point area.
March 22, 1946 State police moved into areas around Westinghouse plants to enforce a court order limiting picketing in the 67-day strike of Westinghouse workers.
March 25, 1946 General Brehon B. Somervell, commander of the Army Service Forces in World War II, was elected president of the Koppers Company.
April 1, 1946 Smoke-control regulations, suspended with the start of the war, were revived in a new ordinance establishing October 1 as the effective date for first half of program.
April 4, 1946 Enforcement of home provisions of the smoke-control ordinance was postponed one year as result of an agreement worked out by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and the Western Pennsylvania Conference on Air Pollution, representing coal producers.
April 12, 1946 An 18-cent hourly wage raise was awarded to Duquesne Light workers by the arbitration board.
May 7, 1946 Federal Court ordered the Pittsburgh Railways to reorganize and find an immediate solution to its financial problems.
May 9, 1946 A 115-day strike of 75,000 Westinghouse workers — longest major walkout since the war — ended with the CIO-United Electrical accepting an 18-cent hourly wage increase; 15,000 Pittsburgh district employees approved pact and prepared to go back to work.
June 3, 1946 The Civic Light Opera, founded on a $50,000 gift from Edgar J. Kaufmann and the 10-year efforts of a civic group headed by A. L. Wolk, H. Edgar Lewis, Mrs. Clifford Heinz, and others, opened its first eight-week summer season with a performance of Victor Herbert’s Naughty Marietta before 5000 persons at Pitt Stadium.
June 19, 1946 Pittsburgh’s Billy Conn was knocked out at Yankee Stadium, New York, in the eighth round of his second attempt to win the heavyweight boxing championship from Joe Louis.
June 26, 1946 Official casualty lists of the United States War Department placed Allegheny County’s World War II dead at 3982 out of a total of 26,554 for Pennsylvania.
July 8, 1946 The Mellon National Bank and Trust Company became a billion-dollar financial institution, one of the nation’s largest and strongest, as the result of an approval of merger by directors of the Union Trust Company of Pittsburgh and the Mellon National Bank.
July 18, 1946 Ground was broken in Moon Township for a $10,000,000 Greater Pittsburgh Airport extension.
July 27, 1946 The first Civic Light Opera season ended as a success, with total attendance of 270,000 and gate receipts at $319,121.
August, 1946 Construction work started on a new bus terminal on the site of the old Monongahela House at Smithfield and Water streets.
August 4, 1946 The 13-story, 500-room Roosevelt Hotel was purchased by Charles M. Morris and Norbert Stern for $1,800,000.
August 8, 1946 After 47 years under ownership of the Dreyfuss family, the Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Club was purchased, at a price reported to be about $2,250,000, by a combine headed by Frank E. McKinney, Indianapolis banker, and including singer Bing Crosby, attorney Thomas P. Johnson, of Pittsburgh, and realtor John W. Calbraith, of Columbus, Ohio.
September 3, 1946 In a move to break a deadlock in their wage dispute with the Duquesne Light Company, members of the 3800-member power union voted to strike.
September 24, 1946 The city’s power supply was cut to 45 per cent when Duquesne Light Company employees failed to report for work; Union President George L. Mueller was sentenced to one year in jail for inspiring the strike in defiance of a court restraining order. Pittsburgh labor leaders, headed by County Commissioner John J. Kane, protested Mueller’s arrest.
September 25, 1946 Eight thousand steel and electrical workers in the Pittsburgh district struck in protest against George Mueller’s arrest; despite Mueller’s plea to them to return to work, union members voted in a meeting to refuse to consider a company offer until the court lifted its antistrike injunction. Trolley service was cut 50 per cent; many stores closed.
September 26, 1946 Negotiations were resumed and formal picketing started when the contempt citation against George Mueller was dismissed.
September 28, 1946 Trolley service was stopped by a sympathy strike.
October 1, 1946 The city’s eight major hotels — William Penn, Roosevelt, Fort Pitt, Pittsburgher, Keystone, Webster Hall, Schenley, and Henry — closed at midnight when AFL hotel restaurant employees, Local 237, walked off job to enforce wage demands.
October 1, 1946 The city’s smoke-control law became effective for industry, railroads, and commercial establishments.
October 7, 1946 Closed two weeks because of the power blackout, the department stores reopened and were stormed by crowds of eager shoppers.
October 14, 1946 Despite the power strike, business and social life in Pittsburgh returned to near-normal; a number of auxiliary generating plant appeared on sidewalks outside Downtown buildings; traffic into the Downtown area increased 25 per cent; steel production was running at from 80 to 100 per cent of capacity; schools opened; crime decreased.
October 14, 1946 Trolley and bus operators voted to cross the electric union picket lines, and limited transit service was resumed.
October 21, 1946 Full street lighting was resumed after the union agreed to submit wage demands to arbitration, ending the 27-day power strike.
November 5, 1946 The Very Reverend Daniel Ivancho, 38-year-old Cleveland priest, was consecrated bishop of the Byzantine-Slavonic Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in a four-hour ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral; he was the second American to be so honored.
November 12, 1946 City Council approved an ordinance creating a five-man Urban Redevelopment Authority as an instrument for acquiring and clearing land in the city’s fight against blight and slums; Mayor Lawrence became its chairman.
November 18, 1946 In a meeting called by the United Smoke Council, a majority of municipal officers of Allegheny County demanded that the proposed county-wide smoke-control law include all railroads.
November 22, 1946 A 53-day shutdown of eight Pittsburgh hotels ended when 1700 striking employees voted to go back to work.
November 25, 1946 The city’s first “brown-out” became effective with a national order to curtail electric power consumption as the result of a coal short-age caused by another nationwide strike of miners.
November 26, 1946 Pittsburgh was assured funds for the Conemaugh Dam flood-control project when the Truman administration decided to spend an additional $55,000,000 for such work.
December 5, 1946 Some 120,000 steel workers, railroaders, and miners were idle in the Pittsburgh area because of the coal strike.
December 9, 1946 At the annual dinner of the Regional Planning Association in the Duquesne Club, announcement was made of the organization of the Pittsburgh Public Parking Authority and a plan to build 20 new parking garages for 25,819 cars daily at a total cost of $36,000,000.
February 11, 1947 The Veterans Administration approved plans for a 1248-bed hospital above Pitt Stadium at a cost of $11,000,000.
February 22, 1947 Hundreds of persons were forced to seek overnight shelter Downtown when an 11-inch snow-storm hit the city and disrupted traffic.
March, 1947 Pittsburgh’s new “Ladycops,” 100 strong, appeared for the first time at school crossings to protect children from traffic.
March 17, 1947 Ben Moreell, Chief of the United States Navy Bureau of Yards and Docks in World War II and organizer and commander of the construction battalions — the famed “Seabees” — was elected president and chairman of the board of Jones and Laughlin.
March 20, 1947 Mayor Lawrence ordered all-out crackdown on railroad violators of the city’s new antismoke law.
March 20, 1947 Richard K. Mellon, as president of the Regional Planning Association, expressed wholehearted support of all 10 bills in the “Pittsburgh Package” legislative program for improving the city.
April 2, 1947 A six-month brewery jurisdictional war ended with a truce between AFL Teamsters and CIO Brewery Workers.
April 18, 1947 Westinghouse and the United Electrical Workers signed a pact providing for an 11–1/2-cent hourly wage increase for workers.
April 18, 1947 A record opening-day crowd at Forbes Field — 38,2 16, including Bing Crosby — saw the Pittsburgh Pirates, under new ownership, defeat Cincinnati, 12 to II.
April 18, 1947 The new bus terminal was opened at Water and Smithfield Streets and hailed as the first step in “the Downtown of tomorrow.”
April 20, 1947 United States Steel granted a $1-a-day wage increase to 140,000 employees.
April 23, 1947 Pitt announced plans to build a $2,000,000 field house and gymnasium.
April 30, 1947 The State Senate passed, 25 to 4, a county-wide smoke-control bill covering railroads; also enacted in the Legislature was a bill to create a county-wide system of incineration.
May 6, 1947 Defeated in the House, a bill to create the Pittsburgh Parking Authority was rescued by Governor Duff and submitted for reconsideration.
May 9, 1947 A 31-day taxi strike ended when 900 members of Local 128, AFL Teamsters, agreed to a 45-cent hourly pay raise.
May 21, 1947 Philip Murray issued a two-year, no-strike order to 3000 United Steel Workers locals.
May 23, 1947 As the first step in a station improvement program, the Pennsylvania Railroad began dismantling its huge passenger train shed.
May 27, 1947 A major advancement in smoke control was represented in the Pennsylvania Railroad’s announcement of a complete dieselization program, with the first 47 diesel locomotives scheduled for operation before the end of 1947.
June 4, 1947 The Allegheny Conference on Community Development, in its first “mass transit” report, branded Pittsburgh’s transportation system as outmoded; it recommended an Oakland to Downtown subway, express buses, a curb parking ban, and other measures.
June 5, 1947 The Parking Authority Act became law.
June 8, 1947 In the preceding 15-year period, the A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust contributed a total of $76,000,000 to local and national institutions, a trust report showed.
June 12, 1947 The Brentwood Motor Coach strike ended after 44 days of one of the longest transportation tie-ups in city history.
June 19, 1947 The annual assessment report showed assessed valuation in the city had dropped to $957,234,801- nearly $250,000,000 below the 1936 figure.
June 31, 1947 A 60-day strike which idled 2500 truck drivers in Western Pennsylvania ended.
August 31, 1947 The Allegheny County Free Fair drew the largest one-day crowd in its history-roughly estimated at 450,000 persons.
September 2, 1947 For the first time police began enforcing the city’s ban on Downtown curb parking between 8 and 9,30 AM, and 4:30 and 6 P.M. daily.
September 9, 1947 A river excursion boat, the Island Queen, said to be the largest river pleasure boat in the world, exploded as it was tied to the Monongahela River wharf; 19 persons were fatally injured.
September 9, 1947 City voters approved a $21,000,000 bond issue for an assortment of municipal improvements to cover sewers, streets, parks, and other facilities.
September 23, 1947 Mayor Lawrence returned to his desk after a six-week layoff enforced by a delicate eye operation.
October 1, 1947 The city’s antismoke ordinance, expected to save the city $16,000,000 a year in cleaning, health, and decorating bills was extended to 141,788 coal-burning private homes.
October 3, 1947 A survey showed that the steel industry was spending “in excess of $100,000,000” in the Pittsburgh district for expansion and replacement of old equipment.
October 23, 1947 A three-man congressional investigating committee opened a hearing on Pittsburgh’s critical housing shortage. Its climax came when the committee chairman, Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, of Wisconsin, threatened to expel City Solicitor Anne X. Alpern from the hearing room when she repeatedly called attention to the senator’s failure to support public housing measures.
October 29, 1947 President Richard K. Mellon of the Pittsburgh Regional Planning Association, at its annual dinner, announced plans for redevelopment of 70 acres of the Lower Hill District and creation there of a “Pittsburgh Center,” to include a sports arena for 18,000, apartment housing, a new street pattern, and other improvements.
November 4, 1947 William S. Rahauser, Democrat of Coraopolis, was elected district attorney over incumbent Artemas C. Leslie; five Democratic councilmen were re-elected; County Commissioners Kane and Rankin were re-elected; Earnest Hillman was elected minority commissioner.
November 10, 1947 A financial drive to back Henry A. Wallace for president as a third-party candidate was launched in Pittsburgh at Syria Mosque, where he spoke to an overflow crowd.
November 24, 1947 Mayor Lawrence presented to Council an all-time high budget, totaling $30,110,973 for 1948.
November 28, 1947 City Council passed the record-high budget and enacted three new special taxes — mercantile, amusement, and personal property — over the bitter opposition of business interests.
November 28, 1947 The Pittsburgh Board of Education adopted an $18,000,000 budget, an increase of $3,000,000 over 1947, and levied a new $5-a-year head tax on all city residents over 21 years.
January 5, 1948 Trolley fares went up to 10 cents cash and three-for-a-quarter tokens were eliminated.
January 15, 1948 Secretary of State George C. Marshall spoke at the 74th annual dinner of the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, warned against any cuts in United States aid to Europe.
January 19, 1948 State Supreme Court upheld the city’s new mercantile and personal property taxes.
January 20, 1948 Richard K. Mellon, the Jaycees’ “man of the year,” announced creation of a $6,400,000 Richard King Mellon Foundation — the seventh to be set up by members of his family.
January 29, 1948 A long-smoldering feud between left- and right-wing factions of the CIO-United Electrical flared into riot proportions during a meeting at the Fort Pitt Hotel.
January 31, 1948 Boggs and Buhl, 79-year-old North Side department store, was purchased for $2,500,000 by a group of Pittsburghers and New Yorkers and thus saved from liquidation; plans were announced for a $1,000,000 rejuvenation.
February 4, 1948 The Equitable Life Assurance Society of New York purchased the 33-story Koppers Building for $6,000,000.
February 14, 1948 Workmen Evert J. Hungerford and John E. Morse were killed in a rock fall during construction of the Squirrel Hill Tunnels of the Penn-Lincoln Parkway.
February 16, 1948 At the outset of a strike of 1100 Yellow Cab drivers, Louis Di Lembo, 28, a striker, was killed on a Downtown street by a shot fired from a passing Owl Cab.
February 24, 1948 Fritz Reiner announced his resignation after 10 years as conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony.
February 26, 1948 The Pennsylvania Railroad announced plans to build a $4,500,000 warehouse covering three blocks between Penn and Liberty avenues.
March 9, 1948 The 24-day Yellow Cab strike came to an end.
March 11, 1948 Judge William H. McNaugher ruled invalid a 1947 city ordinance to sell the historic Diamond Market House. He held that the city had no right to sell because it never legally owned the property, which was laid out in 1784 as a “public square” by John Penn and John Penn, Jr.
March 21, 1948 Duquesne Light announced plans for a $28,000,000 power plant at Elrama, near Clairton, to serve the area.
March 31, 1948 George Hubbard Clapp, one of five men responsible for the production of aluminum, the founder of the Aluminum Company of America and the oldest alumnus of Pitt, died at the age of 90 at Sewickley Valley Hospital.
April 11, 1948 Dr. John B. (Jock) Sutherland, coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers and regarded as Pittsburgh’s greatest gridiron figure, died at the age of 59 at West Penn Hospital.
April 12, 1948 Soft-coal miners of western Pennsylvania began returning to work on the 29th day of a walkout that won for them $100-a-month retirement pay.
April 14, 1948 The rivers went to 29.5 feet in a “surprise” flood.
April 15, 1948 Thomas A. Mellon, retired president of Mellon-Stuart Company and nephew of the late A. W. Mellon, died at the age of 74.
April 22, 1948 United States Steel announced a $25,000,000 price cut after rejecting demands for a pay increase.
May 24, 1948 Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Pittsburgh Public Parking Authority and opened the way for the start of a parking program in the city.
May 26, 1948 W. L. Mellon, at 80, retired as chairman of the board of the Gulf Oil Corporation after 45 years as the firmâ€™s active head; J. F. Drake was named his successor; S. A. Swensrud was named president. At the same annual meeting the company announced plans to spend $250,000,000 for expansion.
May 31, 1948 A five-alarm fire destroyed Pitt’s chemical engineering and metallurgical laboratory on the upper campus at a loss of $500,000.
June 1, 1948 The Philadelphia Company, Pittsburgh utility holding company, was ordered by the Securities Exchange Commission to dispose of its gas and transportation properties and dissolve its business.
June 3, 1948 The University of Pittsburgh announced the greatest single expansion move in its 161-year history, a $19,500,000 program to build eight new structures, including a new medical school, nurses’ home, and library. A campaign for $16,500,000 in public subscriptions was started.
June 20, 1948 Westinghouse agreed to an 8 per cent wage increase for 70,000 employees.
July 1, 1948 Wallace Richards, 44, director of Pittsburgh Regional Planning for 11 years and one of Pittsburgh’s leading professional planners, became assistant director of Carnegie Museum in charge of a revitalization program for that institution.
July 20, 1948 United States Steel raised prices of finished steel product an average of $9.34 per ton.
July 22, 1948 The city hired Herbert J. Dunsmore, Michigan expert in food and milk sanitation, as its first public health engineer.
August 9, 1948 Plans were announced for a 40-story combination United States Steel-Mellon National Bank and Trust Company office skyscraper to connect with the Mellon Bank Building on Fifth at Smithfield.
August 23, 1948 The city signed a $3,475,000 contract with the Broadway Maintenance Corporation of New York for installation and maintenance of an entirely new and modern street-lighting system.
September 1, 1948 The Veterans Administration revealed plans for a $17,000,000 hospital to consist of 11 major buildings on a 200-acre site adjoining the city’s Leech Farm Tuberculosis hospital.
September 2, 1948 Edward V. Babcock, World War I Republican Mayor, former member of Council, county commissioner, and multimillionaire lumberman, died at the age of 84 at his home, 5135 Ellsworth Avenue.
September 9, 1948 William N. McNair, Pittsburgh’s most publicized, most quixotic Mayor and the city’s best-known and most fervent single-tax advocate, died at the age of 68 when he was stricken in the St. Louis, Missouri, Union Station. He had gone to that city to address the Henry George School of Social Science.
September 15, 1948 Tens of thousands of Pittsburghers visited the Freedom Train during its stopover at Pennsylvania Station.
September 28, 1948 Bernard Nieman, president of Frank and Seder, died at the age of 68 at his home, 5405 Northumberland.
October 1, 1948 Senator Alben W. Barkley, Democratic vice-presidential nominee, campaigned in the city.
October 2, 1948 Pittsburgh Playhouse announced plans for a new theater.
October 3, 1948 Mrs. William Thaw, Jr., once the “grand matron” of Pittsburgh society, died at the age of 94 at her home, 5427 Forbes Street.
October 11, 1948 In a major campaign address before 20,000 at Hunt Armory, Governor Thomas E. Dewey offered a 12-point program for labor to strengthen “free society.”
October 18, 1948 Henry A. Wallace, Progressive candidate for President, spoke to a crowd of 3100 at Duquesne Gardens.
October 22, 1948 General Motors leased the Ambridge shipyards for a metal stamping plant.
October 23, 1948 President Truman addressed 25,000 enthusiastic partisans in and around Hunt Armory. Philip Murray shared the platform and spoke in support of the President’s re-election.
October 25, 1948 General Motors announced plans to build a second metal stamping plant in the Pittsburgh district after purchasing a Mifflin Township site from Carnegie-Illinois Steel for its Fisher Body Division.
October 27, 1948 Westinghouse gave $200,000 to Pitt for a science building.
October 31, 1948 A four-day smog began to lift from the Pittsburgh district after causing the death of 20 people in nearby Donora.
November 2, 1948 Allegheny County gave Truman 325,411; Dewey 252,638; Wallace 10,883 in the presidential election. Congressman John R. McDowell, Republican member of the House un-American Activities Investigating Committee, was defeated by Harry J. Davenport in his bid for re-election.
November 19, 1948 For the second time in less than a year, the Pittsburgh Railways sought a fare increase — to 12 cents cash; the Bell Telephone Company requested a 25.5 per cent increase for private phones.
November 22, 1948 City Council authorized City Solicitor Anne X. Alpern to wage a fight against the “highly unjust advance” asked for trolleys.
November 23, 1948 The United States Public Health Service, in a 100,000-word survey report, charged that the city was deficient in its health department and recommended $1,000,000 worth of improvements.
November 24, 1948 Captain Thomas J. Hamilton, twice football coach of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, was named athletic director of the University of Pittsburgh.
December 1, 1948 Edgar J. Kaufmann, president of the Civic Light Opera Association, announced plans for construction of a $1,000,000 amphitheater with a retractable roof.
December 7, 1948 The H. J. Heinz Company disclosed plans for a $15,000,000 expansion program at its North Side plant, including construction of four new buildings.
December 13, 1948 Carnegie Tech announced a $4,000,000 building and renovation program in a move to relieve overcrowding.
December 27, 1948 Thomas J. Fitzpatrick, head of the left-wing forces in Local 601, United Electrical Workers, was defeated in his bid for re-election as president. The “Rank and File” forces, headed by Phil Counahan, assumed control of the union after a long and bitter fight.
December 28, 1948 The job of building the nation’s first atomic-powered engine — for use in propelling a navy ship — was assigned by the Atomic Energy Commission to the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, which immediately made preparation to employ some 600 persons in the district for the project.
January 2, 1949 A report by the Pittsburgh Industrial Development Council of the Chamber of Commerce showed that 50 new industries were established in the Pittsburgh area in 1948.
January 4, 1949 Jones and Laughlin Steel prepared to launch a $210,000,000 postwar expansion program, including a new six-furnace open-hearth shop at the South Side works.
January 4, 1949 A report from the Building Owners and Managers Association showed the rate of occupancy in 40 Pittsburgh office buildings was 99.8 per cent.
January 11, 1949 Pittsburgh’s first television station — DuMont’s WDTV, Channel 3 — went on the air with a program originating on the stage of Syria Mosque.
February 2, 1949 The Aluminum Company of America announced plans for the nation’s first all-aluminum office skyscraper.
February 13, 1949 The State purchased from the Pennsylvania Railroad 1 3 acres for the projected Point Park.
April, 1949 The largest project in a flood — control network to protect Pittsburgh — the $44,000,000 Conemaugh Dam, near Saltsburg — went into construction.
April 2, 1949 A minor riot had to be quelled by police when a crowd outside Carnegie Music Hall, North Side, closed in on 250 Communists after a rally.
April 11, 1949 More than 100,000 items went on sale at auction at the Hotel Henry preparatory to its demolition to clear the site for the new United States Steel-Mellon building.
April 13, 1949 A grant of $225,000 for revival of the International Exhibit of Contemporary Painting at Carnegie Institute was provided by the A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust.
April 23, 1949 The Mellon family gave $4,000,000 to the city for acquisition of a midtown site and establishment of a park over a 1000-car, block-square underground parking garage.
May 17, 1949 Harry W. Fowler, 58-year-old chairman of the County Planning Commission, became the first North Sider to be named to the board of county commissioners.
May 19, 1949 Crucible Steel opened a new $18,000,000 sheet and strip mill at its Midland works.
May 21, 1949 More than 200,000 persons lined the banks of the Monongahela River to watch Carnegie-Illinois’s Homestead defeat Jones and Laughlin’s William Larimer Jones by inches in a modern-day race of stern-wheelers.
May 28, 1949 The Pittsburgh Public Parking Authority announced a program to build four off-street parking garages Downtown to alleviate the growing traffic problem.
June 6, 1949 Carnegie Institute of Technology opened a nuclear research center at nearby Saxonburg.
June 9, 1949 Dr. J. C. Warner, chemistry department head and wartime atomic scientist, was named to succeed Dr. Robert E. Doherty on the latter’s retirement July 1, 1950, as president of Carnegie Tech.
June 18, 1949 The United Engineering and Foundry, the Mesta Machine Company, and Westinghouse received major portions of a $149,360,000 contract for a French steel mill scheduled for construction under the European Recovery Administration program.
June 28, 1949 On request of the city, the State Supreme Court postponed trolley rate increases indefinitely.
August 13, 1949 The Urban Redevelopment Authority announced the first public-private project of its kind in the nation-a plan to clear 30 South Side blocks of substandard housing and small business for Jones and Laughlinâ€™s $42,000,000 South Side expansion, improve surrounding streets, and eliminate three railroad grade crossings.
September 5, 1949 President Truman addressed an estimated crowd of 200,000 at the County Fair; later, 15,000 AFL members marched through Downtown in the city’s first Labor Day parade in eight years.
September 13, 1949 Following a bitter campaign, Mayor Lawrence won the nomination for re-election; his primary election opponent was AFL-backed Councilman Edward J. Leonard.
September 20, 1949 The Equitable Life Assurance Society approved plans to convert 23 acres in lower Triangle into a modern, landscaped business area, the first project consisting of three 20-story office buildings.
September 22, 1949 The Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust Fund gave $13,600,000 to the University of Pittsburgh to build and operate a Graduate School of Public Health.
November 2, 1949 Because of alleged Communist leanings, the United Electrical Workers Union was expelled from the CIO in a convention at Cleveland; United Electrical locals in the Pittsburgh area, under right-wing control, withdrew from the parent union and prepared to charter a CIO electrical union.
November 8, 1949 Mayor Lawrence was given a majority of 56,000 votes, the largest ever accorded a Mayoralty candidate of Pittsburgh, in his victory over Timothy F. (Tice) Ryan for reelection to his second term.
November 11, 1949 A 42-day strike, which halted production in steel mills of the district and nation, was ended when United States Steel signed a contract with the CIO-United Steel Workers for a company-financed pension plan.
November 11, 1949 The city had its largest Armistice Day parade in 31 years, with 20,000 veterans of three wars participating.
November 16, 1949 The Pennsylvania Railroad raised district commuter fares 22 per cent.
November 20, 1949 After an eight-month trial, the Post-Gazette printed the final edition of its Sunday paper and returned to a six-day operation; copyrights and features were sold to the Sunday Sun-Telegraph.
November 23, 1949 The 12-cent trolley and 15-cent bus fare became effective; State Supreme Court refused the cityâ€™s plea for a further suspension of higher rates.
December 5, 1949 Mayor Lawrence again submitted to Council a record-high budget, proposing appropriation of $34,400,000 for 1950.
December 11, 1949 Edward T. Leech, 57, editor of the Pittsburgh Press for 18 years, died at Mercy Hospital.
December 15, 1949 United States Steel announced a price increase averaging $4 a ton.
December 21, 1949 Charles R. Cox resigned as president of Carnegie-Illinois Steel and was succeeded by Clifford Hood.
1950 Population: 676,806. Pittsburgh is listed as the 12th largest city in America.
January 4, 1950 For the third time in two years, the Pittsburgh Railways Company announced rate increases — to 15 cents on trolleys and 20 cents on buses.
January 11, 1950 Lawsuits brought by property owners in the Lower Triangle were dismissed by State Supreme Court and the way was clear for construction of the 23-acre Gateway Center.
January 25, 1950 January heat records were shattered when the temperature went to 76.
February 10, 1950 Detailed plans were disclosed for construction of the Penn-Lincoln Parkway West with a large interchange in Carnegie.
February 14, 1950 Fifty million dollars worth of contracts were signed in the Mayor’s office for the start of Gateway Center. At the same time the Urban Redevelopment Authority announced purchase of the Jones and Laughlin building, on Ross Street, for use as civic headquarters. The city also announced purchase of the Peoples Gas building for $1,116,000 for demolition in the Mellon Square Park project.
February 22, 1950 In testimony before the House committee, Matt Cvetic placed the number of Communist party members in Western Pennsylvania at 550, listed a number of Pittsburgh organizations as Communist “fronts,” and exposed the names of many Pittsburghers alleged to be connected with the Communist party.
February 27, 1950 The Central Christian Church in Bellefield was destroyed by fire; the loss was estimated at $175,000.
March 3, 1950 A power-conserving “dimout” ended in the Pittsburgh district as the United Mine Workers and coal-mine operators agreed on a wage increase to settle a nationwide strike.
March 21, 1950 City Council passed six ordinances banning billboards along the route of the Penn-Lincoln Parkway, except for a portion west of Bates Street.
April 30, 1950 The Nixon Theater-47 years and 48 seasons old-closed its doors with a performance of Mae West’s Diamond Lil before an audience of 2256.
May 2, 1950 Some 150,000 persons were without transportation after 130 drivers of the Harmony Short Line, serving the Allegheny Valley, went on strike.
May 15, 1950 Governor Duff gave the signal that set in motion an 1800-pound demolition ball that began wrecking a 103-year-old building at 110 Penn Avenue, first of many destined for destruction in the 36-acre Point Park area.
May 17, 1950 Five additional bus lines were idled by a strike of 750 drivers, depriving 450,000 district residents of transportation.
May 18, 1950 Mayor Lawrence and Ben Moreell, president of Jones and Laughlin, jointly broke ground for the start of Jones and Laughlin’s $60,000,000 open-hearth plant at its South Side works.
May 31, 1950 Allegheny County’s smoke-control ordinance, covering 128 municipalities, became partially effective.
June 9, 1950 A strike of 3250 dairy drivers shut off milk supplies to seven counties of Western Pennsylvania.
June 29, 1950 Members of Local 205, AFL Teamsters, agreed to wage terms, ending a 21-day milk strike.
August 1, 1950 Western Pennsylvania’s famed 28th Division was called into active service to strengthen United States ground forces in the Korean war.
August 11, 1950 State Supreme Court overrode arguments of the city of Pittsburgh for a postponement and permitted 15-cent trolley and 20-cent bus fares to take effect.
August 29, 1950 A 118-day strike of Harmony Bus Line drivers ended.
August 31, 1950 Steve Nelson, Western Pennsylvania Communist party leader, was arrested with two other party leaders on bench warrants sworn out by Judge Michael A. Musmanno and charged with sedition. Later in the day Judge Musmanno personally led a raid on Communist headquarters in the Bakewell Building.
September 4, 1950 The Senator motion-picture house on Liberty Avenue became the new Nixon Theater with the opening of Oklahoma.
September 10, 1950 More than 130,000 Catholic men filled Forbes Field for a Holy Name rally in one of the cityâ€™s largest religious demonstrations in history.
September 13, 1950 A 119-day Brentwood Motor Coach strike ended.
September 19, 1950 Oriole Motor Coach drivers ended their 125-day strike.
September 29, 1950 At a height of 550 feet, the U.S. Steel-Mellon Building is topped out in a flag-raising ceremony. Thirty-five feet shorter than the Gulf Building, it was the city’s second-tallest skyscraper. (The building later became known as Three Mellon Center and is now officially called 525 William Penn Place.)
October 1, 1950 Two hundred mailing-room employees failed to report for work because of a contract dispute, forcing the Sun-Telegraph, Press, and Post-Gazette to suspend publication and idle 2500 other employees.
October 15, 1950 Under leadership of the Pittsburgh local of the American Newspaper Guild, members of 10 unions idled by the newspaper strike published the Daily Reporter after two weeks of a virtual news and advertising blackout.
October 15, 1950 Ground was broken for the 16-story nurses’ residence, first major project to be started in the building program for the Pitt Medical Center.
October 15, 1950 Excavation started for construction of three stainless steel office buildings in Gateway Center and a large underground parking area.
October 19, 1950 General Dwight D. Eisenhower, president of Columbia University, told a Carnegie Institute Founders Day audience at Carnegie Music Hall that “there is no such thing as a preventive war.” The occasion marked the opening of the Institute’s 38th International Art Exhibit, its first in eleven years.
November 6, 1950 Branch Rickey, builder of the St. Louis Cardinals and Brooklyn Dodgers, was named general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
November 6, 1950 AFL Teamster delivery truck drivers began a strike against Kaufmann’s, Gimbel’s, and Horne’s.
November 8, 1950 CIO telephone workers of the district joined a nationwide strike, interrupting telephone service here.
November 18, 1950 After posing for years as a Communist Party member, Matt Cvetic, 41-year-old executive secretary of the American Slav Congress of Pittsburgh, appeared before the House Un-American Activities Investigating Committee in Washington and revealed himself to be an FBI undercover agent.
November 18, 1950 The 47-day-old newspaper strike ended; 3000 employees returned to their jobs.
November 24, 1950 Auto, bus, and trolley traffic was brought to a standstill by a 30.5-inch snowfall — heaviest in the cityâ€™s history. Snowbanks on streets were piled as high as automobile tops.
November 27, 1950 The city and its environs were snowbound. Newspapers failed to publish; most stores were closed; schools were closed; deaths resulting from the storm totaled 15.
November 29, 1950 Downtown stores reopened with National Guardsmen on hand to prevent a traffic impasse. Trolleys and buses resumed operation.
November 30, 1950 City tow trucks began removing some 5000 snowbound autos from trolley routes; snow-removal machines were also in action.
December 1, 1950 National Guard road-blocks were removed and the blocks were removed and the Triangle was opened to all traffic.
December 18, 1950 More than 8000 members of 19 other AFL unions returned to work after AFL delivery drivers ended a 29-day strike against the three major department stores-Kaufmann’s, Gimbel’s, and Horne’s.
December 22, 1950 Bishop Hugh C. Boyle, 77-year-old spiritual leader of 800,000 Roman Catholics in the Pittsburgh diocese, died in Mercy Hospital; he was immediately succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop John F. Dearden.
January 2, 1951 The State Supreme Court sustained the city’s controversial “A-B-C” restaurant sanitation code, and the Department of Public Health prepared to enforce it.
February 18, 1951 Another trolley fare increase-this one raising the price of tokens one and three-quarters cents- became effective.
February 27, 1951 William Alvah Stewart, a city councilman, was appointed a federal judge by President Truman.
March 6, 1951 Koppers’ Kobuta rubber plant was knocked out of defense production for three months by a $500,000 fire.
March 26, 1951 In a message to City Council, Mayor Lawrence outlined plans for Pittsburgh’s third major redevelopment program-the clearance of 100 acres of slums in the Hill District and construction of a public arena, 30 acres of housing, and other improvements.
April 1, 1951 Mayor Lawrence invited representatives of school districts and colleges and universities to meet with him to discuss organization of an educational television station for Pittsburgh.
April 16, 1951 Design of a giant lighted fountain, shooting a brilliant column of water 100 feet into the air, was approved by the Point Park committee as an appropriate decoration for the tip of Point Park.
April 19, 1951 I. W. Wilson, senior vice-president, was elected president of the Aluminum Company of America.
May 5, 1951 Mrs. Edith Oliver Rea, who pioneered in the field of Veterans’ Rehabilitation (World War I) and who instituted the Grey Ladies service of the Red Cross, died in Boston, Massachusetts.
May 25, 1951 The Pittsburgh Railways Company asked the Public Utilities Commission for permission to abandon its 79-year-old Mount Oliver Incline.
June, 1951 Washington Boulevard was flooded and one woman, trapped in her car, was drowned.
June 27, 1951 A special grand jury recommended indictment of Mayor Lawrence, City Controller Edward R. Frey, and nine others as the result of an investigation into city light and coal contracts.
July 18, 1951 Joe Walcott, 37, knocked out Ezzard Charles in the seventh round in a heavyweight championship fight at Forbes Field before 28,272 persons — a record fight turnout for Pittsburgh.
July 25, 1951 In the primary election, Judge Michael A. Musmanno upset the Democratic leadership and won a 21-year term on the bench of Pennsylvania State Supreme Court.
August 10, 1951 In connection with the Penn-Lincoln Parkway project, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad agreed to get its passenger station out of the way and build a new one at the foot of Grant Street.
August 10, 1951 Pittsburgh Railways asked that fares be raised to 17 cents on trolleys and 23 cents on buses.
August 17, 1951 Steve Nelson, already on trial on sedition charges, was arrested by the FBI with five other district Communist leaders in the latest of a nationwide series of raids.
August 31, 1951 After a 35-week trial, Communists Andrew Onda and James Dolsen were found guilty by a Criminal Court jury of advocating overthrow of the government by force and violence.
September 9, 1951 In a radio and television speech Mayor Lawrence denounced the management of the Pittsburgh Railways Company and appealed to the public to join the city in fighting fare increases.
September 20, 1951 Judge Timothy F. (Tice) Ryan, 1949 Republican Mayoralty candidate, died at 65 at his East End home.
October 5, 1951 Mayor Lawrence was cleared by a grand jury, but seven other officials were indicted in connection with alleged discrepancies in contracts for a new city lighting system.
October 11, 1951 Kaufmann’s department store announced purchase of the 19-story Frick Annex building for the start of a multi-million-dollar enlargement program.
October 24, 1951 A district epidemic of bank frauds spread to Pittsburgh; three officials of the Federal Credit Union of Kaufmann’s were arrested on charges of embezzling $338,901.
October 30, 1951 Defense Mobilizer Charles E. Wilson tapped the first heat, putting into operation the new $70,000,000 open-hearth shop at the South Side plant of Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation.
November, 1951 The Pittsburgh Housing Authority initiated construction of the 1089-unit St. Clair Village housing project on the South Side.
November 6, 1951 James F. Malone, Republican leader, was elected district attorney over Judge Francis J. O’Connor; Democratic County Commissioners Kane and Fowler were reelected; State Senator John M. Walker of Oakmont was named minority commissioner.
November 26, 1951 The 67-mile $77,500,000 western extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike was dedicated at the Ohio border with Governor Frank J. Lausche, of Ohio, promising that his state would extend the expressway.
November 29, 1951 The first mass transit study made under sponsorship of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development urged reconsideration of a Triangle subway estimated to cost $65,000,000.
December 22, 1951 City Council, at Mayor Lawrence’s request, passed another record-high budget, totaling $41,881,900 for 1952.
January 19, 1952 Five years after its opening, the Union Bus Terminal, Downtown, closed its doors because of bankruptcy, leaving five bus lines “homeless.”
January 25, 1952 William Steinberg, director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, was appointed conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony; he became the orchestra’s first permanent director since the departure of Fritz Reiner in 1948.
January 29, 1952 C. L. Austin, a former banker, was elected president of Jones and Laughlin; Ben Moreell relinquished that post but continued as chairman of the board.
January 31, 1952 Following a 19-day trial, a Criminal Court jury found Steve Nelson guilty of sedition.
February 6, 1952 Edward Specter, manager of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, resigned.
February 24, 1952 The Bigelow, first apartment house to be built in downtown Pittsburgh, was opened to tenants.
March 1, 1952 The Carlton House, the city’s first new hotel in 25 years, received its first guests.
March 1, 1952 At midnight 100 men of the United States Steel Corporation sat around a horseshoe table in the Carnegie Building, then emptied of all tenants, and drank a toast to what had been “steel headquarters” for 57 years. At 8 AM, demolition crews began the long and arduous task of disassembling this structure, beam by beam, to clear the site for a Kaufmann’s annex.
March 3, 1952 Allegheny County reduced taxes to a 22-year low while adopting a $32,400,000 budget, highest in its history.
April 8, 1952 President Truman ordered steel mills seized, and the United Steel Workers called off a scheduled strike.
April 21, 1952 A precedent was established when Pittsburgh industry and business, through 65 of its leaders, pledged financial support to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; they approved a novel plan under which companies were to be designated sponsors with contributions of $10,000 annually.
April 23, 1952 Clifford Ball, 61-year-old aviation promoter for more than 35 years and founder of Pennsylvania (Capital) Airlines, was named director of the new Greater Pittsburgh Airport.
April 29, 1952 President Truman s seizure of the steel industry was declared illegal by Federal Court and district steel workers joined 650,000 throughout the nation in a walkout that paralyzed the industry.
May 31, 1952 The new Greater Pittsburgh Airport, completed at a cost of $33,000,000, was dedicated, and more than 100,000 persons went to Moon Township over the holiday weekend to inspect the 1600-acre air terminal.
June 2, 1952 Commercial airlines began flying a total of 228 flights daily into and out of the new airport.
June 25, 1952 Pittsburgh Railways asked the Public Utilities Commission for permission to institute a 20-cent trolley and 25-cent bus fare-the sixth rate increase in four years and the third in less than 20 months.
June 30, 1952 Judge Henry Ellenbogan ruled out the Public Parking Authority’s plan for the sale of gas, oil, and services in its parking garages.
July 24, 1952 At the White House, President Truman, flanked by Philip Murray and Benjamin F. Fairless, announced settlement of the 53-day steel strike.
August 8, 1952 Pittsburgh’s Old City Hall, built in 1872 at a cost of $600,000, was sold for nearly $2,500,000 to a real estate group planning to demolish it for commercial development.
August 11, 1952 Police Superintendent Harvey J. Scott, the city’s police chief for 13 years, was fired by Safety Director George E. A. Fairley for misconduct.
September 15, 1952 The Point Park Commission approved detailed plans for landscaping and developing Point Park. Wallace Richards, Parking Authority chairman, suggested a 1000-car parking garage be built on the park fringe area.
September 22, 1952 Cornelius Decatur Scully, who had served nine consecutive years as Mayor, died at the age of 73 in Winchester, Virginia.
October 6, 1952 William D. Mansfield, former state senator, former county commissioner, editor of the McKeesport Daily News, and one of McKeesport’s best-known citizens, died at 74 in McKeesport Hospital.
October 8, 1952 Senator Richard M. Nixon, Republican candidate for vice-president, charged in a speech to 3900 persons at Syria Mosque that the Communist party was aiding the Democrats.
October 22, 1952 President Truman, in an address to an overflow crowd at Syria Mosque, accused General Eisenhower of following a “straight isolationist line.”
October 27, 1952 After being welcomed by huge crowds, General Eisenhower, in an address at Hunt Armory, promised that the first objective of a Republican administration in Washington would be an “honorable” peace in Korea.
October 29, 1952 City Council approved an ordinance, recommended by Mayor Lawrence, to create a municipal authority to purchase and reconstruct the city’s deteriorated water-supply system at a cost of $27,000,000.
October 29, 1952 Pittsburgh’s first public parking garage, a 776-car facility built at a cost of $2,100,000 at Sixth Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard, was officially opened by Mayor Lawrence and Authority Chairman Wallace B. Richards.
October 30, 1952 Governor Adlai Stevenson, of Illinois, in a final bid for votes, declared to a crowd of 25,000 at Hunt Armory that General Eisenhower was a captive candidate of the Republican “Old Guard,” the “depression party.”
November 4, 1952 In losing the presidential election to General Eisenhower, Governor Stevenson carried Allegheny County by 13,820 votes.
November 6, 1952 Special demolition crews began the delicate task of taking apart H. J. Heinz’s “Little House Where We Began” to permit expansion of the North Side plant. The house was later reassembled in its original state at Ford’s Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.
November 8, 1952 At its 75th anniversary celebration, Duquesne University announced a $13,300,000 program to clear blight and create a modern, 25-acre Bluff campus. Ground was broken earlier in the day for construction of a women’s dormitory, the first of eight new buildings.
November 9, 1952 Philip Murray, 66-year-old president of both the CIO and the United Steel Workers, died unexpectedly in his room at the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco after addressing 350 delegates at the United Steel Workers’ western regional conference.
November 14, 1952 A storm of protest from Downtown merchants prompted the city to postpone enforcement of a rigid curb-parking restriction adopted for Downtown streets.
November 20, 1952 Jones and Laughlin, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, and city officials signed contracts for their second joint industrial redevelopment project-the conversion of 30 acres of blighted land in Hazelwood into a productive plant.
November 20, 1952 The city’s second parking garage, a six-level, 815-car structure on Fourth Avenue, built at a cost of $1,500,000, was opened to the motoring public.
November 24, 1952 In the first event of its kind ever staged, Pittsburgh’s First International Contemporary Music Festival, a week-long series of concerts featuring works of contemporary composers, opened at Carnegie Music Hall.
December 3, 1952 The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra played the first of a series of experimental “industrial” concerts for 1600 persons in Scott High School auditorium in North Braddock. It was the first time that any major orchestra attempted to take its music directly to an industrial community.
December 5, 1952 Mayor Lawrence signed into law the city’s first fair employment practices code, prohibiting job discrimination against minority groups; Pittsburgh thus became the 23rd city in the nation with FEPC.
December 23, 1952 Two ultra-high frequency television stations were authorized for Pittsburgh by the Federal Communications Commission; they were channels 16 and 47.
December 30, 1952 Chancellor Rufus H. Fitzgerald, of the University of Pittsburgh, announced that 22 Pittsburgh business and industrial firms had subscribed a total of $4,836,000 for construction of a $15,000,000 building for the schools of the health professions.
December 30, 1952 The ten-month-old Carlton House was sold to a New York syndicate for $7,400,000.
January 14, 1953 Mayor Lawrence announced that articles of incorporation were ready to be filed for formation of Pittsburgh’s “Metropolitan Educational Television Station, Inc.,” WQED.
January 15, 1953 Grading and seeding started at the Point Park in time for greenness in the spring.
January 22, 1953 Mayor Lawrence announced his candidacy for election to a third term in order to see through “to its climax of achievement” Pittsburgh’s rebuilding program.
January 26, 1953 Plans were announced for construction of a 2000-unit, $24,500,000 low-rent housing project in City View-Summer Hill section of the North Side. Residents of the area immediately announced plans to fight it.
February 2, 1953 A 60-day trial of rigid no-parking rules Downtown went into effect; only 17 autos were towed away by police to the city auto pound.
February 8, 1953 After obtaining Edgar J. Kaufmann’s approval of the use of a $1,000,000 grant originally pledged to the Civic Light Opera, Mayor Lawrence announced plans to proceed with construction of a $7,000,000 sports-theater arena, with a retractable roof, as the key project in the Lower Hill District redevelopment area.
February 10, 1953 David J. McDonald, secretary-treasurer of the United Steel Workers since its inception in 1937 and once a prospect for Hollywood filmland, was elected, without opposition, second president of the 1,100,000 union.
March 4, 1953 The Allegheny Conference on Community Development revealed plans for a toll tunnel under Mount Washington as the most feasible way to finance that link in the Penn-Lincoln Parkway.
March 12, 1953 A $30,000,000 public-works program for new bridges, highways, and other improvements was announced by the county commissioners.
March 26, 1953 Dr. Jonas E. Salk, 38-year-old University of Pittsburgh researcher and professor, reported success of a new polio vaccine tried on 90 human beings; the vaccine was developed by him and his staff at Pitt.
April 20, 1953 Carnegie Tech announced a move to raze Carnegie Inn, a campus landmark, and build a modern $700,000 menâ€™s dormitory.
May 6, 1953 Because of Pittsburgh Railways’ opposition, the city discarded its plan for making Forbes Street and Fifth Avenue one way in order to relieve traffic congestion expected with temporary closing of the Boulevard of the Allies.
May 12, 1953 The $4,500,000 Nurses’ Residence for the Medical Center was dedicated and its quarters were opened for 600 student nurses and 46 staff members.
May 19, 1953 In the primary election, City Solicitor Anne X. Alpern received both the Democratic and Republican nominations to a judgeship.
June 4, 1953 Pittsburgh’s most publicized and highest paid baseball player, Ralph Kiner, was traded to the Chicago Cubs.
June 5, 1953 Many state and local officials participated in a ribbon cutting opening the $18,000,000 Squirrel Hill Tunnel, the most costly single project ever undertaken by the State Highways Department. This placed in service the first eight mile stretch of the $34,000,000 Penn-Lincoln Highway.
June 8, 1953 The first and most troublesome of many detours resulting from new highway work took the Boulevard of the Allies out of service for some 30,000 motorists using it daily. This marked the start of Pittsburgh’s most critical period of traffic congestion.
June 22, 1953 The Allegheny Conference on Community Development released its second citizens’ mass transit study; it recommended creation of a transit authority to acquire and unify bus and trolley lines in the county.
July 5, 1953 It was announced that the Wabash Building, a city landmark, was to be demolished to make way for further development in the Gateway Center.
August 5, 1953 A building in Oakland, gift of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass to the University of Pittsburgh, was provided for the headquarters of educational television in the city.
August 25, 1953 Following a six-month trial, Steve Nelson, already under a 20-year sentence to the Workhouse, and five other Communist leaders of Pittsburgh were convicted under the Smith Act in Federal Court and sentenced to five years in prison.
September 7, 1953 John M. Phillips, pioneer industrialist and well-known conservationist, died at the age of 92 at his home at 2336 Brownsville Road, Carrick. He was the father of Pennsylvania’s basic game code, used by many other states as a model.
September 15, 1953 At the start of a week-long dedication, the Aluminum Company of America opened its new 30-story office building for public inspection. On the first night 7500 invited guests toured the skyscraper, the nation’s first with an all-aluminum exterior.
September 18, 1953 Two thousand Pittsburghers and state officials traveled to Saltsburg by special train and auto to participate in the dedication of the Conemaugh Dam, $46,200,000 bulwark against floods, the largest and most important dam in a $125,000,000 flood-control system. The speaker, Major General S. D. Sturgis, Jr., chief of army engineers, warned that navigational locks and dams in the Ohio River were in desperate need of rehabilitation.
September 23, 1953 The newly constituted Metropolitan Study Commission of Allegheny County formed 10 committees to begin the job of assembling information on urban expansion under a $50,000 grant provided by Buhl Foundation.
September 28, 1953 Richard K. Mellon, head of the nation’s greatest banking empire, tacitly endorsed the Democratic leader, Mayor Lawrence, for re-election. He did so in a short speech at ground-breaking ceremonies for the Mellon Square Park and underground garage, site of which was acquired with a $4,000,000 grant from the Mellon family.
September 29, 1953 Ten thousand campaign volunteers began canvassing homes in the Pittsburgh area in solicitation of 100,000 family subscriptions of $2 each for educational television station WQED; the proceeds were to supplement grants of $350,000.
October 6, 1953 Pittsburgh voters overwhelmingly defeated a proposed raise in school taxes following a bitter battle.
October 15, 1953 The $15,000,000 Penn-Lincoln Parkway West, opening up a fast route between Downtown Pittsburgh and the Greater Pittsburgh Airport and routes west was dedicated by Governor John S. Fine and Senators James H. Duff and Edward Martin. All, as governors, were instrumental in various phases of its construction. The dedication ceremony was held at the interchange in Senator Duff’s home town Carnegie.
October 23, 1953 The Allegheny Foundation, a new organization to aid charitable, scientific, literary, and other public activities, was chartered by the Mellon family.
October 28, 1953 The Public Auditorium Authority was created by Mayor Lawrence and the county commissioners for the purpose of building and operating an all-purpose civic arena in the Hill District. Brehon B. Somervell, president of Koppers Company, was chosen first chairman.
November 3, 1953 David L. Lawrence defeated Leonard P. Kane by 54,000 votes and became the first Mayor in the history of Pittsburgh to be elected to a third consecutive term. The Democrats swept the city and county.
November 23, 1953 A brief noon-time ceremony was held at Gateway Center to inscribe into history “November 23, 1753,” as the date on which George Washington first envisioned the Point as a natural site. Pittsburgh thus memorialized its distinction of being “the only city in the United States to have had its location chosen by the first president.”
November 27, 1953 Five hundred delivery truck drivers of Local 249, AFL Teamsters, began a strike against the city’s major department stores. The stores remained open; the Joseph Horne Company’s warehouse was stoned in the first incidence of violence.
December 2, 1953 Edgar J. Kaufmann, charter financial backer of Lower Hill District civic arena project, promised to contribute $500,000, in addition to $1,000,000 already pledged, if needed on completion of fund-raising efforts.
December 2, 1953 For the first time in seven months, the Boulevard of the Allies was open to traffic on a restricted basis.
December 4, 1953 Mayor Lawrence presented to City Council what he termed the “most difficult” budget in the eight years of his administration; he also indicated reluctant approval of a wage tax as a means of raising money.
December 27, 1953 Delayed 17 months by court orders resulting from actions started by City Solicitor Anne X. Alpern, trolley and bus rate increases — to 20 and 25 cents, respectively — became effective.
December 30, 1953 Anne X. Alpern (Mrs. Irwin Swiss in private life) was sworn in as a judge of Common Pleas Court. She was the first Democratic woman in Pennsylvania elected to a judgeship.
December 31, 1953 Mayor Lawrence signed into law another record high budget, with appropriations totaling $47,282,991; it also committed the city to a 1 per cent tax on all, earned incomes within the city.
January 1, 1954 Fifty squads of policemen and detectives manned road blocks in the city to halt violence in the 36-day department store strike; earlier the homes of two store executives were stoned and “paint bombed.”
January 3, 1954 The Pennsylvania Railroad unveiled a $3,611,400 plan for a new ramp and platform for trains to and from the west as part of its $27,000,000 station modernization program.
January 4, 1954 After Mayor Lawrence was sworn in for his third term, City Council received from him a recommendation for a precedent-shattering wage tax ordinance estimated to yield the city $6,300,000 in 1954.
January 18, 1954 In one of the largest grants of its kind ever made, the Mellon family, represented by three foundations, gave $15,000,000 to the University of Pittsburgh for medical education. The money was designated chiefly for development of Pitt’s first full-time medical school teaching staff.
January 21, 1954 Powered by the world’s first atomic engine, built by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, the submarine USS Nautilus, christened by Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower, was launched at Groton, Connecticut.
January 25, 1954 The city’s first wage tax was adopted with March 1 as the effective date. Councilman John F. Counahan was Council’s only dissenter in the vote.
January 25, 1954 State Supreme Court dismissed the Common Pleas Court conviction and 20-year sentence of Communist Steve Nelson on grounds that the case legally belonged in Federal Court under the Smith Act.
February 24, 1954 The attention of parents around the world was on Arsenal Elementary school in Lawrenceville, where Dr. Jonas E. Salk began his polio vaccine tests on a large-scale basis. In the gymnasium of that school 137 youngsters, first of 5000 Pittsburgh school volunteers, were given injections of the new serum.
February 25, 1954 The Chamber of Commerce and Allegheny Conference on Community Development undertook a joint campaign to form an “industrial development corporation” to bolster Pittsburgh’s economy by attracting new light industry.
March 1, 1954 The wage tax of one cent on each dollar of earned income went into effect in Pittsburgh.
March 9, 1954 Frederick Bigger, Pittsburgh’s “dean of planners,” resigned after 31 years of membership on the City Planning Commission, which he served for 20 years as chairman. He was co-organizer of Regional Planning Association and was noted nationally as chief planner in the New Deal’s famed model-town projects of “Greenbelt,” Maryland, “Greenhills,” Ohio, and “Greendale,” Wisconsin.
March 12, 1954 The Regional Planning Association issued its first report on a suburban community under an expanded new policy. The report recommended that a planned industrial district, first in the Pittsburgh area be developed in a blighted McKeesport district at the Monongahela -Youghiogheny river junction.
March 24, 1954 Teamster delivery truck drivers ended their 113-day strike against five furniture stores — Hahn’s, Spear and Company, Ruben’s, Obringer’s, and May-Stern.
April, 1954 The University of Pittsburgh began demolishing 32 structures on a 10-acre Oakland site preparatory to erecting its graduate school of public health.
April, 1954 Dr. M. Graham Netting, a member of the staff for 32 years, was named director of Carnegie Museum to succeed Wallace Richards after the latter was stricken ill.
April 1, 1954 Station WQED, the world’s first community-sponsored educational noncommercial television station, went on the air.
April 12, 1954 The Atomic Energy Commission assigned to the Westinghouse Electric Corporation and Duquesne Light Company the job of building the first atomic electric power plant in the world. It also announced the site as Shippingport, a once important river port on the Ohio River 25 miles north of Pittsburgh. Operation of the plant also was assigned to Duquesne Light.
April 28, 1954 A “schematic plan” for rebuilding 1286 deteriorating acres of North Side property was proposed by the Regional Planning Association, in a dinner at the H. J. Heinz plant, as the fourth major redevelopment project in the city. It included recommendations for 3000 new parking spaces, an “Allegheny Center” shopping district, new housing, additional recreation, planned neighborhood and industrial districts, all compatible with the proposed Ohio River Boulevard high-speed extension through the North Side.
May 2, 1954 Four new buildings were dedicated on the campus of the Pennsylvania College for Women.
May 9, 1954 Dozens of traffic tie-ups occurred after bus and trolley were cut off by a strike of 2700 operators.
May 11, 1954 The Chamber of Commerce recommended the Allegheny Valley as the most practical route for the proposed Pittsburgh-to-Erie extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
May 23, 1954 The garages of the Public Parking Authority were ruled tax-exempt by the State Supreme Court; the way was thus opened for construction of more garages. The same ruling held as that for taxable garage space rented to private interests for commercial purposes.
May 28, 1954 District Attorney James Malone warned against “paint bombings” after eight homes were hit by a wave of vandalism in the sixth month of the department store strike.
June 14, 1954 Trolleys and buses resumed normal operation with the settlement of the 34-day strike, longest and costliest in the history of Pittsburgh Railways Company.
June 23, 1954 The Board of Education approved a $5,000,000 bond issue for a building and renovation program and elected attorney J. Garfield Houston as its new president.
June 28, 1954 Mrs. Alan M. Scaife, wife of the president of the board of trustees of the University of Pittsburgh, turned the first spade of earth to start excavation for the $15,000,000 building to house the schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and nursing.
June 29, 1954 United States Steel and the United Steel Workers union signed a contract for a five-cent hourly wage increase, forestalling a scheduled strike.
July 1, 1954 Ground was broken on Fifth Avenue site, facing the Cathedral of Learning, for Pitt’s new $2,500,000 center of natural sciences. It was named in memory of George Hubbard Clapp, the noted scientist, co-founder of the Aluminum Company of America, and president of the University of Pittsburgh board of trustees for 42 years until his death in 1949.
July 11, 1954 Contracts were awarded for the basic design of the $25,000,000 Fort Pitt Tunnel through Mount Washington.
July 28, 1954 The State General Authority completed negotiations with Equitable Life Assurance Society for purchase of a Gateway Center site, at a price of $1,041,143, for construction of a new $8,000,000 state office building to serve as capital of Western Pennsylvania.
July 28, 1954 Allegheny General Hospital broke ground for a two-story building to house a “cobalt bomb,” second such cancer-treatment unit to be established in the city. The first was in process of construction at Mercy Hospital.
July 29, 1954 The State Department of Commerce issued a report showing 46 new industries or expansions in 1954 in the Pittsburgh district; investments totaled $125,000,000, and 13,448 persons were added to payrolls.
August 10, 1954 Dr. Bryn J. Hovde, executive director of the Pittsburgh Housing Association and a nationally known expert on housing, died at the age of 58 after he was stricken on a Downtown streetcar.
August 27, 1954 The Board of Education announced plans to construct four new schools in the biggest building program in many years.
September 2, 1954 The Pittsburgh Parking Authority announced it was ready to proceed with construction of 1388 additional off-street spaces in two parking garages, to be built at a total cost of $6,000,000 and operated by Kaufmann’s store primarily for the shopping convenience of customers.
September 6, 1954 In Denver, 1600 miles away, President Eisenhower waved an “atomic wand” over an electronic cabinet. He thus relayed the impulse that sent into motion huge steam shovels at the Shippingport site of the world’s first atomic power plant. Some 1 500 business, industrial, and scientific leaders of the Pittsburgh area attended the Labor Day ground-breaking ceremony starting construction of the $45,000,000 installation.
September 7, 1954 City Council passed an ordinance to permit erection of a $3,500,000 eight - story apartment building on the Shady Avenue site of the historical Kenmawr Hotel, a 90-year-old landmark. The ordinance upset height building regulations for this East End area.
September 11, 1954 A strike against the Westinghouse Electric Corporation was averted at the zero hour with the signing of a two-year contract.
September 12, 1954 Vice-Admiral Joel T. Boone, chief medical officer for the Veterans Administration, dedicated the new 11-story, 750-bed VA general medical and surgical hospital, situated above Oakland.
September 17, 1954 United States Steel announced a $10,000,000 expansion program for its Homestead Works.
September 21, 1954 The Peoples First National Bank and Trust Company announced plans to construct a central headquarters building in the Gateway Center.
October 10, 1954 After 16 months of restrictions, the vital Boulevard of the Allies was fully reopened to traffic.
October 18, 1954 The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis contracted to buy the Salk polio vaccine for 9,000,000 persons in 1955.
October 27, 1954 Jones and Laughlin Steel announced a $51,000,000 program for expanding and improving its plants in 1955.
October 29, 1954 Sidney A. Swensrud, board chairman and chief executive officer of the Gulf Oil Company, became chairman of the Public Auditorium Authority following the resignation of Brehon B. Somervell. The Authority set spring of 1956 as its target date for starting construction of a civic arena in the Lower Hill District redevelopment area.
November 2, 1954 The county gave State Senator George M. Leader, 37-year-old chicken farmer, a plurality of more than 87,000 votes over Lloyd H. Woods for the governorship in a Democratic victory that ended 16 gears of Republican rule in Harrisburg.
November 16, 1954 The Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority prepared to proceed with a $3,500,000 slum clearance and redevelopment project in McKees Rocks.
November 19, 1954 The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad announced a decision to abandon plans for a central office building and to construct instead a small new passenger station in connection with its Penn-Lincoln Parkway relocation project.
November 22, 1954 State Supreme Court dismissed complaints of North Side residents, enabling the Pittsburgh Housing Authority to proceed with plans for construction of a 1000-unit low-rent housing project on Summer Hill.
November 26, 1954 Teamster delivery drivers signed a contract ending their strike against five Downtown department stores on the eve of its first anniversary; but the union served notice the drivers would not resume deliveries until 11 other store unions ended their strike. It was estimated that the walkout cost the 760 drivers and helpers a total of $5,000,000 in wages.
December 3, 1954 Westinghouse Electric Corporation announced purchase of Pittsburgh’s pioneer television station, WDTV, from DuMont Laboratories, Inc., for $9,750,000, highest amount ever paid for a television station.
December 3, 1954 The Pittsburgh Board of Public Education adopted an “austerity” budget of $23,882,326 for 1955, rejecting teachers’ requests for pay raises but retaining kindergartens for another year.
December 5, 1954 The county commissioners made public proposed legislation, drafted by a seven-member citizens’ committee, for creation of a countywide public transportation authority to acquire and consolidate bus and trolley lines. The legislation required approval of voters in a referendum scheduled for primary election of 1956.
December 6, 1954 One hundred and eighteen business firms, schools, and hospitals 80 years or older were honored by the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce at its 80th anniversary dinner, attended by 900 persons in the William Penn Hotel. The speakers were William Block, publisher of the Post-Gazette, the city’s oldest (1786), and Alan M. Scaife, chairman of the board of the Scaife Company, second oldest (1802). Each received a special plaque.
December 10, 1954 The University of Pittsburgh announced plans to build four additional structures at a total cost of $2,900,000-a 336-parking-space garage, and physicians’ office building to serve the Medical Center, a student union, and men’s dormitory.
December 12, 1954 Dr. John C. Warner, Carnegie Tech president, was named national president of the American Chemical Society for the year 1956. He was the second Pittsburgher to be so honored. The first was Dr. E. R. Weidlein, director of the Mellon Institute, in 1937.
December 15, 1954 Equitable Life Assurance Society of New York announced it had decided to construct a parking garage in Gateway Center for at least 600 cars.
December 22, 1954 Duquesne University announced it was ready to build the third structure in its $13,000,000 campus expansion program — a hall of law and business, featuring a moot courtroom made possible by a $100,000 grant from the Maurice and Laura Falk Foundation.
December 24, 1954 Mayor Lawrence signed a $48,320,473 budget for 1955, the eighth record high appropriation ordinance in eight consecutive years.
January 4, 1955 Five employees at the Westinghouse Electric Corporation’s East Pittsburgh plant were fired as “undesirable” following hearings at Washington by Senator McCarthy’s investigations subcommittee.
January 18, 1955 The Allegheny County School Board approved working plans for a $1,300,000 new school construction program.
February 1, 1955 The Board of Public Education supported redevelopment of the Lower Hill area by indicating they would relinquish several vital properties situated in the heart of the district.
February 14, 1955 General Brehon Somervell, Koppers Company board chairman and president, died at 62.
February 22, 1955 James J. Thomas, director of District 15, CIO United Steel Workers, and veteran organizer in the steel industry, died.
March 1, 1955 Pittsburgh’s new housing code — an attempt to upgrade the city’s residential property — became effective. Every residential unit was required to have electricity, effective heating facilities, hot and cold running water, kitchen sink, a flush water closet, lavatory basin, and either a bathtub or a shower.
March 9, 1955 W. F. Munnikhuysen was elected chairman of the board of Koppers Company, and Fred C. Foy was named president and chief executive officer at a special meeting of the hoard of directors.
March 10, 1955 The Defense Department announced that $15,000,000 would be spent during 1955 for antiaircraft defense of Pittsburgh. Half of the sum was to pay for installation of Nike missiles, the rest for support of the 18th AAA Group.
March 13, 1955 Henry Kaufmann, 94, pioneer Pittsburgh merchant, one of the four founders of Kaufmann’s Department Store, died in New York City.
March 17, 1955 AFL Teamsters prepared to roll delivery trucks at the five Downtown department stores for the first time in nearly 16 months. Pickets were removed although some differences remained to be negotiated.
April 15, 1955 Edgar J. Kaufmann — merchant prince and pioneer planner of Pittsburgh’s physical and cultural redevelopment — one of the city’s outstanding citizens, died suddenly at 69 in his Palm Springs, California home.
April 25, 1955 Bell Telephone Company announced that its new headquarters building — the fifth structure to be added to Pittsburgh’s Gateway Center — was going into construction.
April 28, 1955 Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation added $86,000,000 to its expansion program, including new mills to be constructed in the Pittsburgh area.
May 2, 1955 Benjamin F. Fairless resigned as board chairman and chief executive officer of the United States Steel Corporation; he was succeeded by Roger M. Blough
May 3, 1955 It was announced that construction on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s new passenger terminal, at the foot of Grant Street, would begin within the next month.
May 23, 1955 A capital improvement program for 1955, amounting to almost $6,000,000, was submitted to City Council by Mayor Lawrence. Plans included a start on rehabilitation of the city’s water system, construction of new fire stations, a fire-police training center, street and sewer repairs, and grants to the Auditorium Authority and Carnegie Library.
June 1, 1955 Approximately 10,000 Westinghouse Electric Corporation workers voted to stay away from their jobs in protest against disciplinary furloughs given 1100 East Pittsburgh workers.
June 8, 1955 The strike at East Pittsburgh and three other Westinghouse plants was settled.
June 13, 1955 General Matthew B. Ridgway was appointed chairman of the board of Mellon Institute. Dr. E. R. Weidlein remained as president and member of the board.
June 20, 1955 The Regional Industrial Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization, was created.
June 22, 1955 T. M. Girdler resigned as chief executive officer of Republic Steel Corporation, but remained as board chairman. C. M. White, the firm’s president, was named chief executive officer.
July 1, 1955 A nationwide steel strike began, but ended 12 hours later when agreement was reached.
July 8, 1955 At a hearing conducted by the Public Utility Commission, it was decided to remove the Pennsylvania Railroad’s last Downtown elevated, leaving Fort Duquesne Boulevard free to be developed into a sunlit, landscaped, riverside drive.
July 14, 1955 County Commissioners adopted broad revisions in the smoke-control ordinance, giving industry an additional two to four years to comply.
July 15, 1955 Pittsburgh’s fourth municipal parking garage, at Boulevard of the Allies and Smithfield Street, was opened.
July 29, 1955 Greyhound Lines announced plans for a new bus terminal covering more than two and one-half acres bounded by 11th Street, 12th Street, Penn Avenue, and Liberty Avenue.
August 8, 1955 More than 2200 members of Local 601, CIO International Union of Electrical Workers, struck at Westinghouse Electric Corporation in protest against the company’s time-study program.
August 15, 1955 The city’s first heliport was established atop the Gateway Parking Garage, at Fourth Avenue and Stanwix Street, in anticipation of regular helicopter service between Downtown and the airports.
August 24, 1955 Thousands of persons gathered at Greater Pittsburgh Airport for the dedication of a spectacular fountain as a memorial to the county’s dead of all wars.
August 30, 1955 H. J. Heinz Company announced plans for immediate construction of one of the world’s most advanced food research centers at a cost of $3,000,000.
September 6, 1955 Plans for construction of a new $3,000,000 chemical plant on Neville Island were made by Pittsburgh Coke and Chemical Company.
September 9, 1955 Dr. James Purdy Kerr, 91, the oldest active surgeon in the country, died at St. Joseph’s Hospital, which he had helped to found.
September 12, 1955 At the annual dinner of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Commissioner James W. Follin of the Urban Renewal Authority, Washington, assured Pittsburgh of $17,386,610 for slum clearance and redevelopment of the Lower Hill District.
October 17, 1955 Forty-four thousand members of the CIO International Union of Electrical Workers started another strike against the Westinghouse Electric Corporation.
October 18, 1955 Mellon Square Park — the most spectacular in the city’s expanding park system — formally became a possession of the citizens of Pittsburgh.
October 24, 1955 Harry W. Fowler, a member of the board of Allegheny County Commissioners since 1949 and long a leader in the county’s highway planning and designing, died at 64.
October 25, 1955 A contract signing set the stage for the four-year four-month job of moving families out of the 100 acres of Lower Hill District scheduled for redevelopment. The Housing Authority of Pittsburgh agreed to handle relocation of 1800 families.
October 27, 1955 Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation announced it would enlarge its 1955–56 expansion program to an expenditure of $250,000,000 covering 1955–58.
November 14, 1955 Dr. Charles F. Lewis, director of the Buhl Foundation since it was organized in 1928, announced his retirement, effective June 30, 1956.
November 15, 1955 The National Steel Corporation planned to spend a minimum of $200,000,000 on additions to existing plants within the next three and one-half years.
November 30, 1955 Pennsylvania College for Women was renamed Chatham College and announced a $12,000,000 development program.
December 14, 1955 Dr. Charles B. Nutting, vice chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, was named director of the Buhl Foundation.
January 20, 1956 Contracts totaling $10,333,062 for two major projects on the Penn-Lincoln Parkway — the Downtown link and the Fort Pitt Bridge — were awarded by the State Highways Department.
March 8, 1956 The University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning was officially dedicated to President Honorarius John G. Bowman, who served as Pitt’s Chancellor from 1921 to 1946.
March 19, 1956 Dr. Edward R. Weidlein, long-time president of Mellon Institute announced his retirement.
March 20, 1956 The long and bitter Westinghouse strike came to an end after 156 days.
April 1, 1956 Twenty-two persons were killed when a twin-engine TWA plane crashed just after taking off from Greater Pittsburgh Airport. This was the first disaster at the airport and the worst in the history of local commercial aviation.
April 4, 1956 Mayor Lawrence recommended a new and broader attack against neighborhood blight under a $4,740,250 capital improvement program. Included was more than $800,000 to represent the city’s first cash commitments to the Lower Hill redevelopment and Crosstown Boulevard projects.
April 18, 1956 Irwin D. Wolf, 61, who succeeded Edgar J. Kaufmann as president and general manager of Kaufmann Department Store, a civic and philanthropic leader, died at his Fifth Avenue home after a long illness.
May 8, 1956 United States Steel Corporation formally opened its newly built Research Center, consisting of four buildings and covering 142 acres in Monroeville.
May 9, 1956 The Koppers Company revealed plans for a multimillion-dollar research center in the borough of Monroeville.
May 10, 1956 Rodef Shalom Congregation observed its 100th anniversary and dedicated its new Temple at Fifth and Morewood avenues.
June 11, 1956 Hilton Hotels Corporation announced that it would build a $15,000,000 hotel next to Point State Park.
July 1, 1956 A nationwide steel strike began. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service entered the dispute which idled 600,000 United Steelworkers.
July 16, 1956 The last canvas tent performance of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows was given at Heidelberg Raceways, marking the end of an era of entertainment.
July 27, 1956 A master settlement, providing a three-year, no-strike agreement, ended the strike which shut down 85 per cent of the nation’s steel productive capacity for 27 days.
August 9, 1956 The United Steelworkers and the Aluminum Company of America signed a three-year no-strike agreement ending a nine-day strike of 18,000 members of 12 of the company’s 21 plants.
August 13, 1956 Razing of the Gardens, historic landmark and scene of sports events for more than 50 years, was begun, to make room for an eight-story apartment house containing 127 luxury-type dwellings.
August 16, 1956 A program to expend $81,304,000 for additions to the National Tube Division of United States Steel in McKeesport was announced.
September 5, 1956 According to a Navy announcement, an atomic reactor for the world’s first nuclear powered surface warship would be built by Westinghouse.
October 3, 1956 Democratic presidential candidate Adlai E. Stevenson spoke in the city and made a network television broadcast from KDKA-TV.
October 3, 1956 The last steam engine in the Pittsburgh area was sent to the scrap heap.
October 8, 1956 Ex-President Harry S. Truman campaigned in Pittsburgh for the Democratic ticket.
October 9, 1956 President Dwight D. Eisenhower made a major campaign speech at Hunt Armory for the Republican ticket.
October 17, 1956 Admiral Benjamin Moreell, chairman of Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation, received the John Fritz Medal — one of the nation’s highest awards for scientific and engineering achievement — at the National Convention dinner of the American Society of Civil Engineers in the Penn-Sheraton Hotel.
October 31, 1956 The Pittsburgh Department of Public Health revealed that nine of every ten North Side houses examined by city housing inspectors were in violation of the new code.
October 31, 1956 More than 12,000 jammed into Hunt Armory to hear a major address by the Democratic presidential candidate, Adlai E. Stevenson.
November 1, 1956 Theodore L. Hazlett, Jr., executive director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority, warned that a critical shortage of housing for relocation of families threatened to undermine Pittsburgh’s ambitious program for eliminating blight.
November 5, 1956 The Commission on Human Relations announced the formation of a Citizens Committee for Integrated Housing, to be composed of about 150 persons from all segments of community life, and a subcommittee of builders and mortgage bankers, to work on plans for a pilot integrated housing project.
November 6, 1956 President Eisenhower was re-elected for a second term. He won a smashing victory in Allegheny County, moving the area into the Republican column for the first time since 1928. Adlai E. Stevenson carried the city of Pittsburgh.
November 8, 1956 Final totals for the Allegheny County United Fund Drive, the county’s first combined charity appeal, amounted to 107.8 per cent of the goal, a total of $9,564,222.
November 20, 1956 Mayor Lawrence recommended an all-time high city budget of $44,273,292, but at the same time called for a slight reduction in real estate taxes.
November 30, 1956 H. K. Porter Company made it known that it would build a 17-story, $7,000,000 office building at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Grant Street.
December 11, 1956 Equitable Life Assurance Society announced plans for a 15- to 22-story office building in the Gateway Center, costing between $9,000,000 and $12,000,000.
January 23, 1957 Western Pennsylvania’s heavy construction industry and the Laborer’s District Council ended a three-week strike by signing a two-year wage contract.
February 4, 1957 Paul H. Martin, retiring head of the Pittsburgh Regional Planning Association, urged comprehensive planning on a regional basis for the Pittsburgh area.
March 19, 1957 The Board of Education voted to spend another $10,000,000, most of it within the next five years, to build new schools and modernize a number of others. Money was to be raised by selling general obligation bonds.
April 1, 1957 A federal grant for construction of a new east-west runway at the Pittsburgh Airport was announced.
April 8, 1957 Carnegie Institute of Technology embarked on a $26,000,000-plus plan of progress.
April 9, 1957 Six industrial concerns were named as violators of the country’s smoke-control ordinance.
April 13, 1957 Public Works Director James S. Devlin said that $2,850,000 would be spent in street resurfacing and rebuilding projects during 1957.
April 14, 1957 Thomas E. Kilgallen, former president of City Council, died at 64.
April 17, 1957 Ground was broken for construction of the $17,000,000 Fort Pitt Tunnels under Duquesne Heights, to provide the final link between the eastern and western sections of the Penn-Lincoln Parkway.
April 26, 1957 The State Office Building in Gateway Center was dedicated.
May 11, 1957 Dr. Edward H. Litchfield was inaugurated as the 12th chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh.
May 21, 1957 The Allegheny Conference urged state, county, and city governments to join in a long-range highway program to meet traffic requirements.
June 4, 1957 The last three contracts were awarded for construction of an east loading dock, the first major expansion of the terminal building at Greater Pittsburgh Airport.
June 21, 1957 The University of Pittsburgh announced plans for a new graduate program to train engineers in all phases of air pollution control in keeping with the city’s pioneering advances in that field.
June 26, 1957 Plans were made for the merger of Pittsburgh Xenia Theological Seminary (Presbyterian), North Highland Avenue, and the Western Theological Seminary (Presbyterian), Ridge Avenue, North Side.
June 26, 1957 Ernest T. Weir, 81, long a “rugged individualist” in the well-organized steel industry and former chief executive of the National Steel Corporation, died in Philadelphia.
July 25, 1957 Television City, Incorporated, was granted authority by the Federal Communications Commission to operate a Pittsburgh television station on Channel 4.
July 25, 1957 Avery C. Adams, president and chief operating officer of Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation, was elected chief executive officer, effective October 1. Admiral Benjamin Moreell remained as board chairman and chairman of the executive committee.
August 1, 1957 Carnegie Institute of Technology was purchasing eight acres of property fronting on Forbes Street near Morewood Avenue for faculty and student residences.
August 14, 1957 The National Steel Corporation elected George M. Humphrey, former Secretary of the Treasury, as its chairman of the board.
August 28, 1957 Drilling began on the $17,000,000 Fort Pitt Tunnels.
September 1, 1957 Pittsburgh’s Channel 4, WIIC, began broadcasting as the nation’s newest and most powerful VHF television station.
September 10, 1957 The city was assured of a federal grant of nearly $11,000,000 with which to begin urban renewal in East Liberty and the North Side’s Manchester District.
September 20, 1957 Ground was broken at Gateway Center by Conrad N. Hilton for the new Hilton hotel.
October 14, 1957 A strike by operators of the Pittsburgh Railways Company began.
October 18, 1957 A Pittsburgh to Erie extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike became a definite prospect with the announcement that it had been added to the National Interstate Highway System.
November 5, 1957 Mayor Lawrence won a fourth term victory by a 59,500 vote majority over his Republican opponent, John Drew.
December 2, 1957 A total municipal budget of more than $54,000,000 for 1958 was proposed by Mayor Lawrence.
December 9, 1957 The transit strike ended and within hours the trolley and bus lines were in operation.
December 18, 1957 Pittsburgh started receiving electricity generated by atomic power from Shippingport, Pennsylvania, site of the world’s first full-scale atomic electric power plant.
December 18, 1957 Westinghouse was awarded a $46,050,000 Navy contract for nuclear power plant components for the world’s first atomic-powered aircraft carrier.
January 17, 1958 Penn-Lincoln Parkway, in its 12th year of construction was directly linked to the Downtown Triangle with the opening of a new Grant Street outbound ramp.
January 27, 1958 Mayor Lawrence presented his 1958 capital improvements budget to City Council, calling for expenditure of $13,221,300.
February 12, 1958 Boggs and Buhl, one of Pittsburgh’s oldest department stores, announced it would go out of business after 89 years of operation.
March 3, 1958 Mayor Lawrence agreed to run for the Democratic nomination for governor in order to end a contest that threatened to split the Democratic party.
March 5, 1958 Spear and Company, which had operated a department store in the city since 1893, was sold to the Hahn Furniture Company.
March 18, 1958 Mrs. John M. Phillips, for more than 40 years an outstanding figure in Pittsburgh life, and a militant fighter for the rights of others, died in Mercy Hospital at 76.
March 31, 1958 Mayor Lawrence and Governor George M. Leader set off a charge that created an opening in the upper arc of Fort Pitt Tunnel’s north portal, above West Carson Street.
May 8, 1958 Allegheny County’s Common Pleas Court judges ordered a drastic reform in court procedure and urged the Legislature to create four new judgeships to reduce the ever-increasing backlog of civil cases in the court.
May 9, 1958 Common Pleas Court judges extended their battle to speed up justice to the year-and-one-half backlog in Criminal Court.
May 28, 1958 The United Presbyterian Church of the United States of America was formed by the merger of the Presbyterian Church USA and the United Presbyterian Church of North America in ceremonies at Fifth Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard. Dr. Theophilus Mills Taylor of Pittsburgh Xenia Theological Seminary was elected moderator.
June 3, 1958 Allegheny County prepared to start on a public improvement program authorized in the May primary. Projects included a $9,575,000 Glenwood Bridge over the Monongahela, a new high-level bridge over the Allegheny and a $5,000,000 viaduct to span Turtle Creek in East Pittsburgh.
June 17, 1958 It was revealed that the Mellon family foundations had paid $3,000,000 for 3650 acres in six strategic locations in Allegheny County. The land was to be sold to the county at cost for a regional park system for Pittsburgh’s suburbs.
July 11, 1958 The United States Steel Corporation announced that production at its Edgar Thomson Works would be curtailed because of declining demand. About 1500 men were to be laid off.
July 24, 1958 Alan M. Scaife, a leader in Pittsburgh’s cultural life, died at 58.
July 30, 1958 Leland Hazard, vice-president and general counsel of the Pittsburgh Plate-Glass Company and one of the sparkplugs for Pittsburgh’s renaissance was named professor of industrial administration and law at Carnegie Institute of Technology.
August 3, 1958 The Urban Redevelopment Authority began final planning for the $15,000,000 Chateau Street-West renewal project in the Manchester District of the North Side.
August 6, 1958 The federal government assured Pittsburgh of aid for the proposed $15,000,000 redevelopment project for substandard areas at East Liberty.
August 6, 1958 The State Highway Department approved plans for a new Glenwood Bridge, thereby making it possible for the county to receive $10,000,000 in federal aid.
August 29, 1958 Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation was to spend $35,000,000 on mill improvements at its Pittsburgh and Aliquippa plants, increasing planned projects for 1958–1959 to $93,000,000.
September 5, 1958 By switching WQEX, the new educational outlet, from channel 22 to channel 16, the Federal Communications Commission assured the operation of a second educational television station in Pittsburgh.
September 9, 1958 Chancellor Edward H. Litchfield of the University of Pittsburgh unveiled a huge long-range, multimillion-dollar campus development plan, which would require eviction of the Pittsburgh Pirates from Forbes Field.
September 21, 1958 Judge A. Marshall Thompson, 86, oldest member of Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, died. A former dean of the University of Pittsburgh Law School, he was serving his third 10-year term on the court.
September 22, 1958 Mary Roberts Rinehart, 82, a native of Pittsburgh, died in New York City.
October 22, 1958 A 22-day strike at Pittsburgh’s five major hotels ended.
October 27, 1958 President Dwight D. Eisenhower campaigned for the Republican ticket in an address at the Syria Mosque.
October 28, 1958 Carnegie Institute of Technology received a gift of $2,800,000 from Mr. and Mrs. Roy A. Hunt for the construction of a campus library.
November 4, 1958 Mayor Lawrence was elected governor of Pennsylvania over Republican Arthur T. McGonigle.
November 9, 1958 The General Services Administration announced that Pittsburgh’s new Federal Building would be constructed near the Greyhound Terminal, ending a three-year debate over location.
November 9, 1958 Dr. I. Hope Alexander, director of the Pittsburgh Health Department for 20 years before retirement in 1956, died at 79.
November 20, 1958 The Crosstown Boulevard moved nearer reality when the State Highway Department awarded two contracts for $3,349,690 to start its construction.
November 27, 1958 Thousands assembled in Point State Park, at the very spot where Fort Duquesne once stood, to hear Mayor David Lawrence and General Matthew B. Ridgway begin the city’s bicentennial celebration. It was two hundred years ago that the French abandoned Fort Duquesne (on November 24, 1758) and General Forbes’ army took possession of the area.
November 28, 1958 Sale of Forbes Field to University of Pittsburgh is approved; the Pirates will stay on for five years, until new Northside stadium is built. In reality, the Pirates stayed on not for five but for twelve years, until 1970 when the new stadium opened.
December 1, 1958 Red Manning hired as coach of Duquesne University’s basketball team.
December 16, 1958 A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust gives $12 million to the University of Pittsburgh.
December 17, 1958 John Dearden, Roman Catholic bishop of Pittsburgh, is appointed archbishop of Detroit.
December 23, 1958 City Solicitor Anne X. Alpern named attorney general of Pennsylvania.
January 1, 1959 The 51-year-old Frank & Seder’s department store will have a going-out-of-business sale.
January 16, 1959 City Council President Thomas Gallagher sworn in as mayor of Pittsburgh, replacing David Lawrence, who on January 20 will he inaugurated as governor.
January 31, 1959 In a trade that will later be credited with making the Pittsburgh Pirates pennant winners in 1960, the baseball team obtains Harvey Haddix, Don Hoak, and Smoky Burgess from the Cincinnati Reds.
February 7, 1959 Art Rooney, president of the Steelers, is dissatisfied with Pitt Stadium and wants to return his club to Forbes Field.
February 9, 1959 Governor David Lawrence will ask the state legislature for a law banning racial discrimination in housing.
February 16, 1959 The Democratic slate of candidates for May primary includes Joseph M. Barr for mayor; John Kane and William McClelland for county commissioners.
February 19, 1959 Thirteen men are arrested in a raid on the headquarters of the alleged numbers-racket boss Tony Grosso.
February 25, 1959 Industrialist Paul Reinhold enters race for mayor on the Republican ticket.
March 18, 1959 John J. Wright is installed as Roman Catholic bishop of Pittsburgh in St. Paul’s Cathedral.
March 27, 1959 David J. McDonald, president of the United Steelworkers asserts that big-steel management is “hell-bent” on fomenting a strike when contract expires July 1.
April 10, 1959 A consensus is forming for legislation to provide for public ownership of mass transit.
April 11, 1959 United Steelworkers refuse one-year extension of their contract.
April 17, 1959 A mock air-raid is a failure; passersby laughingly refuse to take cover.
April 21, 1959 The Allegheny Conference on Community Development urges support for publicly-owned mass transit.
May 1, 1959 Jones and Laughlin announces a $234 million capital expenditure program.
May 6, 1959 Walter A. Munford becomes president of United States Steel.
May 13, 1959 A bill establishing public ownership of mass transit is reported out of committee in Harrisburg.
May 19, 1959 In the primary election, Joseph Barr and Paul Reinhold win nominations for mayor on the Democratic and Republican tickets respectively.
May 21, 1959 Peoples First National Bank and Trust and Fidelity Trust approve the merger of their institutions.
June 1, 1959 Pittsburgh becomes second city in the United States to ban discrimination in residential renting or purchasing, due to a new “Fair Housing Practices Ordinance.”
June 4, 1959 Up to $60 million in residential and commercial construction, designed for the Pittsburgh of tomorrow, is envisioned for the Lower Hill District in bids from eleven developers. The development did not materialize.
June 4, 1959 Alcoma Golf Club suffers considerable fire damage.
June 8, 1959 The Public Utility Commission authorizes shift from trolleys to buses, on a temporary basis, as the tracks may not be removed.
June 8, 1959 Possibility of a $722,000 federal loan for Allegheny County’s new Northside sports stadium is announced.
June 11, 1959 Allegheny County Boroughs Association votes to oppose the mass transit bill in its present form. The bill, bitterly attacked by spokesmen for the Independent Bus Operators and others, is sent back to House committee for further amendments.
June 19, 1959 Fort Pitt Bridge, vital link in Penn-Lincoln Parkway, is opened.
June 23, 1959 Allegheny County’s transit bill is passed by House; goes to state Senate for final action.
June 24, 1959 H. I. Casteel, businessman, dies.
July 1, 1959 Four members of Pittsburgh Pirates picked for All-Star Game: Smoky Burgess, Dick Groat, Elroy Face and Bill Mazeroski.
July 7, 1959 Pittsburgh hosts All-Star Game (National League wins 5–4; Vice President Richard M. Nixon throws out first ball).
July 14, 1959 Pickets at the steel mills, as another steel strike begins.
July 15, 1959 John J. Kane announces his withdrawal from race for re-election as county commissioner.
July 21, 1959 Steel strike slows down construction of the Civic Arena.
July 28, 1959 United Steelworkers union extends contracts with nation’s major aluminum producers, averting walkout of 30,000 members.
July 30, 1959 Michael L. Benedum, multimillionaire oil wildcatter dies two weeks after his 90th birthday.
August 4, 1959 2,000 striking steelworkers in a rally at Memorial Hall voice all-out support to union leadership in their fight for wage increase and benefits.
August 23, 1959 In violent storms, three city buildings were damaged.
August 25, 1959 Steelworkers President McDonald declares that the USW will stay on strike.
September 2, 1959 Two officials of the Russian embassy are in Pittsburgh to arrange details of Nikita Khrushchev’s forthcoming tour.
September 19, 1959 The unfinished East Hills Shopping Center is offered to highest bidder at auction (“largest sheriff’s sale ever”). The center is worth $8 million.
September 20, 1959 Religious services mark a protest against Khrushchev’s visit. Khrushchev arrives and speaks of eagerness for peace. Thousands of Pittsburghers are on hand to see him.
September 25, 1959 Steelworkers Union breaks off talks in 73-day steel strike.
September 29, 1959 Dr. Jonas Salk gets a March of Dimes grant of $413,439 to continue his study at the University of Pittsburgh of viruses and cells.
October 1, 1959 Sam Grosso and ten of his racketeers are found guilty.
October 9, 1959 President Eisenhower invokes the Taft-Hartley Act to break the deadlock between management and labor in the steel industry.
October 20, 1959 The Carnegie Institute of Technology gets $2.25 million grant from the Ford Foundation.
October 23, 1959 The new Port Authority (mass transportation) gets off to a shaky start.
November 3, 1959 Joseph M. Barr, Democrat, elected mayor. Barr —124,500; Reinhold — 71 ,202.
November 8, 1959 After striking for 116 days, steelworkers return to the mills.
November 13, 1959 A new site, closer to Allegheny River, is chosen for the stadium.
November 23, 1959 Representatives of trolley operators and representatives of the Pittsburgh Railways negotiate.
November 31, 1959 Pittsburgh Railways rejects new union contract offer.
December 2, 1959 Joseph M. Barr sworn in as 51st mayor of the city.
December 4, 1959 Mayor Barr invites trolley union and management to a meeting.
December 8, 1959 After the Mayor’s proposal is rejected by management and labor, trolley strike begins.
December 13, 1959 Vote of 914–11 ratifies a 26 cent-per-hour increase in wages, as trolley strike ends after six days.
1960 January 11, 1960 The eight-year-old stalemate about trolley-to-bus conversion in West End routes threatens to jeopardize key “Renaissance” projects near Point State Park.
January 21, 1960 The Public Auditorium Authority announces that Deeter and Ritchey Architects of Pittsburgh, Michael Baker Jr. of Rochester, and Osborn Engineering of Cleveland are commissioned to design the Northside stadium.
February 2, 1960 Racketeer Sam Grosso sentenced to 16–32 months in Western Penitentiary.
February 14, 1960 Twelve-inch snowstorm closes airports and schools.
February 21, 1960 KDKA performers, members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, go on strike.
March 1, 1960 A $500,000 fire destroys ten downtown businesses.
March 11, 1960 Announcement is made of the departure in 1961 of Dr. Jonas Salk from the University of Pittsburgh. He will become the head of a research institute in San Diego, California.
March 14, 1960 A $20 million new construction work in Pittsburgh district highway program will begin in the spring. Included is the linkage of the Penn-Lincoln Parkway with the turnpike.
March 23, 1960 $170 million is set for improvement expenditures at the University of Pittsburgh within the next ten years.
April 14, 1960 Three Pittsburgh bishops — John Wright, Roman Catholic, Austin Pardue, Episcopal, and Nicholas T. Elko, Byzantine Catholic — oppose ballot issue to allow betting on harness racing.
April 18, 1960 A new chapter in Pittsburgh redevelopment begins with Simpson Brothers’ plan to build private homes.
April 22, 1960 The afternoon Sun-Telegraph is purchased by the Post-Gazette.
April 26, 1960 The issue of harness racing, opposed by the bishops (see above) is defeated — 219,509 people voted “No”; 167,195, “Yes.”.
May 14, 1960 General Matthew B. Ridgway, the chairman and chief executive officer of Mellon Institute, retires.
May 25, 1960 City Safety Director Louis Rosenberg orders halt to all bingo games, even those sponsored by churches.
June 9, 1960 AFL and CIO merge.
June 19, 1960 Northside “Lower Belt” plan for $99 million interstate expressway wins formal support of State Highway Secretary Park H. Martin.
June 31, 1960 17,000 baseball fans crowd Greater Pittsburgh Airport to welcome 1st-place Pirates home from Chicago.
September 1, 1960 Fort Pitt Tunnel is opened.
September 25, 1960 Pirates win National League pennant, even though losing 4–2 to Braves. (St. Louis Cardinals’ loss on same day gives Pirates the victory.)
October 5, 1960 World Series begins. Pirates beat Yankees in first game, 6 - 4.
October 10, 1960 Senator John F. Kennedy, the Democratic presidential candidate, speaks in the city.
October 13, 1960 With the World Series even, three games each, the Pirates win the seventh game 10–9 with a home run by Bill Mazeroski in the ninth inning.
October 24, 1960 Richard Nixon, the Republican presidential candidate, speaks in the city.
October 25, 1960 University of Pittsburgh will buy five blocks in Oakland to build new dormitories.
November 3, 1960 President Eisenhower and former President Harry Truman speak in Pittsburgh for their party’s nominees.
November 8, 1960 Allegheny County joins in Pennsylvania’s support of John F. Kennedy, who is elected to the presidency.
December 5, 1960 The six-year battle for the “Lower-Belt” system in Northside is won.
February 18, 1961 North Park ice skating rink opens.
February 24, 1961 East Liberty urban renewal project is approved.
March 2, 1961 Conversion from trolleys to buses is discussed again.
March 5, 1961 John J. Kane, retired county commissioner, dies at the age of 70.
March 20, 1961 The Carnegie Institute of Technology receives grant by Ford Foundation to help raise the standards of the American theatre.
April 6, 1961 Yellow Cab drivers and mechanics go on strike.
May 5, 1961 Alcoa joins with a Kansas City real estate developer to rebuild the 79-acre commercial area, part of Northside renewal.
June 15, 1961 After 70 days, cab strike is settled.
June 18, 1961 Liquor sales at hotel bars on Sunday become legal.
July 16, 1961 Jones and Laughlin plans a quarter of a billion dollar expansion program.
July 30, 1961 The Post-Gazette celebrates its 175th birthday.
August 25, 1961 Port Authority rejects Pennsylvania Railroad’s bid for public subsidies to keep its commuter trains running.
September 17, 1961 Civic Arena opens for the public.
October 1, 1961 Plans for a 55,000-seat, $22 million sports stadium go before the city and county officials.
October 6, 1961 Plans for the thirteen-story IBM building in Gateway Center is approved.
November 7, 1961 Democrats sweep elections in city and county. Barr elected to his first full term as mayor.
November 28, 1961 Allegheny County voters will have the final say on unified mass transit for the county.
January 1, 1962 Benjamin Fairless, former president of US Steel, dies at 71.
March 20, 1962 Civic Arena reaches agreement over jurisdiction with unions. Agreement insures that the arena will be the summer home for the Civic Light Opera.
April 11, 1962 United States Steel sets increase of $6 a ton as a “catch-up adjustment.”
May 20, 1962 Troubles at the Civic Arena as air conditioning cooling system fails during the Western Pennsylvania Kennel show.
June 14, 1962 An $84 million rebuilding plan for the Golden Triangle is announced.
October 12, 1962 President Kennedy assails Republicans in the city. 300,000 Pittsburghers welcome him.
November 6, 1962 William Scranton elected governor of Pennsylvania.
November 19, 1962 Allegheny County Port Authority has acquisition agreements with 23 of 30 local bus companies.
January 9, 1963 City and county oppose merger of Pennsylvania Railroad and New York Central system.
January 11, 1963 An outer space research center will be built in Oakland by the University of Pittsburgh.
January 21, 1963 McClelland and McGrady announce re-election drive for county commissioners.
January 23, 1963 Chancellor Litchfield of University of Pittsburgh says Pirates baseball team may remain at Forbes Field, now owned by Pitt.
January 29, 1963 Seven Northside buildings were destroyed by fire.
January 31, 1963 William H. McNaugher resigns from the Common Pleas bench, to be succeeded by Henry Ellenbogen.
February 1, 1963 David L. Lawrence sworn in as chairman of President’s Commission on Equal Opportunity in Housing.
February 14, 1963 The University of Pittsburgh leaves up to its individual schools whether they will boycott clubs that practice racial discrimination.
February 21, 1963 Child Welfare Services of Allegheny County approved by the county commissioners.
March 28, 1963 Mayor Joseph Barr criticizes County Commissioner William McClelland in his continuing controversy over Northside stadium.
April 2, 1963 Stadium financing plan deemed dead.
April 28, 1963 Two more major fires add to previous wave of fires; arson again suspected.
May 7, 1963 Pittsburgh Pirates reject demand that they give $3,830,000 to Northside stadium project.
June 28, 1963 US Steel announces that cutbacks will result in 1,000 workers being laid off.
July 8, 1963 Pittsburgh building trade unions (except Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) agree to accept black men in their ranks.
July 29, 1963 Milk strike starts; the main reason for it: job security.
September 23, 1963 Westinghouse offers its four major unions a 14 cent raise and a five-year pension improvement.
October 27, 1963 After a record drought, showers bring relief to the city.
November 5, 1963 Democratic victory in the Allegheny County election. Reelected are Commissioners McClelland and McGrady. The only Republican to be elected to major office is the new district attorney, Robert W. Duggan.
December 11, 1963 Mayor Barr announces that he is “looking into” the possibility of imposing an occupation tax on all working in Pittsburgh.
December 11, 1963 Avery Adams, chairman of Jones and Laughlin’s executive committee, dies at age 65.
December 19, 1963 Earl Belle, “financial wizard,” returns from Brazil to face trial.
January 28, 1964 Former Judge William H. McNaugher dies at age 72.
February 2, 1964 Dapper Dan banquet gives top award to Pitt football coach John Michelosen.
February 28, 1964 Port Authority wins control of the Pittsburgh Railways Company.
March 11, 1964 In the worst flood of the past decade, water reaches 31.6 foot crests.
March 17, 1964 Fire destroys the Pittsburgher Motel.
April 5, 1964 Sabin anti-polio vaccine is administered to 800,000.
June 29, 1964 Police Detective Ralph Barnett sworn in as city’s first black police inspector.
September 1, 1964 Pittsburgh’s WIIC-TV, Channel 11, sold by Post-Gazette and Brennan family to the Cox Broadcasting Company for more than $20 million.
October 20, 1964 Groundbreaking ceremonies at Chatham Center.
October 27, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson arrives for rally in Civic Arena.
October 29, 1964 Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater speaks at the Civic Arena.
November 3, 1964 In the presidential election, the Johnson-Humphrey ticket wins, defeating the Republican ticket of Goldwater-Miller.
November 6, 1964 I. W. Abel, United Steelworkers secretary-treasurer, will oppose USW President David J. McDonald in the forthcoming election of the Steelworkers.
April 30, 1965 I. W. Abel wins the presidency of USW.
May 6, 1965 John W. Galbreath plans a 60-story building at a cost of $50 million to house U. S. Steel offices.
July 27, 1965 Edward Litchfield resigns as chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh.
September 5, 1965 United Steelworkers accept new 35-month wage agreement.
November 2, 1965 Mayor Barr and his five City Council running mates are re-elected, with new councilman Peter Flaherty leading the ticket.
January 11, 1966 Sarah Mellon Scaife’s bequest of $7.9 million to institutions is announced. The University of Pittsburgh will receive $5 million.
January 20, 1966 Bill Austin named new Pittsburgh Steelers head coach.
January 26, 1966 Dr. Stanton C. Crawford, acting chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, dies. He is succeeded by David Kurtzman.
February 9, 1966 Pittsburgh is granted National Hockey League franchise.
April 5, 1966 K. C. Morrissey named as first president of Allegheny County Community College. Monument Hill, Northside, will be the site of the college’s first campus.
April 19, 1966 Pittsburgh board of public education takes first steps in a $50 million construction program.
April 22, 1966 Court ends roadblock to construction of new stadium brought about by taxpayers’ suit.
May 25, 1966 The creation of UHF television Channel 53 is announced.
June 10, 1966 Harry Keller is appointed fire chief, succeeding Steven Adley.
June 30, 1966 “Commuter bandit” hits the Oakland Western Pennsylvania National Bank branch for $9,554. This is the “commuter’s” 14th robbery.
July 6, 1966 Pittsburgh Symphony is given a $2.5 million grant by the Ford Foundation.
July 11, 1966 Stadium Authority declares that the projected stadium as designed is too costly. It asks for alternative designs.
August 9, 1966 The University of Pittsburgh appropriations bill — $ 19,757,200 — passes the state House and Senate and is sent to the governor for his signature. It will enable Pitt to reduce tuition for full-time Pennsylvania residents to $450 annually.
August 25, 1966 The new stadium plans are unveiled; it is similar to stadiums in St. Louis and Atlanta and it will cost $12 million less than the original design.
September 14, 1966 A plan to merge Mellon Institute and Carnegie Institute of Technology is announced by Paul Mellon and Aiken Fisher, the respective board chairmen of the two institutions.
September 19, 1966 Classes began for some 950 students at the Community College’s Allegheny Campus and at Boyle Campus, then named East Campus on October 6.
October 21, 1966 Roy Arthur Hunt, 85, retired president and chairman of Alcoa’s executive committee and member of its board of directors since 1914, dies.
November 14, 1966 Richard K. Mellon retires as chairman of the Board of Mellon National Bank and Trust Co.
November 17, 1966 The State Highway Department discloses that a bridge might be built over the Ohio River parallel to the West End Bridge.
November 21, 1966 David L. Lawrence, who on November 4 suffered a heart attack while attending a political rally at the Syria Mosque, dies.
December 1, 1966 Maury Wills traded to Pittsburgh Pirates.
1967 A survey conducted in 1967 by the American Insurance Association gave the city’s fire defenses the worst rating in Pittsburgh’s history.
January 13, 1967 Wesley Posvar named chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh.
February 27, 1967 Mrs. Henry Hillman elected county Republican party chairman.
March 15, 1967 US Steel breaks ground for its new skyscraper headquarters, the world’s second largest high-rise office building.
March 19, 1967 H. J. Heinz II and the Howard Heinz Endowment acquire the Penn Theater for the Pittsburgh Symphony.
April 9, 1967 “Secret” project entailing new wing for Carnegie Institute financed by Scaife family is reported.
April 21, 1967 State Highway Commission says that the finishing of the “Bridge to Nowhere” will start shortly.
May 17, 1967 “Commuter Bandit” hits the Bloomfield branch of the Pittsburgh National Bank for the second time.
June 11, 1967 A master plan for a new $200 million terminal and cargo complex for Greater Pittsburgh Airport that would accommodate 12 million passengers by the year 2000 is unveiled. The first phase of the extension is planned to be completed by 1980.
June 23, 1967 A Northside grocer, William Zeiler, arrested. FBI agents and city police believe him to be the “Commuter Bandit,” who is responsible for sixteen robberies totaling more than $200,000.
June 29, 1967 U.S. attorney’s office announces that “Commuter Bandit” Zeiler will be charged with committing five bank robberies. His alleged accomplice, Richard P. Chiocca, surrendered to police.
July 20, 1967 State Senator John Devlin, minority leader, dies.
August 14, 1967 County Commissioner McClelland, rejected by the Democratic party, will run on the Constitutional party ballot with George Shankey as the other candidate.
September 11, 1967 An 11-mile, $160 million superhighway that will cut through Oakland to link major highways in the North and South Hills is under consideration.
September 18, 1967 Planners for a second Skybus to run between downtown and the South Hills have shelved survey work on an $800 million regional-rapid transit system for all of Allegheny County. The new system, different from its predecessor at South Park, will cost $60 million in state, federal, and local funds.
November 7, 1967 Leonard C. Staisey and Thomas J. Foerster elected new Democratic majority commissioners. Robert Duggan, Republican, reelected as district attorney. Robert Friend, former Pirate pitcher, new county controller.
November 14, 1967 Canon Robert Appleyard elected new bishop of Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh to succeed Bishop Austin Pardue who will retire in August of 1968. More than 70 clerics and 220 lay Episcopal deputies cast their votes in separate elections.
December 29, 1967 A report for the Allegheny County Port Authority states that Skybus would be cheaper than a conventional “steel on steel” mass transit system, spreading over 60 miles, but would be more costly to run. Either could be in operation in seventeen years.
January 12, 1968 Pittsburgh Stadium Authority approves final plans and specifications for the 52,000-seat stadium on the Northside that could be built for $28,000,000.
January 23, 1968 “Commuter Bandit” Zeiler is sentenced to 15 years.
February 20, 1968 The Penn Sheraton Hotel goes on the auction block after Local 327 Hotel and Restaurant workers refuse to accept the management’s terms to end their 43-day old strike.
February 29, 1968 Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers (AFL-CIO) goes on strike despite injunction against union leadership.
March 8, 1968 A plane crash into Lake Michigan takes the lives of Dr. Edward Litchfield, former chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, his wife, his mother, and his two sons.
March 10, 1968 Pittsburgh Public Schools teachers’ strike ends. Board of Education must accept elected bargaining agent as exclusive bargaining agent for teachers.
March 14, 1968 Carnegie-Mellon President H. Guyford Stever discloses proposals for the University for the next three years. CMU will broaden its scope by creating a Graduate School of Urban and Public Affairs and a College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
March 29, 1968 After sweeping the Indiana Pacers, the Pittsburgh Pipers soon faced the Minnesota Muskies in the Eastern Division Finals of the American Basketball Association. The Pipers went on to win the ABA Championship.
April 5, 1968 Gangs of black youth wreaked destruction in the Hill District and in other sections of the city following the April 4 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., the black civil rights leader.
April 7, 1968 Mayor Barr imposes a five-day curfew for Pittsburgh.
May 10, 1968 Ling-Temco-Vought, Inc. of Texas offers $85 a share for up to five million shares of Pittsburgh’s Jones and Laughlin Steel. The deal would give LTV 63 percent of J and L stock.
May 22, 1968 Hotel Penn Sheraton is sold to Pittsburgh investors. Local 327 and Bartenders Union Local 188 reaches agreement with new owners.
June 6, 1968 Dr. Sidney Marland resigns as superintendent of the city school system and is succeeded by Bernard J. McCormick.
September 11, 1968 William K. Whiteford, retired chairman and chief executive of Gulf Oil Corp., killed in traffic accident.
October 12, 1968 State Supreme Court Justice Michael Angelo Musmanno 71, one of the prosecutors in the Nuremberg trials, dies.
January 16, 1969 Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers reaches agreement preventing teachers’ strike in city schools.
February 24, 1969 The Democratic Policy Committee unanimously endorses Judge Harry Kramer to run for Democratic nomination for Mayor against City Councilman Peter Flaherty who announced his candidacy earlier.
March 2, 1969 John Tabor accepts Republican nomination for mayor.
March 28, 1969 Pope Paul appoints Bishop John Wright of Pittsburgh a cardinal. He will be a member of the Curia at the Vatican.
May 16, 1969 Dr. Louis Kishkunas is named to succeed Dr. Bernard McCormick as school’s superintendent.
May 20, 1969 Councilman Peter Flaherty wins Democratic nomination for mayor, in an upset victory against the Democratic machine.
June 4, 1969 Vincent M. Leonard, the auxiliary bishop to Wright becomes the new bishop of the Diocese.
September 23, 1969 Democratic majority commissioners approve PAT’s Skybus-PATway (Early Action) mass transit plans.
October 9, 1969 Danny Murtaugh named to manage Pittsburgh Pirates for the 1970 season.
November 4, 1969 Peter Flaherty elected mayor over Republican John Tabor. Cyril Wecht, lawyer-doctor, elected county coroner.
December 30, 1969 Penn Theater approved as new home for Pittsburgh Symphony.
1970 January 2, 1970 Mayor-elect Flaherty replaces Police Supt. James Slusser with Inspector Stephen Joyce. The city council holds over confirmation of Mayor Flaherty’s cabinet appointments: Joseph W. Cosetti for City Treasurer, Ralph Lynch, Jr. for City Solicitor and Bruce D. Campbell for Director of Lands and Buildings.
January 7, 1970 Flaherty, the new mayor, freezes city jobs.
January 18, 1970 The Flaherty administration fires 71 rank-and-file pay-rollers begins its austerity plan.
March 2, 1970 Flaherty threatens to close Pittsburgh Zoo.
April 1, 1970 Attorney John H. Bingler named Director of Public Safety.
May 4, 1970 Allison Krause of nearby Churchill was among four Kent State University students killed by National Guardsmen.
June 3, 1970 Richard King Mellon, 70, the key figure in Pittsburgh’s Renaissance, dies.
June 23, 1970 Board of Public Education votes to abandon “Great High School” plans.
July 16, 1970 After many delays, the Three Rivers Stadium on Northside opens with Pirates losing to Cincinnati 3–2.
August 27, 1970 William R. Roesch named Jones and Laughlin Steel president and chief operating officer.
September 11, 1970 Robert J. Paternoster named City Planning Director; Bruce D. Campbell the interim planning director becomes Executive Secretary to the mayor.
November 13, 1970 John F. Counahan, president of City Council, dies.
January 2, 1971 The elimination of city truck drivers from driving plumbers to install water meters leads to a ten-day strike of the city’s non-uniformed employees.
January 17, 1971 Pressmen at the Pittsburgh Press, on strike for twelve days, are back at work.
February 4, 1971 Thomas Kennelly succeeds Harry Keller as Fire Chief.
February 10, 1971 Mayor Flaherty replaces Stephen Joyce with Robert E. Colville, as superintendent of police.
February 16, 1971 Two police inspectors retire; demoted Joyce replaces one of them.
February 17, 1971 First moves toward correcting a system by which police collected unearned witness fees is taken by Robert Peirce, the new county clerk of courts.
February 25, 1971 Peirce announces the introduction of new witness-fee system.
April 25, 1971 U.S. Representative Robert Corbett, 65, who had represented the 18th district in Congress for half his lifetime, dies.
May 15, 1971 Because of the pressmen’s strike at the Post-Gazette, both Pittsburgh’s daily newspapers cease to appear.
September 10, 1971 Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts opens.
September 20, 1971 John Bingler resigns as city’s safety director, because he finds the position unnecessary. Henceforth, Mayor Flaherty will act as his own safety director.
September 20, 1971 In a July 28 letter the state Department of Commerce urged Flaherty to abandon his administration’s support of the Mon Plaza site for the proposed convention center.
September 21, 1971 Allegheny County files suit to get back more than $41,000 in witness fees allegedly collected by 34 Pittsburgh policemen.
September 22, 1971 The Flaherty administration serves notice in court that it will resist any attempt by PAT to renovate the old Wabash Tunnel, which is a vital link to the Early Action phase of the Skybus lines to the South Hills.
October 6, 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates win National League pennant.
October 6, 1971 James Fulton, Dormont Republican, dies.
October 22, 1971 In a defeat for the Mayor, city council votes unanimously in private caucus to throw full support behind PATâ€™s Early Action mass transit plan.
October 26, 1971 Robert R. Dorsey, president of Gulf Oil, will become chief executive officer of the company.
November 2, 1971 In the election, Robert Duggan is re-elected district attorney. Republican William Hunt, a Skybus opponent, wins largest vote for county commissioner; Straisey and Foerster also re-elected. Robert Peirce, county clerk of courts by appointment, is also elected.
November 8, 1971 Mrs. Gladys McNairy, a black woman, elected president of the Pittsburgh Board of Public Education.
November 23, 1971 Danny Murtaugh, who retired as Pirate manager, is replaced by Bill Virdon.
December 1, 1971 Mayor Flaherty announces that the second annual surplus will allow a reduction in taxes.
December 23, 1971 County commissioners again refuse to hold a referendum on Skybus issue.
December 27, 1971 PAT and the John F. Casey Company went to court to seek relief from malicious interference by the City of Pittsburgh to halt renovation of the Wabash Tunnel.
December 28, 1971 Mayor Flaherty lifts tunnel blockade.
January 10, 1972 Flaherty, Commissioner William Hunt and the mayors of 14 communities file suit to enjoin PAT from spending any money on Early Action (Skybus) program until it complies with six specific legal requirements PAT allegedly ignored.
January 12, 1972 Flaherty, saying that the city must have tighter control over the Highland Park Zoo and aquarium, cancels all existing agreements with the Pittsburgh Zoological Society for the operation and maintenance of the facility.
February 22, 1972 PAT formally charges that anti-Skybus suit is a delaying tactic without legal foundation.
March 10, 1972 Pittsburgh Zoological Society sues Mayor Flaherty to enjoin him from taking control of Zoo.
March 16, 1972 Common Pleas Court order re-establishes Zoological Society as operator of Highland Park Zoo.
March 16, 1972 Harold Joseph (Pie) Traynor, third baseman and former Pittsburgh Pirates’ star, dies.
April 6, 1972 Arthur Van Buskirk, 76, leader in Pittsburgh’s postwar renaissance, dies.
April 13, 1972 Eugene Coon elected Democratic party chairman of Allegheny County.
May 8, 1972 Skybus trial comes to an end after 69 days.
May 10, 1972 Carnegie-Mellon University chooses Dr. Richard Cyert as its sixth president.
May 26, 1972 J. F. Hillman, 83, prominent coal operator and philanthropist, dies. The survey of the American Insurance Association indicates that Pittsburgh’s fire protection services are the best since World War II.
June 24, 1972 Flood water crests at 35.82 feet, about eleven feet over flood level.
July 17, 1972 Commonwealth Court rules that the mayor must sign over to PAT parcels of land at both ends of the Wabash Tunnel.
July 24, 1972 Judge Anne X. Alpern orders the halt of further spending on the Early Action transit program.
August 14, 1972 Pittsburgh-born pianist Oscar Levant dies in Hollywood at the age of 65.
October 3, 1972 Gladys Schmitt, novelist and Carnegie-Mellon faculty member, dies at age 61.
November 6, 1972 Judge Alpern issues a permanent injunction halting financing and construction of the proposed rapid transit system. Decree moves case closer to final adjudication in the state Supreme Court.
November 29, 1972 Edgar B. Speer elected chairman of the board of US Steel.
December 1, 1972 Mayor Flaherty announces that the 13.5 million surplus in 1972 will allow the elimination of the wage tax imposed in 1954, adjustment in the amusement tax and tax on parking lot operators. He also announces a 60 million dollar Capital Improvement Program.
December 31, 1972 Roberto Clemente, Pirates outfielder, died in the crash of a cargo plane on mercy mission to Managua, Nicaragua.
January 19, 1973 The State Supreme Court by 6–1 vote overturns Judge Alpern’s injunction and puts Skybus back on the track.
February 13, 1973 City Councilman Richard Caliguiri announces candidacy for Democratic nomination for mayor.
February 24, 1973 After Mayor Flaherty’s announcement that he will seek reelection, the Democratic city committee endorses Richard Caliguiri.
May 15, 1973 Flaherty wins both the Democratic and Republican nominations for re-election.
July 24, 1973 Federal grand jury opens investigation into business activities of Allegheny County District Attorney Robert W. Duggan.
September 6, 1973 Bill Virdon fired as Pirates’ manager; he will be succeeded by Danny Murtaugh.
October 12, 1973 Mayor Flaherty unveils his transit plan, which will cost $82 million. He would utilize the existing rail lines and would upgrade trolley lines to southern suburbs.
October 29, 1973 Pittsburgh “numbers boss” Tony Grosso testifies that former county racket squads chief Samuel G. Ferraro had received payments from him.
November 2, 1973 Ferraro found guilty by federal jury; sentenced to six years in prison and a $30,000 fine.
November 6, 1973 Mayor Flaherty, Sheriff Coon, Coroner Wecht are re-elected.
November 6, 1973 It is revealed that District Attorney Duggan had married Cordelia Scaife May, a Mellon heiress, on August 29.
November 9, 1973 According to a Post-Gazette story, Duggan’s marriage took place less than a week after his new wife was to appear before the Internal Revenue Service. Duggan calls the newspaper story “sick.”
December 2, 1973 Patrick Fagan, ex-city councilman, dies.
January 21, 1974 The end of the Professional Theater at Pittsburgh Playhouse had been decided.
January 30, 1974 State Crime Commission charges that District Attorney Robert W. Duggan concealed $68,000 in contributions and expenditures, squeezed more than $36,000 from employees, and falsified election records in his 1971 re-election campaign. Duggan replies that the mistakes happened because of “poor bookkeeping practices.”
February 22, 1974 Grand jury demands Duggan’s financial records.
March 5, 1974 Robert W. Duggan found dead in his Westmoreland County home. Not long after his death, the federal grand jury charges against him becomes known. He supposedly evaded $93,000 in income taxes.
March 12, 1974 The Westmoreland County coroner closes investigation of Duggan’s death without ruling.
April 1, 1974 Strike at the Post-Gazette and the Pittsburgh Press. For six weeks the city is without newspapers.
May 21, 1974 In the primary, the home-rule charter for Allegheny County is defeated. Mayor Flaherty wins nomination for the senatorial race over ex-insurance commissioner Herbert S. Denenberg.
June 13, 1974 Gulf Building shaken by dynamite explosion, causing a million dollars damage. No one was hurt. A caller identifying himself as member of the terrorist Weather Underground said the bomb had been planted by his group. Another caller told Associated Press that the bombing was to protest Gulf’s “racist policies” in the Portuguese colony of Angola.
July 8, 1974 James Higgins becomes board chairman of the Mellon National Corporation.
August 30, 1974 Dedication of the Point State Park Fountain. After three decades of planning and construction, Point Park is finally completed.
September 5, 1974 A smaller and cheaper Penn Central site between Ft. Duquesne Blvd. and Penn Avenue is recommended by Mayor Flaherty for the city’s convention center.
September 9, 1974 President Ford visits Pittsburgh among cheers and boos — booed for giving pardon to ex-President Nixon.
September 27, 1974 County Commissioner Thomas Foerster pronounces Sky-bus “deader than a doornail.”
October 15, 1974 Urban Mass Transportation Administration says Skybus is feasible. It says local governments must resolve conflict over the plan or lose federal funds.
October 25, 1974 Colorful inaugural reception is held at the magnificent Sarah Scaife gallery in Oakland.
November 5, 1974 In the senatorial race, Peter Flaherty is defeated by incumbent GOP Senator Richard S. Schweiker.
November 12, 1974 Mayor Flaherty announces balanced budget for 1975. There won’t be a tax increase.
December 10, 1974 City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County settle their differences about the construction of the convention center; they will go jointly to the state agencies to seek approval of plan.
January 9, 1975 Mayor Flaherty increases exhibit space of proposed convention center from 104,000 to 135,000 square feet.
January 12, 1975 Steelers win Super Bowl in New Orleans, 16–6 over Minnesota Vikings. 10,000 people invade Downtown area after victory; 224 were arrested for drunkenness.
January 19, 1975 William Steinberg, because of ill health, resigns as Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony.
January 31, 1975 John Robin calls for independent engineering study of proposed mass-transit systems (rail vs. rubber tire).
February 3, 1975 County Democratic chairman Eugene L. Coon calls for federal investigation of U.S. Atty. Richard L. Thornburgh, whom Coon says was motivated by partisan politics in his investigation of alleged official corruption.
February 4, 1975 PAT directors authorize creation of 8-member task force to develop independent engineering study. Mayor Flaherty, county commissioners included. Decision comes after Federal Urban Mass Transportation administrator Herringer sets deadline for new attempt to resolve mass-transit controversy.
February 4, 1975 Thornburgh defends himself against Coon’s charges of partisan politics.
February 6, 1975 NAACP, state attorney general and minority groups sue City of Pittsburgh charging race and sex discrimination in police hiring and promotion. Similar charges had been filed with regard to hiring in the Bureau of Fire in 1972 and subsequent year, charges which consequently were dismissed.
February 7, 1975 The Mayor and county commissioners agree on convention center proposal. Proposal is for a 130,000 - 140,000 sq. foot site center on site bounded by Penn Avenue, Tenth Street and Ft. Duquesne Blvd.
February 11, 1975 I. W. Abel, United Steelworkers president who will retire in June of 1977, says he will refuse election to George Meany’s job as head of AFL-CIO.
February 14, 1975 Staisey and Foerster announce they will run for renomination as county commissioners, as a team, in May 20 primary election.
February 16, 1975 Mayor Flaherty will cooperate with Allegheny Conference on Community Development in exploring possibilities for a 1984 World’s Fair in Pittsburgh.
February 28, 1975 Robert Coll replaces Robert Colville as Superintendent of Police. Colville resigned to run for the office of District Attorney.
March 17, 1975 Perle Mesta, the fabulous hostess, dies. She will be buried in Homewood Cemetery.
April 9, 1975 Port Authority Transit (PAT) begins construction route from Downtown through Mt. Washington Trolley Tunnel and up Sawmill Run Boulevard.
April 21, 1975 University of Pittsburgh receives $1 million from Japan Iron and Steel Federation as an endowment for Pittâ€™s Asian Studies Program. It would finance a rotating visiting professorship in Japanese studies and an Asian library.
April 28, 1975 Zoological Society will quit all operations by August 1, charging “senseless, irrational interference and harassment by City officials.”
May 4, 1975 Mayor Flaherty plans three new structures in the Zoo to replace 80 year old main Zoo building.
May 14, 1975 Andre Previn appointed as the new Director of the Symphony.
May 18, 1975 The city administration hires Illinois firm of McFadzean and Everly to design new plan for Zoo.
May 20, 1975 Leonard Staisey denied renomination as county commissioner by Democratic voters. Ticket will be Thomas J. Forester and James Flaherty, brother of the Pittsburgh mayor. Republicans nominate Robert N. Peirce and Dr. William Hunt, incumbent GOP commissioner.
May 21, 1975 James Flaherty, the Mayor’s brother, and Thomas J. Foerster win in primary election for County Commissioners.
May 25, 1975 University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine will graduate Elaine Morris, the first black woman.
June 3, 1975 Jones and Laughlin will lay off 1200, bringing total to 2600 out of work at its Pittsburgh Works.
June 4, 1975 Mayor Flaherty and the State agree on a six-lane East Street Valley Expressway.
June 9, 1975 City policemen sent home for having long hair. They do eventually get it cut before returning to duty.
June 16, 1975 DeLeuw, Cather & Company will study Skybus concept. The firm of engineers chosen by Transit Task Force will receive for the study $446,745.
June 20, 1975 A great fire destroys part of Kennywood Amusement Park, causing $400,000 damage. Roadrunner, Ghost Ship and the 75 year old dance hall burn down.
June 25, 1975 David M. Roderick is elected President of United States Steel Corporation. He will replace W. A. Walker on August 1st.
June 27, 1975 As Teamsters Local 211 calls a strike, the City of Pittsburgh is without newspapers till July 28.
July 3, 1975 The top floors of the old Duquesne University Administration building are destroyed by fire, apparently caused by lightning.
July 4, 1975 Pittsburgh celebrates the country’s 199th birthday with fireworks and firecrackers.
July 27, 1975 The month-long strike of teamsters against the Pittsburgh Press and Post-Gazette comes to an end.
July 28, 1975 The conviction of former State Senator Frank Mazzei on federal extortion charges is upheld by the Third Circuit Court of Appeal.
August 7, 1975 “Medic One” superambulance begins its operation.
August 21, 1975 Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation signs a $200 million pollution control agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency assuring J & L’s continued operation and jobs for its 6,000 workers.
August 30, 1975 The wildcat strike by West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania coal miners spreads, in spite of union and court demands.
September 8, 1975 Pittsburgh School Board announces a $45 million school desegregation plan.
September 25, 1975 Governor Milton Shapp joins the race for the 1976 Democratic Presidential nomination.
September 29, 1975 Pittsburgh Symphony musicians go on strike for the first time in the orchestra’s 49-year history.
October 8, 1975 The School Board announces a 113 million dollar budget.
October 30, 1975 Radio Station KDKA and the Pittsburgh Pirates fire Bob Prince and Nellie King, their longtime baseball announcers.
November 5, 1975 Control of the Board of County Commissioners is retained by the Democrats when Thomas Foerster and Jim Flaherty defeat their Republican opponents Robert Peirce and William Hunt.
November 13, 1975 The 46-day strike of the Symphony musicians ends.
December 1, 1975 City Public School teachers vote overwhelmingly for a strike.
December 10, 1975 H. John Heinz III announces his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
December 15, 1975 Milo Hamilton is chosen as Pirate announcer, replacing Bob Prince.
December 17, 1975 At Three Rivers Stadium, the Steelers defeat the Baltimore Colts 28–10 in the Super Bowl play-off before a crowd of 50,000.
December 30, 1975 Gulf Oil’s own fact-finding committee confirms that the corporation’s executives had a multimillion dollar political “slush fund.”
January 8, 1976 A 7-inch snowfall snarls traffic in the city.
January 12, 1976 The striking teachers are ordered by the court to return to work.
January 16, 1976 The Steelers beat the Dallas Cowboys 21 to 17, retaining the title as World Champions. Three days later the city celebrates the victory in bitter cold weather with a downtown parade.
January 26, 1976 School strike ends; teachers ratify a compromise contract.
February 27, 1976 James R. Maloney becomes executive director of the Pittsburgh Port Authority (PAT).
March 1, 1976 A 10 cent fare increase goes into effect on PAT buses and trolleys.
March 12, 1976 Governor Shapp withdraws as a Democratic Presidential candidate.
March 19, 1976 The two young daughters of banker Seward S. Mellon are abducted. Their abduction is a part of the battle between the banker and his wife.
March 24, 1976 City Civil Service Committee asks for the hiring of equal numbers of whites and minorities in the fire department.
April 13, 1976 The Pirates rout the St. Louis Cardinals 14–0 in the season opener with 40,937 fans in attendance at the Three Rivers Stadium.
April 27, 1976 City voters, by a 3 to 2 margin, retain an elected school board.
May 12, 1976 Demonstrators stage a sit-in at Rockwell International headquarters, protesting the corporation’s involvement with the B-I bomber.
June 15, 1976 Helped by a $5 million grant from the Allegheny Foundation, City authorities will rehabilitate the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie R.R. Station.
June 25, 1976 U.S. Steel Corporation will reduce the level of air pollution at its Clairton coke works.
July 4, 1976 A giant Bicentennial Fourth of July celebration with fireworks from atop the US Steel Building.
July 9, 1976 Jones and Laughlin will install new electric blast furnaces which will reduce pollution and increase productive capacity; it will also cost 700 jobs.
July 13, 1976 In a wildcat strike pickets close down the East Pittsburgh plant of Westinghouse Electric.
July 18, 1976 Two more unions representing 28,000 workers join a nationwide strike against Westinghouse.
August 2, 1976 Thirteen-year-old Terry Ford is killed in his Sewickley home when a bomb, intended for his brother, blows up in his face.
August 5, 1976 Most of the mines in the district are closed by a wildcat strike.
August 27, 1976 A federal grand jury indicts 38 district magistrates charging them with conspiracy and racketeering.
September 3, 1976 Two of the three Cleveland gunmen convicted of murdering UMW leader Jock Yablonski, his wife and daughter are sentenced to life imprisonment.
September 15, 1976 Governor Shapp signs an agreement with the Volkswagen Corporation of Germany ensuring the establishment of the firm’s American assembly plant at New Stanton.
September 30, 1976 Members of the State’s General Assembly receive a 20% pay raise, while the pay of the city’s firemen raise, while the pay of the city’s firemen is boosted by $1,000.
October 1, 1976 Duquesne Light Co. ask the Public Utility Commission for a rate increase which would raise the average residential electric bill by 31.6%. Oct. 8, Mayor Flaherty orders all rookie policemen to walk the beat instead of riding in patrol cars.
October 12, 1976 The county’s “flu clinics” close and an investigation is launched into the cases of three residents whose illnesses were related to their “swine flu” inoculations.
October 28, 1976 Assistant District Attorney Jo Ann D’Ariggo is dismissed from the courtroom by Judge Nicholas Papadakos who refused to hear her because she was dressed in a pant-suit.
November 2, 1976 In the presidential election of 1976 Democrat Jimmy Carter narrowly defeats Gerald Ford. H. John Heinz III Â® is successful in his Senate bid.
November 17, 1976 The State Superior Court upholds the legality of the Sunday “Blue” laws which prohibit most retail stores from doing business on Sunday.
December 1, 1976 Allegheny County’s mass transit system grinds to a halt as Port Authority Transit workers shut down all public transportation.
December 2, 1976 A snowstorm snarls traffic.
December 30, 1976 A $600 million “cleanup” pact is signed by U.S. Steel and county and state officials. It provides for an extensive anti-pollution rehabilitation of the Clairton Coke Works.
January 1, 1977 Pitt Panthers beat Georgia 27–3 in the Sugar Bowl to tighten their grip on the 1977 National College Football Championship.
January 17, 1977 Record low temperatures of −17 F and gas shortages force the closing of the public school system.
January 20, 1977 A blast at Langley Hall on the University of Pittsburgh campus caused by a gas leak kills three and injures 22.
January 23, 1977 As ice-packed rivers rise to danger levels the river towns brace for floods.
February 1, 1977 A gaping crack threatening its collapse was found in the $50 million bridge on Interstate 1–79, which was completed in 1976 as part of the Bicentennial celebration.
February 2, 1977 Richard Karp, 94, musical director of the Pittsburgh Opera for 35 years dies of cancer in Montefiore Hospital.
February 9, 1977 In the election for president of the United Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO Lloyd McBride, the organization candidate, turns back Edward Sadlowski, the candidate of the rank and file reform movement.
February 18, 1977 Four city policemen who moonlighted as “security guards” at a North Side “pornography warehouse” are suspended.
February 21, 1977 President Carter names Pittsburgh Mayor Pete Flaherty as Deputy U.S. Attorney General.
February 25, 1977 George E. Lee, whose massage parlor operations are under investigation, shot dead in a parking lot on Seventh Street.
March 8, 1977 City Democrats choose County Commissioner Thomas J. Foerster for Mayor.
April 1, 1977 An Oakland cobbler arrested for bookmaking invented an ingenious method for taking bets. He wrote them on the soles of shoes which he repaired.
April 9, 1977 A tentative three-year contract which includes some lifetime income security is approved by the Steelworkers Union.
April 11, 1977 Richard S. Caliguiri is sworn in as Mayor in City Hall, replacing Pete Flaherty who resigned.
April 25, 1977 Eleanor Cutri Smeal, a housewife from Mt. Lebanon, is elected president of the National Organization of Women.
May 10, 1977 Striking Teamsters block installation of voting machines for the upcoming primary elections.
May 17, 1977 Thomas Foerster wins the Democratic Mayoral primary and prepares to campaign against Joseph Cosetti, the Republican nominee and Richard Caliguiri who runs on the independent ticket.
May 20, 1977 The nude body of 18-year-old Brenda Lee Ritter is found on a bill, the fourth young woman to be slain in Washington County during the past six months.
June 21, 1977 Thirty-nine suspected heroin pushers are arrested in a drug bust.
July 25, 1977 Flooding and explosions kill 45 people in Johnstown.
July 27, 1977 The Board of Education rejects a plan to reinstate corporal punishment in the city’s schools, a measure backed by the Teachers’ Union.
August 1, 1977 The strike of 14,000 steelworkers is the first major walkout in the basic steel industry during the past eighteen years.
August 7, 1977 Seventeen prisoners escape from the Allegheny County jail.
August 19, 1977 Thousands of state employees, including guards at several prisons and aides in hospitals, join a “sick out,” protesting the state’s failure to pay their salaries because of the budget crisis in Harrisburg.
August 20, 1977 The state budget is passed and paychecks go out to state employees.
August 26, 1977 The PAT board, by an 11–1 vote, approves application for $93 million in federal funds to construct a $110 million busway from downtown to the eastern suburbs.
September 8, 1977 The report by Sheriff Eugene ‘Gene’ Coon about the deterioration of the County jail stirs the prison board into approving sweeping reforms.
September 19, 1977 Jones and Laughlin Corporation lays off some 500 workers.
September 29, 1977 West View Park, an amusement attraction for over four decades, will close its doors.
October 6, 1977 Over the next six months U.S. Steel intends to lay off 4,500 of its white collar employees.
November 8, 1977 In the mayoral election Richard Caliguiri defeats Thomas Foerster. Democrats sweep the contested City Council seats.
November 14, 1977 Mayor Caliguiri announces plans for a no-tax-hike budget and for the beginning of “Renaissance II,” to revitalize the city.
December 16, 1977 Massage parlor operator Anthony Robert Pugh is found shot to death at his suburban apartment. Dec. 27 Webster Hall Hotel, a landmark in Oakland, will be converted into luxury apartments.
January 20, 1978 Another big snowfall made January the snowiest month since the “Big Snow” of 1950.
January 22, 1978 Former Mayor Pete Flaherty announces his Democratic candidacy for Governor.
January 24, 1978 A blizzard strikes the area, knocking out power and disrupting telephone service. Rivers crest two feet below flood level at the Point.
January 29, 1978 UMW President Arnold Miller declares that the miners’ strike might go on indefinitely.
February 6, 1978 UMW strikers stage a large rally downtown; they demonstrate before the U.S. Steel and Duquesne Light buildings.
February 27, 1978 Thirty-five-year-old Phyllis Wyberg, from the North Side, becomes the third million dollar winner in the Pennsylvania lottery.
March 1, 1978 Bus driver Rosie Lee and her passengers are routed from their No. 87 Ardmore bus by a rat.
March 2, 1978 A large group of truck drivers stage a slowdown to protest the huge potholes on 1–70 between the Turnpike and the Pennsylvania border.
March 6, 1978 UMW rank and file rejects a proposed contract; President Carter invokes the Taft-Hartley Act; miners must return to work.
March 7, 1978 The miners vow to defy the Taft-Hartley injunction.
March 14, 1978 Jennifer Lee Wesner, a former topless model, draws the top spot in the Democratic primary for governor.
March 17, 1978 School officials confiscate knives, guns, baseball bats and an ax after a racial brawl at Brashear High School.
March 25, 1978 Area miners prepare to return to work under a new contract which they first opposed but which had been accepted by the majority of the UMW’s members.
March 28, 1978 Schenley High School’s Spartans win the Pennsylvania Triple A Basketball Championship, defeating Lebanon High 5 1–50 at Hershey, Pa.
March 30, 1978 The state government authorizes over $55 million in federal, state and local funds to pay for the first phase of the proposed East Bus-way in Allegheny County.
April 4, 1978 The City Council overrides Mayor Caliguiri’s veto of an antipornography referendum designed to provide a mandate for “cleaning up” Liberty Avenue and other pornography retail areas.
April 6, 1978 The FBI and the District Attorney’s Office begin their investigation of Community Action Pittsburgh, the Agency which is dispensing federal anti-poverty funds.
April 9, 1978 The majority in the county commission votes against putting the anti -pornography referendum on the May 16 primary ballot.
April 23, 1978 PennDot seeks a three-year guarantee from all asphalt contractors.
May 16, 1978 William Steinberg, 78, music director emeritus of the Pittsburgh Symphony who was conductor of the Symphony for more than a quarter century, dies in New York.
May 17, 1978 Peter Flaherty and Richard Thornburgh win the respective Democratic and Republican gubernatorial nominations.
May 23, 1978 After being pinned by his legs for two hours atop the Brady Street Bridge, a screaming construction worker is freed by a physician who climbs to the top of the bridge and amputates his leg.
June 6, 1978 Bail Bondsman David Wander and Edward Reddington are convicted on a sex-blackmail scheme against County Commissioner Robert N. Peirce.
June 19, 1978 Mayor Caliguiri, speaking before the U.S. Conference of Mayors, throws his support behind a plan which would make it easier for cities to annex their suburbs.
June 27, 1978 State legislature approves the death penalty.
July 5, 1978 Nathaniel Rosen, the Pittsburgh Symphony’s first cellist, wins the Tschaikovsky Gold Medal in Moscow.
July 5, 1978 Edward Suratt, wanted for two murders, is arrested in Florida.
July 6, 1978 A major urban renewal project in Market Square will be spearheaded by the 40-story Pittsburgh Plate Glass Building.
August 6, 1978 The Greater Pittsburgh Airport reports a $2.3 million profit.
August 8, 1978 Parkway East is “papered” with money for the second consecutive day, with an accident littering a mile-long stretch with canceled Series E government savings bonds. The day before, a collision with a messenger’s car causes scores of welfare checks to be strewn on the road.
August 11, 1978 The State Supreme Court unanimously upholds a Commonwealth Court order requiring the city to submit a desegregation plan to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission before fall, 1979.
August 15, 1978 Parents and community groups charge the city School Board with promoting a racially segregated system.
September 7, 1978 Thomas Ware, a city detective with fifteen years service, is charged with the murder of a city fireman in the Hill District.
September 21, 1978 Edward Suratt of Aliquippa, already charged with three murders and a suspect in 17 others, is convicted of the rape of a woman and her daughter in Vilano Beach, Florida.
September 25, 1978 Northview Heights public housing project wins a $10 million federal grant to rehabilitate its deteriorating North Side complex.
October 23, 1978 The federal government charges Westinghouse Corporation with making false statements to cover up overseas bribery.
November 2, 1978 Pittsburgh is allocated $23.9 million and Allegheny County $27.19 million to operate the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) programs in the coming fiscal year.
November 8, 1978 Richard Thornburgh upsets Peter Flaherty by 200,000 votes to become Governor of Pennsylvania. In 25 Congressional races, the Democrats lose three seats and gain one. Allegheny County voters overwhelmingly reject a home rule charter.
November 28, 1978 Sixteen-year-old Dorene Crawford is shot to death in the stairway of her Terrace Village apartment. City homicide detectives search for her boyfriend, twenty-six-year-old Fred Mahaffey.
December 13, 1978 Alcoa Corporation intends to spend $5.1 million on an “extensive renovation” of the William Penn Hotel.
December 23, 1978 “Lonesome George,” the Pittsburgh Zoo’s only gorilla, dies.
December 31, 1978 The Steelers defeat the Denver Broncos 33–10 before a crowd of 48,921 and advance to the final game of the Championship, Super Bowl XIII.
January 4, 1979 The sexually assaulted and strangled body of Monica Renee Jones, an 18-year-old Pitt coed, is found in the basement of her dormitory.
January 16, 1979 Governor Richard Thornburgh is sworn in in Harrisburg, pledging “integrity, frugality, simplicity and humanity.”
January 19, 1979 Members of the Fraternal Association of Steel Handlers (FASH) vote to end their violence-torn strike as a result of a court-ordered injunction.
January 22, 1979 The Steelers defeat the Dallas Cowboys 35–31 in Miami to return their World Championship title for a third consecutive year.
January 26, 1979 Duquesne Light, having just implemented a billing increase, announces another which will increase the average monthly electric bill by $5.70.
February 2, 1979 An estimated 7,000 fans join in a Steelers’ victory celebration at Market Square.
February 11, 1979 Controller John P. Lynch begins an investigation of the county morgue in connection with private bank accounts used for deposit of cut-of-county autopsy receipts.
March 5, 1979 Controller John P. Lynch indicates that Coroner Cyril Wecht and members of his staff might be liable under theft of service statutes for the private autopsy work which they performed at the county morgue.
March 7, 1979 The $10.8 billion state budget will he financed in part by an increase in the gasoline tax.
March 14, 1979 According to the county’s law department, Coroner Wecht’s private autopsy work was illegal.
March 28, 1979 A cooling failure in the Three-Mile Island nuclear plant results in its shutdown as radiation begins leaking in the Harrisburg area. Pittsburghers worry about the implications for nuclear facilities in the city and its vicinity
April 4, 1979 3,500 Volkswagen workers at New Stanton are laid off.
April 15, 1979 An investigating grand jury will crack down on the massage parlor industry.
April 18, 1979 Police and paramedics work for more than 373 hours to free a driver from his wrecked truck which hung precariously from a Fort Pitt Bridge ramp.
April 30, 1979 Steel trucks begin to roll as steel haulers vote to end their three-week strike.
May 1, 1979 The strike at the Pittsburgh Brewing Company stops the production of Iron City Beer.
May 7, 1979 The federal government formally commits $265 million to PAT for the proposed light-rail transit system that will connect the South Hills with Downtown.
May 10, 1979 The unexplained failure of a 23,000-volt line ignites sewer gas, touching off a series of electrical explosions, setting overhead wires on fire and knocking out power in 25,000 East End homes.
June 4, 1979 The U.S. Attorney’s office loses its second major Medicare fraud case when a federal judge acquits Dr. Leonard Merkow of Squirrel Hill.
June 9, 1979 An Erie jury finds former Allegheny County Manpower director Robert L. Hawkins guilty of payroll frauds totaling $80,000.
June 21, 1979 Independent truckers launch a nationwide shutdown; gunfire erupts on the highways.
June 25, 1979 Shots are fired at produce trucks on a highway near the city, as the striking truckers attempt to shut down the shipment of food.
June 28, 1979 The strike by service station owners, resulting in long lines at the few open stations, lulls. A new ‘odd-even’ gas rationing plan eases the run on gasoline.
July 3, 1979 Hope fades for an early resolution of the state budget deadlock which has already ended payments to thousands of state workers and families on welfare.
July 8, 1979 Theodore L. Hazlett, President of the A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, and the legal architect of the city’s Renaissance, dies.
July 14, 1979 Only 11% of the area’s service stations are open. Pittsburgh motorists are hit hard by the shutdown of the independent station operators.
July 16, 1979 An eleventh-hour attempt by federal mediators fails to avert a strike by 38,000 Westinghouse workers.
July 25, 1979 The City Council gives preliminary approval to a P.P.G. Industries plan to build its $100 million headquarters in Market Square, but area merchants are fighting the plan.
August 2, 1979 An 11-year-old girl and her teenage panderer are arrested on a downtown street on prostitution charges.
August 3, 1979 A woman jogger told police she was attacked under Panther Hollow Bridge near the area where Carol Jursik, a Pittsburgh University graduate student, disappeared.
August 7, 1979 The body of Carol Jursik is found. Her murderer is never apprehended.
August 15, 1979 Allegheny County Health Agency might lose $197,000 in federal air pollution aid as a result of bureaucratic bungling.
September 4, 1979 Mt. Lebanon schools are the latest to be closed in a rash of teacher’s strikes affecting more than 30,000 pupils in ten Western Pennsylvania school districts.
September 11, 1979 Lawyers, businessmen and office workers are routed from the Law and Finance Building, as flames race through its 14th floor.
September 17, 1979 The illegal numbers racket is doing well in spite of the state lottery’s success.
October 6, 1979 The Pirates win the National League pennant by defeating the Cincinnati Reds 7–1 at Three Rivers Stadium.
October 9, 1979 Over strong objections by two city school directors, the school board held its fifth closed meeting of the year on desegregation.
October 11, 1979 The Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Baltimore Orioles 3–2 in the second game of the World Series.
October 12, 1979 A tentative agreement is reached in the six-weeks-old Mt. Lebanon school teachers’ strike.
October 13, 1979 Edgar B. Speer, President of U.S. Steel Corporation, dies.
October 16, 1979 The Pirates tie up the World Series 3–3 by beating the Orioles 4–0.
October 17, 1979 The Pirates defeat the Baltimore Orioles 4–1 to win the 1979 World Series.
October 19, 1979 25,000 fans welcome the World Champion Pirates at Market Square.
October 22, 1979 Coroner Cyril Wecht files a seven million dollar suit against Controller John P. Lynch because of Lynch’s alleged defamatory remarks on a radio show.
October 25, 1979 The crash of a PAT bus on Center Avenue injures forty people. A massive probe into Pittsburgh organized crime is launched by state and local authorities.
November 2, 1979 The Hillman Company was to take back a chemically contaminated Ohio River Park site on Neville Island which the firm had donated to the county in 1976.
November 7, 1979 Democrats are assured control of the County Board of Commissioners as Thomas J. Foerster and Cyril Wecht are elected to majority seats on the Board. Most of the other county offices in the election were also won by Democrats.
November 13, 1979 Mayor Caliguiri asks the City Council for a 1% wage tax hike.
November 26, 1979 The State Human Relations Commission allows the Pittsburgh School Board 18 days to submit a plan for desegregating.
November 27, 1979 U.S. Steel announces massive cuts in production; 13,000 jobs will be lost, 1,800 of them in Western Pennsylvania.
December 1, 1979 State Labor and Industry Secretary Charles J. Lieberth declares that Pennsylvania would have to borrow $350 million from the federal government to cope with the projected layoffs by U.S. Steel.
December 5, 1979 Moments after the newly-elected Pittsburgh School Board takes office, its members agree to begin school desegregation.
December 10, 1979 The Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation presents its employees with an ultimatum: accept cuts in their “excessive” incentive pay or see the firm’s Allenport plant closed.
December 14, 1979 Controller Lynch asks for the dismissal of Coroner Wecht’s lawsuit against him.
December 28, 1979 Workers at U.S. Steel’s Ambridge Works vote to accept a paycut in order to keep the plant from closing.
December 31, 1979 The City Council overrides Mayor Caliguiri’s veto of its 28-mill land tax increase.
1980 January 7, 1980 The Steelers dump the Houston Oilers 27–13 to get their fourth shot at the Super Bowl.
January 9, 1980 The newly installed County Commissioner Cyril Wecht announces his resignation as County Coroner.
January 14, 1980 A large crowd sends the Steelers off to their fourth consecutive Super Bowl game in Miami.
January 20, 1980 The “Super Steelers” rally three times in a close contest to defeat the Los Angeles Rams 31–19 and win Super Bowl XIV, the fourth Super Bowl victory in six years.
January 23, 1980 University of Pittsburgh students make hundreds of dollars worth of free long distance calls when the pay phones in a dormitory lobby malfunction.
January 30, 1980 U.S. Steel reported a loss of $293 million, the largest quarterly decline in the firm’s history.
February 1, 1980 A jury orders the electrocution of Bennie Graves, a Homewood-Brushton man convicted in the strangulation killing of two children for whom he had been babysitting.
February 6, 1980 Contract negotiations continue between the United Steelworkers and the “Big 9” companies.
February 8, 1980 PAT’s Board of Directors approve a 10 cents fare increase.
February 11, 1980 Robert L. Hawkins, Jr., former Allegheny County Manpower Director, receives a 6–1/2-year prison sentence and is ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and $79,000 restitution on 83 counts of payroll fraud.
February 17, 1980 A Carnegie Mellon University study asserts that the outlook for the steel industry in Pittsburgh is brighter than expected because the firms will invest $1.1 billion dollars updating equipment, building new facilities and installing environmental controls.
February 18, 1980 A record number of speakers and spectators packed the school board’s public hearing to oppose the board’s desegregation plan.
February 21, 1980 Six days before the deadline set by the state Human Relations Commission, the school board remains divided over desegregation.
February 28, 1980 The County Commissioners offered a $18.3 million plan to line the Allegheny River with parks.
March 1, 1980 PAT bus and trolley fares are raised 10 cents despite a last-ditch court battle by a community group.
March 4, 1980 Dozens of couples line-up in the pouring rain for more than 24 hours at the doors of the Catholic Social Services of Allegheny County in the hope of adopting children.
March 10, 1980 Penn Dot’s “pot hole patching team” begins its season under a new Director, District Engineer Roger Carrier.
April 8, 1980 Senator Edward Kennedy, campaigning at the Cyclops Steel Corporation plant in Bridgeville, accuses President Carter of reneging on his promise to protect steel jobs.
April 11, 1980 A State Supreme Court Justice orders a halt to P.P.G. Industries’ $100 million downtown development plan until the court can decide on the legal issues raised by five Market Square merchants opposing the plan.
April 14, 1980 Vice President Mondale attacks the policies of Senator Kennedy in a campaign visit to the city.
April 15, 1980 Leaders of the United Steelworkers ratify a 3-year contract providing an estimated $2.85 hike in wages and fringe benefits.
April 17, 1980 Senator Kennedy, Republican candidate George Bush and Rosalyn Carter are in the Pittsburgh area campaigning for votes in the Pennsylvania presidential primary.
April 19, 1980 Jail terms and fines against striking Western Penitentiary guards are ordered by a Commonwealth Court judge.
April 22, 1980 The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission declares that a low-level radioactive leak, at a nuclear plant in nearby Shippingport is not dangerous.
April 23, 1980 In the Pennsylvania presidential primary, George Bush defeats Ronald Reagan and Senator Edward Kennedy wins over President Carter.
May 10, 1980 The steel lay-offs might reach 60,000 by September.
May 22, 1980 Penn Dot announces that an $8 million reconstruction project on the Parkway West will begin in June.
May 27, 1980 U.S. Steel will temporarily shut down its third and last furnace at the Edgar Thomson Works in Braddock.
May 31, 1980 Oxford Development Company reveals plans for a 46-story $100 million office-commercial building on Grant Street.
June 19, 1980 Independent presidential candidate John Anderson campaigns in the city.
June 21, 1980 The six-week strike by moving van drivers ends.
June 25, 1980 The School Board announces a lay-off of 141 teachers as a result of declining enrollment, low attrition and the pending desegregation plan.
June 26, 1980 Oliver Tyrone Corporation will build a 20-story office tower at Stanwix Street.
June 27, 1980 The PAT board reveals plans for a downtown transit center at the old B&O railroad depot.
June 30, 1980 Unemployment in the area reaches 7.8%.
July 18, 1980 An agreement between the Market Square merchants and the PPG Industries is made. The merchants will get space for their stores elsewhere. The agreement clears the way for the construction of the PPG skyscraper.
July 18, 1980 The State Human Relations Commission asks the Commonwealth Court to stop the city’s Board of Education from implementing its desegregation plan.
July 21, 1980 On the first day of the draft registration, there is widespread vandalism at the city’s post offices.
July 24, 1980 The Commonwealth Court rules against school desegregation, paving the way for the school board bussing plan.
July 27, 1980 The University Health Center announces a $250 million expansion plan for the city hospitals.
August 6, 1980 Richard Wallace is named city school superintendent.
August 18, 1980 Leland Hazard — the philosopher at the Pittsburgh Renaissance — dies at the age of 87. His autobiography “Attorney for the Situation” was published in 1975.
August 20, 1980 U.S. Steel will recall 800 furloughed employees to the Edgar Thompson works.
August 31, 1980 The 28-year old Canton House one of the city’s great hotel buildings, is demolished, to make way for the Dravo skyscraper which later was named One Mellon Center.
September 2, 1980 Desegregation plan affecting 12,000 students begins.
September 4, 1980 The County Grand Jury recommends the filing of six criminal charges against County Commissioner Cyril Wecht, who allegedly used the morgue when he was coroner “to the benefit of his private laboratory.”
September 8, 1980 “I have not committed any crime or engaged in any misconduct” responds Wecht to the charges.
September 12, 1980 PAT approves a 15-cent increase in base transit fares.
September 19, 1980 An investigating grand jury determines that the April 24: drawing of the Daily Number “666” has been fixed. Six persons including WTAE-TV’s popular Nick Perry are charged with conspiracy.
September 29, 1980 Gipsy, the monkey, an escapee from the Zoo for over a week, pelts officers who try to capture him with a barrage of crabapples.
October 4, 1980 Sihugo “Si” Green, who played on the Duquesne University basketball team, which won the national invitation tournament in 1955, dies of cancer at the age of 46.
October 29, 1980 Urban Redevelopment Authority designates Grant Liberty Development Corporation to build a $26 million hotel complex across from the Convention Center.
November 5, 1980 Former California Governor and movie actor Ronald Reagan defeats President Carter in the presidential election. Republican Arlen Specter is elected to the U.S. Senate. Leroy Zimmermann wins the race for the State Attorney General.
November 10, 1980 Mayor Richard Caliguiri announces a balance budget for 1981 without raising taxes.
November 13, 1980 J&L Steel will close the continuous strip and sheet department of its Pittsburgh works. Thousands of steelworkers will lose their jobs.
December 6, 1980 A contaminated water system leaves 20,000 South Hills residents without fresh water.
December 17, 1980 The Mellon Stuart Company announces the construction of office building for its headquarters In the North Shore.
December 18, 1980 A grand jury identifies WTAE-TVs personality Nick Perry as the planner of the $1.8 million lottery fix. Perry supposedly netted $35,000 as his share of the winnings.
December 19, 1980 Allegheny County’s 1981 budget includes a 5-mill increase in the real estate tax.
December 21, 1980 The playwright Marc Connelly, best known for his play The Green Pastures, dies at the age of 90. He was born in McKeesport.
December 21, 1980 Allegheny Ludlum Steel is purchased by a local investment group for $195 million.
January 29, 1981 Gulf Oil settles its fight with Westinghouse over monopolistic activities with a payment of $25 million.
February 3, 1981 Mayor Caliguiri plans to increase the city’s $10 annual occupation tax to $40.
February 7, 1981 The David L. Lawrence Convention Center opens with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
February 13, 1981 Duquesne Light receives from the Public Utility Commission the approval of a $47.5 million annual rate increase.
February 20, 1981 The 13-week strike of the Steel Valley teachers comes to an end, enabling 2,700 pupils to return to the classrooms.
February 24, 1981 The Pirate organization files suit for the annulment of their 40-year lease with the Three Rivers Stadium Authority.
March 2, 1981 After the state Supreme Court refused to allow Dr. Joshua A. Paper to keep his post, Sanford H. Edberg becomes Allegheny County Coroner.
March 3, 1981 Penn-DOT launches a two-year construction program for Parkway East.
March 15, 1981 Plans for 400 condominiums and apartments, 60,000 square feet of office and retail space, and a 600-car parking garage are proposed for Mt. Washington. The development will cost $60 million.
March 18, 1981 Because of a wildcat strike, twelve Southwestern Pennsylvania coalmines are closed.
April 14, 1981 Striking Mesta Machine Company workers end their 45-day walkout at the West Homestead plant.
April 16, 1981 According to a grand jury report the Allegheny County Jail was a haven of administrative corruption, drug trafficking, sexual assaults during the five-year administration of former warden James Jennings.
April 27, 1981 Mayor Caliguiri sues the city of New Orleans and the Louisiana Superdome in Federal Court to stop interference with Pittsburgh’s contract dispute with the Pirates.
April 28, 1981 A federal judge orders the school districts of Churchill, Edgewood, Swissvale, Turtle Creek and General Braddock to consolidate their desegregation plans.
May 17, 1981 After the 380 striking employees of the Pittsburgh Brewing Company accepted the company’s offer, the only remaining brewery in the city will continue operations.
May 18, 1981 Striking United Mine Workers block the entrances to the headquarters of Consolidation Coal Company in Upper St. Clair.
May 19, 1981 Former coroner Cyril Wecht is acquitted of the charges that he used the city morgue for private gain.
May 19, 1981 A new building and fire code is passed by the City Council. Houses in Pittsburgh must install smoke alarms.
May 20, 1981 The voters of Allegheny County approve a plan for a harness racing track.
May 26, 1981 Common places Court orders PAT to roll back base fare to 60 cents and transfers to 10 cents; also to realign bus and trolley zones and eliminate all savings on pass purchases.
May 28, 1981 A fire at a Lawrenceville industrial building forces the closing of the 62nd Street Bridge.
July 29, 1981 End of the twenty-two-day-old strike by county employees.
July 31, 1981 End of the fifty-day-old major league baseball strike.
August 5, 1981 Thousands of air traffic controllers across the country (including 58 from Pittsburgh) get their pink slips after defying the President’s back-to- work-order.
August 20, 1981 As part of an adjustment to population changes, three Allegheny County House seats are eliminated by the Reappointment Commission in Harrisburg.
August 25, 1981 Mayor Caliguiri proposes a 15 percent cut in capital spending for 1982. Inflation hits 19.2% for July.
September 4, 1981 PAT eliminates buses dinning between 1:30 A.M. and 5 A.M. With this the “night coach era” coach era comes to an end.
September 8, 1981 A school desegregation plan combines five east suburban districts into one.
September 11, 1981 Six thousand Nabisco women employees are awarded $5 million in damages against the company.
October 3, 1981 The federal governments plan to build 100 B-I bombers by Rockwell International will add $400 million to the company’s profits in the next seven years.
October 10, 1981 The eight-block area between the Monongahela River and the Boulevard of the Allies (from Grant to Stanwix Streets) is proposed to become Firstside.
October 16, 1981 Dr. Joshua Perper is cleared of perjury charges.
October 21, 1981 Governor Thornburgh’s proposed private enterprise liquor store system fails in its first test vote.
October 28, 1981 Governor Thornburgh and Mayor Caliguiri announce that two of the four “missing link” highways will be built. The East Street and North Shore Expressways get the green light. Crosstown Boulevard and North Hills Expressway will be built later.
November 4, 1981 Mayor Caliguiri is reelected, the Democratic Party keeps their domination in Pittsburgh and in Allegheny County.
December 24, 1981 Governor Thornburgh vetoes Abortion bill.
December 29, 1981 The city’s budget for 1982 will be $229 million.
January 6, 1982 Rand McNally’s Places Rated Almanac, names Pittsburgh as the third most livable city in the country.
January 7, 1982 U.S. Steel obtains 51 percent of Marathon Oil stock.
February 7, 1982 The budget of the state government is $13 billion.
February 8, 1982 At the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Company, 40% of the work force is laid off.
March 10, 1982 The Crucible Steel Plant in Beaver County is up for sale.
March 19, 1982 Penn-DOT asks a federal court to free $302 million in highway funds frozen by a judge because the state failed to put an auto emissions inspection program into effect. Twenty-four hours later the freeze is lifted.
April 17, 1982 The cost of living in the city is ranked $700 below the national average in a year.
April 20, 1982 The city’s public schools are ordered to improve the racial balance in three high schools and ten elementary schools.
April 25, 1982 Federal prosecutors investigate bid-rigging and anti-trust violations by contractors who were handling public roadway work in Western Pennsylvania.
May 19, 1982 State police and city detectives complete a large sting operation. They arrest fifty people in connection with a stolen goods operation.
June 8, 1982 Colt Industries will sell its Crucible Stainless & Alloy Division in Midland to Cyclops Corporation.
June 16, 1982 Ground is broken for the East Street Valley Expressway.
June 18, 1982 The city asks additional millions in taxes to improve Three Rivers Stadium so the Pirates can be kept in Pittsburgh. $11 million will be needed to renovate the stadium.
June 29, 1982 Allegheny Ludlum will spend $12 million on modern equipment at its West Leechburg plant as a trade-off for contract concessions from its employees.
July 17, 1982 A 150,000-pound drill press falls off a truck on the Parkway West and levels a Scott Township house.
July 21, 1982 The City Council gives a tentative approval to the proposed takeover of Three Rivers Stadium by the city.
July 22, 1982 Colt Industries refuses to sell its crucible plant to Cyclops Corporation.
July 26, 1982 A last-minute contract settlement averts a nationwide strike by 30,000 Westinghouse employees, half of them Pittsburgh residents.
July 29, 1982 Colt Industries begins closing its Crucible Steel Plant. 400 employees will lose their jobs.
July 29, 1982 The USW rejects the steel industry’s plea for concessions from 300,000 basic steel employees.
August 2, 1982 Mellon Bank agrees to merge with Girard, a Philadelphia holding company.
August 3, 1982 Toxic waste halts the construction of Bloomfield Bridge.
August 27, 1982 The basic fee for riding PAT buses and trolleys will be raised to $1 beginning October 3, 1982.
August 31, 1982 Mayor Caliguiri announces a six-year, $504 million capital spending plan that stresses street, bridge, water and sewage systems.
September 9, 1982 After more than a decade of planning, the redevelopment of the North Shore begins.
September 14, 1982 Common Pleas Judge Silvestri refuses to order the McKeesport Area School District to resume the busing of 1,900 high school students.
September 24, 1982 The National Football League players go on strike.
October 6, 1982 State police in Homewood arrest 25 people involved in drug operation.
October 20, 1982 Carnegie-Mellon University concludes an agreement with IBM to become an experimental computer center, with more than 20,000 PC’s.
October 25, 1982 A desegregation plan is agreed to by city schools.
October 26, 1982 After 20 months of repairs costing $58 million, the Parkway is at last open to full traffic.
October 27, 1982 US Steel has an $82 million loss in its third quarter and cuts its dividend from 50 cents to 25 cents.
November 3, 1982 Election Day: Republican Governor Thornburgh wins a second term in a close race against Alan Ertel. H. John Heinz III is re-elected to the U.S. Senate, defeating his Democratic opponent, Cyril Wecht, by 700,000 votes.
November 5, 1982 Unemployment in Pennsylvania hits 11.5 percent.
November 17, 1982 The 57-day NFL players’ strike ends.
December 11, 1982 “Spectator,” a Philadelphia management firm, has been chosen to run the Three Rivers Stadium.
December 16, 1982 University of Pittsburgh football player Todd Joseph Becker is killed in a fall from his dorm window.
December 17, 1982 PAT agrees to a record budget of $133.5 million, $8 million more than the year before.
January 24, 1983 City inspectors charge Warner Cable with electrical safety violations.
February 9, 1983 Mesta Machine files for bankruptcy after a foreclosure by three local banks.
February 12, 1983 The East is buried by three feet of snow.
February 13, 1983 Mrs. Henry Hillman (“Elsie”) is named by the Pittsburgh Chapter of Vector International as “Woman of the Year.”
February 17, 1983 A rock and mudslide on Saw Mill Run Boulevard closes the road for three weeks.
March 1, 1983 City government will spend $1.7 million in surplus funds to create short-term jobs for the unemployed.
March 3, 1983 U.S. Steel will start up the No. 2 blast furnace at the Edgar Thomson works and recall 300 employees.
March 15, 1983 Aldege “Baz” Bastien, general manager of the Penguins, is killed in a motor car accident.
April 6, 1983 President Reagan visits Pittsburgh and makes a reassuring speech about the survival of the steel industry. Four thousand protestors boo him.
April 23, 1983 City officials launch a multi-million dollar reclamation project along the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers.
May 10, 1983 County Commissioner Cyril Wecht is ordered to pay back $172,000, the sum be allegedly made through the misuse of the morgue.
May 11, 1983 USW head Lloyd McBride announces that the steelworkers’ organization will sue US Steel to prevent the corporation from importing foreign steel.
May 18, 1983 In the primary election the voters of Allegheny County oust County Commissioners Cyril Wecht and William Hunt.
May 25, 1983 Cyrus C. “Cy” Hungerford, whose cartoons brightened newspaper pages for over 70 years, dies in his 95th year, four days after the death of his wife Dorothy. Until his retirement in 1977, Hungerford drew three cartoons a week for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
June 21, 1983 Flash floods hit Bedford, Somerset and Cambria counties, causing a large amount of damage.
July 1, 1983 A window washer plunges 34 stories to his death from One Oxford Centre when his scaffolding falls. The life of his coworker was saved by his safety belt.
July 1, 1983 Rebecca Stafford is elected president of Chatham College.
July 20, 1983 Copperweld Corporation closes its Glassport plant. 200 men lose their jobs.
July 22, 1983 Power failures at the Greater Pittsburgh Airport delay flights for up to 12 hours.
August 27, 1983 In a Turnpike pileup, caused by a tractor-trailer, four persons are killed, ten injured.
September 29, 1983 The city will lose J&L headquarters when parent company LTV Steel buys Cleveland-based Republic Steel.
October 4, 1983 The University of Pittsburgh is assigned a key role in the national fight against AIDS with a $4 million grant.
November 3, 1983 The 650 employees of the forty-four Giant Eagle Markets end their three-week long strike.
November 6, 1983 Lloyd McBride, president of the United Steel Workers of America, dies at the age of 67.
November 14, 1983 Mayor Caliguiri makes it known that his $263.7 million budget will have no tax increase or reduced spending.
December 28, 1983 US Steel cuts 5,574 district jobs- 3,827 in the Mon Valley.
January 2, 1984 Democrats Tom Forester and Pete Flaherty and Republican Barbara Hafer are installed as Allegheny County Commissioners.
January 9, 1984 Plans are unveiled for a 36-story skyscraper — the Hillman-First Federal Tower — to be built on the site of the Jenkins Arcade near the Hotel Hilton.
January 13, 1984 Westinghouse phases out its switch gear production in East Pittsburgh. 950 workers lose their jobs.
January 15, 1984 Veteran Pittsburgh Press news photographer Raymond Gallivan, who worked for the newspaper for fifty years, dies. He was 88 years old.
January 24, 1984 Alcoa will renovate the 70-year-old William Penn Hotel. The estimated cost is $20 million.
January 26, 1984 The Pittsburgh Steelers sue Three Rivers Stadium Authority for exclusive pro-football use of the stadium. The United States Football League’s Maulers had signed a four-year lease with the Stadium.
February 4, 1984 Charles H. “Chuck” Cooper, former Duquesne University All-American, who joined the Boston Celtics in 1950 to become the first black to play in the National Basketball Association, dies at age 57.
February 10, 1984 Kroger Company sells all of its 45 Pittsburgh-area stores. The 2,845 union employees who had been on strike since January 19 will be out of jobs.
February 10, 1984 According to Roger Ahlbrandt, Assistant Provost at the University of Pittsburgh and Co-Director of the Western Pennsylvania Advanced Technology Center, the new center has already spawned four new companies in its first year, and is expected to bring to Pittsburgh within the next four years 80 more companies creating 6,000 new jobs.
February 14, 1984 Dr. Henry T. Bahnson and Dr. Thomas Starzl perform a simultaneous 16-hour liver and heart transplant operation on a six-year-old girl at Children’s Hospital.
March 9, 1984 U.S. Steel and National Intergroup cancel their merger plans.
March 21, 1984 After strong criticism from the national administration, LTV Corporation, owner of J&L Steel, is allowed so buy Republic Steel for $700 million.
March 21, 1984 Warner Cable reaches an agreement to sell its city cable operations to TCI for $93 million.
March 23, 1984 Thirty-six-year-old William W. Millar becomes the youngest executive director of the Port Authority.
March 27, 1984 The Dixmont State Hospital and Western Restoration Center, two state-run mental health facilities in Allegheny County will be closed.
April 1, 1984 WQED, the nations first community owned television station, celebrates its 30th anniversary.
April 5, 1984 The future of the steel industry is the focus of the debate between Democratic presidential candidates Walter Mondale, Gary Hart and Rev. Jesse Jackson at the Convention Center.
April 6, 1984 Senator Gary Hart, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Vice President Walter Mondale have a televised Democratic presidential debate at the Convention Center.
April 7, 1984 A federal judge prohibits U.S. Steel from forcing employees to sign away their rights to file age discrimination suits in return for big pensions.
April 12, 1984 U.S. Labor Secretary Raymond Donovan and Governor Thornburgh bring $1.5 million in grants to Midland to retrain 4,100 unemployed workers.
April 13, 1984 The South Hills street car junction at Overbrook and Mt. Lebanon-Beechview trolley lines closes after 80 years in operation.
April 14, 1984 Timothy Johnson, the first local patient, receives a heart and kidney transplant. In separate operations at the Presbyterian-University Hospital, Dr. Bartley Griffith and Dr. Alfredo Trento give Johnson a new heart, while Dr. Rodney Taylor and Dr. Thomas Rosenthal provide him with a new kidney.
April 26, 1984 Louis Mason Jr., the first black president of the City Council, dies at the age of 69.
April 29, 1984 Andre Previn, music director of the Symphony since 1976, will leave Pittsburgh to take over the direction of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
April 30, 1984 Fortune magazine lists Pittsburgh as the nation’s third largest corporation center. Fifteen of Fortune’s 500 companies have their headquarters in the city.
May 4, 1984 Wiretapping leads to gambling and conspiracy charges against 15 area residents who were involved in a $1 million a year betting ring.
May 31, 1984 The former Union Trust Building — since 1946 a national historic landmark- is sold to the Edward J. De Bartolo Corporation.
June 14, 1984 Gurdon Flagg, manager of the Duquesne club for 50 years (from 1931 to 1981) and president of the Pittsburgh Opera for 28 years (from 1954 to 1982), dies in his 83rd year.
July 10, 1984 Dr. Joseph C. Maroon and three other doctors perform a pioneer brain surgery at Allegheny General Hospital.
September 6, 1984 Allegheny County jurors are allowed to question witnesses during a criminal trial. It is the first time in the areaâ€™s history. Common Pleas Court Judge Henry R. Smith Jr. said the purpose of a trial is to find the truth, and some of us feel that in order to do that, jurors should be permitted to ask questions.
September 11, 1984 David B. Shakarian, founder and chairman of the board of General Nutrition Centers, the health food company, dies of cancer at the age of 70.
September 16, 1984 The 56-year-old Stanley Theatre will become the Benedum Center for Performing Arts as a result of a $5 million gift from the Benedum Foundation. The new center will be the permanent home of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, the Pittsburgh Opera and the Civic Light Opera.
September 17, 1984 Forbes magazine’s annual listing of Americas 400 wealthiest people includes six Pittsburghers, Henry L. Hillman, 62; Richard Mellon Scaife, 52; Henry John Heinz II, 76; William Block, 68, and his brother Paul Block, Jr., 73; the late David B. Shakarian and Helen Clay Frick, 95.
September 19, 1984 A $230 million development plan for the Three Rivers Stadium area is announced. A Science and Technology Center will be part of the project.
October 2, 1984 Three Carnegie Mellon university scientists — Raj Reddy, Allen Newell and H.T. King — receive a $19 million grant to develop a new “supercomputer” for the symbolic processing that is 100 times as fast as those currently available.
October 31, 1984 The 64-story U.S. Steel Building is sold to a Connecticut partnership for $292.2 million, constituting the largest real estate sale in Pittsburgh.
October 31, 1984 Philanthropist Alfred M. Hunt dies at the age of 65.
November 9, 1984 Helen Clay Frick, the daughter of steelman Henry Clay Frick, dies at the age of 96.
November 14, 1984 Carnegie Mellon University is awarded a five-year $103 million Defense Department contract for a new Software Engineering Institute. It is expected that the Institute will provide 250 new jobs.
November 20, 1984 The Galbreath family, after 38 years of association with the Pittsburgh Pirates, decides to sell its 51% interest in the team. The Pirates, with a lease of the Stadium until 2011, will remain in the city.
December 6, 1984 Groundbreaking begins for the $135 million building complex across from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The project will include the 615-room Vista International Hotel and a 31-story office building.
January 17, 1985 Rockwell International will acquire Allen-Bradley Company, a Milwaukee-based industrial automation equipment manufacturer, for $1.65 billion.
February 4, 1985 “Clayton,” the Point Breeze home of Helen Clay Frick, according to her will, will be opened to the public.
February 20, 1985 The city of Pittsburgh will sever financial ties with several companies that are doing business with South Africa.
February 27, 1985 Rand McNally’s Places Rated Almanac lists Pittsburgh as the most livable of the nation’s 329 metropolitan areas.
April 1, 1985 Gulf Oil Corporation will donate its Harmarville Research and Development Center to the University of Pittsburgh. The huge center expects to procure jobs for 2,000 scientists and technicians.
April 4, 1985 Carnegie Mellon University will open a research center that will use fluorescent materials to study living cells. Researchers from the biology, chemistry, physics, engineering and computer science departments will participate in the program.
April 15, 1985 Charles Robinson ‘Chick’ Davies, 84, the legendary Duquesne University basketball coach, dies.
May 2, 1985 J. Bruce Johnston, the chairman of the Coordinating Steel Companies Committee says the steel industry will resume company-by-company bargaining in 1987 after the expiration of the present labor agreement.
May 5, 1985 A married couple, Ken and Lisa Martin of Mesa, Arizona, win victories in the first Pittsburgh Marathon.
May 8, 1985 The 10±mile Light Rail Transit line between South Hills Village and Downtown receives a $19.7 million grant from the Urban Mass Transportation Administration. The money will pay for the completion of the line.
May 10, 1985 Arson is suspected in two simultaneous fires, one in the City-County Building, the other in the basement of the County Office Building.
May 29, 1985 AGV Enterprises will purchase the 34-story Gulf Building — a national historic landmark- from the Chevron Corporation.
June 12, 1985 A special device developed by University-Presbyterian Hospital surgeons Dr. Bartley Griffith, Dr. Robert Hardesty and Dr. Alberto Trento is revealed after a heart-lung transplant at the hospital.
June 21, 1985 Professor Ralph Z. Roskies of the University of Pittsburgh plans to give Pittsburgh a new supercomputer, which will make the city the computing center of America.
June 29, 1985 Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, a federal science administrator and tumor researcher, will head the newly formed University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.
July 3, 1985 The city’s first subway opens to traffic. It cost $90 million to build.
July 4, 1985 Judge Henry Ellenbogen, 85, dies in Miami, Florida. He served on the Allegheny County Common Pleas Court bench for 39 years and in the U.S. House of Representatives for 5 years.
July 19, 1985 Prime parking spaces in Downtown cost two dollars per hour, twice as much as in the nation’s 25 largest cities.
August 2, 1985 National Intergroup buys Permain Corporation of Houston, the crude oil gathering company for $172 million.
August 4, 1985 The 8th annual Three Rivers Regatta is watched by over a hundred thousand people.
August 28, 1985 Willeen Benedum, niece of the legendary oil wildcatter Michael Benedum, dies of pneumonia at the age of 80.
September 11, 1985 The Pittsburgh Foundation celebrates its 40th anniversary by commemorating Pittsburgh’s achievements over the past forty years that “shaped the city’s renaissance.”
September 13, 1985 A Port Authority study outlines the economic advantages of extending the subway north to Allegheny Center and east to Oakland and Squirrel Hill. The proposed $400 million expansion would replace buses with trolleys and would help PAT save over $2 million a year.
September 26, 1985 George A. Ferris, the new Chief Executive Officer of the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation, orders layoffs and pay edits for management and vows to work without pay until the 69-day labor dispute involving 8,200 workers is settled.
October 2, 1985 A private-public partnership led by Malcolm Prince, the Chairman of Ryan Homes Inc., buys the Pittsburgh Pirates for $22 million from the Galbreath family. The public and private partners will contribute $50 million, while Mayor Caliguiri plans to raise the city’s share — $25 million — through selling Three Rivers Stadium.
October 8, 1985 Roger Miles Blough, former U.S. Steel Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, dies at age 81.
October 28, 1985 Dr. Bartley Griffith leads a three-man surgical team at Presbyterian-University Hospital that gives Pittsburgh’s first artificial heart reappoint, Thomas J. Gaidosh, a new heart which replaces the Jarvik-7 artificial heart that had kept the patient alive for 4 days.
November 5, 1985 Mayor Richard Caliguiri is elected to a third consecutive term.
November 6, 1985 The Monongahela River is closed from Pittsburgh south to the West Virginia border after floodwater dislodges 62 barges from their moorings.
November 8, 1985 The Pittsburgh City Council unanimously approve Mayor Caliguiri’s proposal to sell Three Rivers Stadium, thus enabling the Pirates to remain in Pittsburgh.
November 20, 1985 Kimberly Fuller, 9, becomes the youngest American to undergo lung-heart transplant surgery in a 5.5-hour operation performed by Dr. Bartley Griffith and Dr. Robert Hardesty at the Children’s Hospital.
December 6, 1985 Mark Di Suvero’s 90-foot-tall steel sculpture for a traffic island in Gateway Center is approved by the city’s Art Commission.
January 8, 1986 Westinghouse Electric celebrates its 100th Anniversary.
January 17, 1986 A supercomputer consortium (Westinghouse Electric Corp., Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh) receives the CRAY X-MP/48 supercomputer capable of performing 840 million operations per second. The Pittsburgh group is part of a national supercomputer consortium along with Cornell University, Princeton University, the University of Illinois and the University of California in San Diego.
January 22, 1986 15 million passengers traveled through the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport in 1985, a 1.6 million increase over the previous year.
January 28, 1986 All 7 crew members, including 1970 Carnegie-Mellon University graduate Judith Resnick, die as the Space Shuttle Challenger explodes after takeoff from Cape Canaveral.
January 31, 1986 An earthquake shakes Pittsburgh for the first time in 23 years.
February 7, 1986 A $28 million merger offer by Australia’s Swan Brewing Co. to the Pittsburgh Brewing Co. is accepted by the city’s only beer maker.
February 11, 1986 U.S. Steel Chairman David Roderick announces the completion of a $3 billion merger agreement between U.S. Steel Corporation and Texas Oil and Gas Company.
February 21, 1986 Marilyn, the prize cow at the Pennsylvania Holstein Association auctions, is sold for $9,500.
February 28, 1986 Seven major league baseball players, including former Pirates Dale Berra and Dave Parker, have to pay fines and perform community service to avoid drug-related suspensions handed down by Commissioner Peter Ueberroth. Former Pirates Lee and Lacy and Al Holland are given 60-day suspensions; Willie Stargell and Bill Madlock are absolved of any wrong-doing.
March 17, 1986 The City Council approves a $21 million loan to keep the Pirates in the city.
March 19, 1986 Sentry, a new security robot developed by Remming Mobile Robotics, with the help of Carnegie Mellon University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is presented in the city.
April 1, 1986 The Allegheny Tower apartments will be converted into a 273-room hotel.
April 6, 1986 Retired President of Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation William P. Gerry, 76, dies of cancer in West Penn Hospital.
April 7, 1986 Mellon Bank assumes ownership of the Trimont condominium complex’s 115 apartments and 44,900 square feet of office space to settle a $30 million debt owed to the bank by Washington Heights Associates.
April 9, 1986 Stanley C. Ellerspan, vice president of human resources at National Steel Corporation, announces the company’s intentions to dismiss 3,500 of its employees during the next five years.
April 17, 1986 Pittsburgh Press reporters Mary Pat Flaherty and Andrew Schneider win the Pulitzer Prize for their series, “The Challenge of a Miracle: Selling the Gift,” in which they investigated the organ transplantation program.
April 21, 1986 William Moore, a 35-year veteran of the police force, is appointed as the city’s police chief. He is the first black appointed police chief in Pittsburgh.
May 1, 1986 President Anthony O’Reilly of H.J. Heinz Company is the highest paid executive in the city. In 1985 he earned $1.96 million in salary and in bonuses.
May 18, 1986 Two parachutists, Don Sulkowski and Alan Danko, jump off the roof of the 64-story U.S. Steel building and land safely on the parking lot of the Civic Arena. They are immediately arrested.
May 27, 1986 Mayor Caliguiri and Pittsburgh Penguins Vice-President Paul Martha announce a city and county sponsored $11.4 million renovation of the Civic Arena that will keep the National Hockey League Club in the city.
May 30, 1986 Thunderstorms bring about flash flooding causing $20 million damages.
June 2, 1986 University of Arkansas third baseman Jeff King is chosen by the Pirates as the first pick in the 1986 major league baseball amateur draft.
June 4, 1986 Lawyer John G. Buchanan, who practiced law in Pittsburgh for 74 years, dies in his Shadyside home at age 97.
June 30, 1986 The University of Pittsburgh receives a $4.6 million federal grant for a research center in which drugs against AIDS will be tested.
July 1, 1986 The state budget gives Carnegie Mellon University $30 million to build a high technology center. Private investors and the University will combine forces to raise an additional $10 million for a National Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Software Engineering.
July 8, 1986 U.S. Steel Corporation, formed in 1901, changes its name to USX Corporation and plans a major corporate restructuring.
July 14, 1986 With gross revenues of $53 million, the law firm Reed, Smith, Shaw and McClay ranks 48th in a survey of the 75 highest grossing law firms in America.
July 14, 1986 Legendary football coach Peter Dimperio (“Mr. Pete”), who led Westinghouse High School to 17 City League championships, dies in his 81st year.
July 15, 1986 The merger of Buhl Science Center and the Carnegie is approved by Buhl’s Board of Trustees.
July 27, 1986 Broadcaster Joseph G. Tucker, the voice of the Steelers for 32 years, dies at the age of 76.
July 29, 1986 The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the city’s oldest newspaper, celebrates its 200th anniversary.
August 19, 1986 Federal Aviation Administration rates the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport as the fifth best of the nationsâ€™ large airports.
August 28, 1986 After 62 years, the YMCA Health Club on Wood Street closes its doors.
September 10, 1986 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company plans to build a 350-room hotel at Grant and Ross Streets.
September 11, 1986 Lorin Maazel will be the music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1988.
September 13, 1986 The downtown department store of Gimbels closes after 61 years in business.
September 28, 1986 12,000 runners run in the 10th annual Great Race.
October 8, 1986 Dartmouth Medical School Chairman Dr. George Matthew Bernier is named Dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine.
October 11, 1986 Gail Lawson Campbell is elected as President of the Chatham College Alumnae Association.
October 14, 1986 Louise Pershing Berlin, a founder of the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, dies.
October 15, 1986 Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh unveil a new $900,000 nuclear magnetic resonance instrument which will conduct research on cancer and organ transplants.
October 29, 1986 The University of Pittsburgh receives the Smithsonian Institution’s radiocarbon dating laboratory.
November 22, 1986 Site is chosen for new $36 million Buhl Science Center. Ground breaking next to the Stadium will be in the spring of 1988.
December 1, 1986 Jake Milliones is elected to a fourth consecutive one-year term as President of the Pittsburgh Board of Education.
December 8, 1986 Harvey Adams is elected to his sixth consecutive term as President of the Pittsburgh chapter of the NAACP.
December 11, 1986 The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute begins researching OK-432, a Japanese drug reported to shrink tumors and lengthen the life of cancer patients.
December 16, 1986 Carnegie-Mellon University receives an $11.8 million corporate research grant for the fiscal year 1985.
December 30, 1986 Presbyterian-University Hospital officials announce a $230 million renovation project that will provide more space for the hospital’s transplant center and the Cancer Institute.
January 8, 1987 The Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children in Oakland celebrates 100 years of service with a $9 million construction and renovation project to be completed in 1988.
January 31, 1987 United Steelworkers negotiator James MeGeehan announces the ratification of a four-year concessions pact with the USX Corporation. The agreement brings to an end the longest shutdown at a major steelmaker in U.S. history.
February 22, 1987 Pop artist Andy Warhol. who was born in Pittsburgh, dies at age 58. He is buried at St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church Cemetery.
February 23, 1987 Chairman of the H.J. Heinz Corporation Henry J. Heinz II dies in his winter home on Jupiter Island, Florida, at the age of 78.
March 4, 1987 Duquesne Light is ordered by the Public Utility Commission to reduce rates by $18.6 million.
March 15, 1987 Co-publisher of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Paul Block Jr. dies in Monterey, Cal. at the age of 75.
April 4, 1987 Mayor Caliguiri proposes a $105 million expansion of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center that would increase its exhibit space by 50%, double its meeting space and add five times as much storage room.
April 12, 1987 15,000 Lawrenceville and Bloomfield residents, evacuated when toxic gas seeped out of a train’s derailed tanker car, return to their homes.
April 16, 1987 The Pittsburgh Press wins its second consecutive Pulitzer Prize for a series by Andrew Schneider and Matthew Brelis that revealed inadequacies in Federal Aviation Administration screening of pilots.
April 26, 1987 Monroeville’s Vivel Rao finishes first out of 700 contestants at the National High School Chess Championship in Paluski, Virginia.
April 29, 1987 Jack M. Brewer, Sr., Pittsburgh’s first black assistant superintendent of public schools and Pennsylvania’s first black principal, dies at the age of 69.
May 1, 1987 Westinghouse Electric Corporation announces the “phasing out” of its 94-year-old East Pittsburgh turbine plant. Because of this, eight hundred workers will lose their jobs.
May 11, 1987 Pittsburgh’s first black chief of police, William H. Moore, after a year on the job, retires.
May 20, 1987 The Duquesne Heights Incline celebrates 110 years of ascents and descents.
May 22, 1987 Urban Mass Transit Administration opens the final segment of the Port Authority’s $542 million Light Rail System through the South Hills.
June 7, 1987 “Fences,” a family drama written by Pittsburgh native August Wilson, set in the Hill District, wins four 1987 Tony Awards, including best play, best actor and best director.
June 19, 1987 12,177 fans pack Pittsburgh’s Civic Arena to watch the Pittsburgh Gladiators defeat the Washington Commandos 48–46 in the first season game of the newly formed Arena Football League.
June 26, 1987 Ground is broken for construction of the $503 million Greater Pittsburgh International Airport’s new midfield terminal.
June 28, 1987 Plans for construction of a new $500 million retail and industrial complex for Robinson Township is announced.
June 29, 1987 Three tornadoes down trees, damage homes and cause power outages as thunderstorms rip through southwestern Pennsylvania.
June 29, 1987 Local pilot Joseph Longo arrives home after spending more than two months as a prisoner of the government of Angola.
July 1, 1987 University of Pittsburgh trustees vote to divest the university of its investments in U.S. companies that do business in South Africa.
July 16, 1987 President Reagan awards Pittsburgh the status of an All-American City.
July 18, 1987 Anti-nuclear demonstrators gather on the Bloomfield Bridge on the first anniversary of shipments of radio-active waste from Three Mile Island through Pittsburgh.
July 22, 1987 Gideon Toeplitz will become in October the new managing director of the Pittsburgh Symphony.
July 22, 1987 According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, Pittsburgh has lost 18,300 people since 1985.
July 23, 1987 Allegheny County Commissioners declare there will be no county tax increase next year.
July 23, 1987 The Ben Franklin Partnership approves a $6.9 million grant to a university sponsored center in Pittsburgh that funds jobs-creation efforts in the fields of robotics, computers and advanced medical technology.
July 29, 1987 The Carnegie is restoring the “Noble Quartet” statues in the front of the museum and music ball.
July 30, 1987 The Reverend Donald Nesti resigns as President of Duquesne University, ending weeks of public controversy.
August 3, 1987 Former Pittsburgh Congressman William Moorhead dies of cancer.
August 13, 1987 The Chicago West Pullman Transportation Corporation announces that it will be buying the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad.
August 19, 1987 The East Street Valley Roadway opens. It runs between the 1–79 junction and downtown.
August 20, 1987 The Regional Industrial Development Corporation, with the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. receives a $150,000 contract to coordinate plans for a new High Technology Park on the site of the old J & L steel plant.
August 25, 1987 The Reinhold Ice Cream Company will market the world’s first microwavable milkshake, the “D’Frosta Shake.”
August 27, 1987 USX’s National Plant in McKeesport closes. Employment was down to 186 from a high of 4600.
August 31, 1987 17 months after opening the country jail annex, the jail and the annex are filled to capacity.
September 1, 1987 The population of Allegheny County declined by 5.3%.
September 6, 1987 The University of Pittsburgh receives $49 million in Federal research funds during 1985.
September 7, 1987 The Reverend Jesse Jackson walks in the city’s Labor Day parade and discloses that he will become a Democratic candidate in the presidential campaign.
September 7, 1987 Transplant doctors and patients from around the world gather in honor of Dr. Thomas Starzl, regarded as a leader in the field of transplant surgery.
September 10, 1987 The city will spend $4 million to improve the appearance of Fifth Avenue.
September 11, 1987 The Duchess of Devonshire visits the opening of her family’s art exhibition, “Old Masters Drawings from Chatsworth,” at the Frick Museum.
September 14, 1987 Unions representing 750 employees of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad struck today attempting to stop the sale of the P & LE to a Chicago based group.
September 21, 1987 The parent companies of West Penn Hospital and Forbes Health System will merge in 1988.
September 23, 1987 La Roche College celebrates its 25th anniversary with the opening a new $4.2 million College Center.
September 23, 1987 The former Braddock Public Library, the oldest Carnegie Library in America, has received donations of $80,000 to restore the closed building.
September 24, 1987 The state announces that the removal of 744 bodies from the 120-year old Voeghtly cemetery accidentally uncovered last summer by highway construction workers will cost $1.1 million.
September 25, 1987 The Benedum Center for the Performing Arts opens. After a three-year restoration of the Stanley Theater, the Benedum is the third largest stage house in the country and one of the best equipped in terms of modern technical capability.
October 1, 1987 Mayor Caliguiri stunned the city by announcing he is suffering from amyloidosis, a rare and incurable disease that attacks vital body tissues and organs.
October 6, 1987 Luciano Pavarotti starred in the Pittsburgh Opera’s first performance at the Benedum Center.
October 14, 1987 Carrick native Danny Seemiller with five other table tennis players will play for the U.S. team in the 1988 Summer Olympic games in South Korea.
October 15, 1987 The 24-day National Football League players strike ends.
October 23, 1987 The Fort Pitt Tunnel is closed during the morning rush hour after a truck carrying 40,000 pounds of bananas lost its brakes.
October 23, 1987 Herr’s Island is renamed Washington’s Landing. Ground is broken for a $130 million development leading to a new marina, park, stores, offices and industrial buildings.
October 23, 1987 Malcolm Prine, President of the Pittsburgh Pirates, resigns in dispute with Syd Thrift, the team’s General Manager.
November 7, 1987 The George Westinghouse Museum opens.
November 9, 1987 1,200 cafeteria and custodial workers strike the Pittsburgh School District when negotiations fail to produce a new contract.
November 11, 1987 Vice President George Bush marches through downtown in the annual Veteran’s Day Parade.
November 21, 1987 Volkswagen’s Westmoreland County Plant, dedicated with fanfare on October 5, 1976, will close. 2500 people will lose their jobs.
November 23, 1987 An ordinance known as the no-smoking law is enacted by the City Council for areas in public and private buildings.
December 7, 1987 Jake Milliones is re-elected president of the Pittsburgh School Board for the fifth straight year.
December 8, 1987 Pittsburgh Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua is named to succeed John Cardinal Krol as Archbishop of Philadelphia.
December 11, 1987 Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres visits the city to sign an agreement between Carnegie Mellon University and five Israeli universities to share information about computer research.
December 18, 1987 James G. Roddey steps down after four years as Chairman of the Port Authority Transit Board.
December 24, 1987 Mayor Caliguiri, in a 45-minute operation, has a pacemaker implanted in his chest to regulate his heartbeat.
December 31, 1987 The estimated population of Pittsburgh for the past year was 387,499; that of Allegheny County 1,373,600.
January 2, 1988 An oil tank in Robinson township ruptures into the Monongahela River, spilling millions of gallons of oil.
January 4, 1988 Sophie Masloff becomes the first woman president of the City Council.
January 18, 1988 East Liberty dedicates a park to the memory of civil rights activist Wilhelmia Byrd Brown.
March 4, 1988 The Prince of Wales visits Pittsburgh and gives the keynote address to the “Remaking Cities” Conference.
March 25, 1988 Donald W. Wuerl is installed as Bishop of the Pittsburgh Roman Catholic Diocese.
March 31, 1988 Herbrick and Held, the city’s oldest printing firm, closes.
April 14, 1988 Fifth Avenue Place office building is dedicated on the site of the former Jenkins Arcade.
April 19, 1988 A memorial is unveiled on the Carnegie Mellon University Campus in honor of Judith A. Resnick, the first woman astronaut.
April 22, 1988 University of Pittsburgh names its center for International Security Studies after General Matthew Ridgway.
April 25, 1988 George Bush, Jesse Jackson and Michael Dukakis campaign in the city.
May 5, 1988 Opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. Reading Center at Heron and Milwaukee Avenues.
May 6, 1988 Popular Mayor Richard S. Caliguiri dies at the age of 56. Caliguiri devoted his entire career to the City of Pittsburgh including service in the Department of Parks and Recreation, as President of City Council, and finally as mayor winning two elections to that position. He is credited with bringing about Renaissance II.
May 6, 1988 Sophie Masloff, Council President, is sworn in as Pittsburgh’s first woman mayor.
May 22, 1988 First Presbyterian Church of Allegheny on the North Side, built in 1866, is destroyed by fire.
May 23, 1988 THE PENNSYLVANIAN Apartment complex at the old Pennsylvania Railroad Station opens.
June 15, 1988 City officials unveil plans for the Pittsburgh Technology Center at the former Jones and Laughlin steel mill site at the Monongahela River.
July 14, 1988 The last Volkswagen rolls off the line in New Stanton.
July 20, 1988 John W. Galbreath, real estate developer and owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, dies at the age of 90.
August 13, 1988 The 34th day of over 90-degree temperature is recorded as Pittsburgh suffers from the worst droughts since 1881.
August 25, 1988 Arthur J. Rooney, who acquired the Steelers in 1933 for $52,500 and saw them win four Super Bowls, dies at the age of 87.
August 29, 1988 Secret Service agents seize $2.5 million in counterfeit $20 bills in a search of a storage locker in East Pittsburgh.
September 17, 1988 John E. Murray Jr. is installed as President of Duquesne University, the first layman to head the institution.
November 11, 1988 The Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Allegheny River is dedicated on the 70th anniversary of Armistice Day.
December 14, 1988 Demolition begins at the Shippingsport Atomic Power Plant, the world’s first commercial nuclear power plant.
January 3, 1989 Bill Burns retires from broadcasting at KDKA-TV after a career of five decades.
February 2, 1989 The Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Philadelphia Flyers for the first time in 15 years, with a 5–3 win in Philadelphia.
February 18, 1989 Four hundred anti-abortion and abortion proponents clash at three clinics. Two hundred are arrested.
February 22, 1989 Interstate 279 opens 1.3 miles along the North Shore, easing traffic congestion.
April 3, 1989 500 Grateful Dead rock fans clash with police outside the Civic Arena after a performance.
April 28, 1989 The Port Authority train from McKeesport to the city has its final run.
May 1, 1989 David M. Roderick, chairman of USX retires after ten years, a period of historic change including the longest steel strike in history, the closing of over 140 facilities, and the transformation of USX’s focus from steel to energy.
May 12, 1989 Braun Baking Company, the makers of Town Talk and Wonder Bread, closes its doors and moves to Philadelphia.
May 16, 1989 Sophie Masloff wins the Democratic primary for mayor beating County Controller Frank Lucchino, lawyer Byrd Brown, State Senator Tom Murphy and City Controller Tom Flaherty in a close five-way race.
July 31, 1989 Edgar J. Kaufmann Jr., architectural historian, curator, philanthropist, and preserver of his family’s estate, Fallingwater, dies at the age of 79.
August 3, 1989 William Larimer Mellon, Jr. dies.
August 23, 1989 Mario Lemieux signs a five-year, $12 million contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
September 1, 1989 Schenley Park celebrates its 100th anniversary with hot-air balloon races.
October 5, 1989 Ground breaking ceremonies for The Carnegie Science Center near Three Rivers Stadium.
November 20, 1989 Barbara Bush, the President’s wife, visits the Carnegie Library in Homewood.
December 1, 1989 Presbyterian University Hospital will buy Montefiore Hospital for $75 million.
1990 January 4, 1990 Traffic resumes on the Monongahela River, three days after sixty runaway barges drifted down stream and thousands of gallons of gasoline were spilled.
January 8, 1990 Radio personality Ed Schaugheny (Uncle Ed) dies at 77.
January 14, 1990 Pittsburgh City Council gives final approval to an ordinance for recycling newspapers, plastic, glass and aluminum cans.
January 17, 1990 City Councilman President Ben Woods is sentenced to eight years for conspiracy, income tax evasion, extortion and racketeering.
February 17, 1990 Dreamer, a giant schnauzer from Fox Chapel owned by Marcia Nanel, wins the top prize at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York.
March 12, 1990 A 78 degree temperature breaks the 114 year-old record.
March 25, 1990 The Gulf Tower pyramid re-lit for the first time since the 1970’s.
March 31, 1990 A landslide ruptures a transmission line of Buckeye Pipe Line Company of Freeport, spilling an estimated 75,600 gallons of gasoline into the Allegheny River.
April 4, 1990 University Trustees vote Robert Mehrabian from the University of California, Santa Barbara to be Carnegie Mellon’s seventh president.
April 5, 1990 The University of Pittsburgh announces the establishment of the University Heart Institute that will combine research with patient care and community outreach. Dr. Bruce Wilson will head the new institute.
April 12, 1990 Pittsburgh native, August Wilson wins his second Pulitzer Prize for his play “The Piano Lesson.”
May 21, 1990 Mayer DeRoy, a 30-year veteran police officer, becomes the new police chief.
June 7, 1990 Twenty-three fire companies are called for as fire rages in the Strip District.
June 13, 1990 Dr. Solomon B. Freehof, Rabbi of Rodef Shalom Congregation for 32 years, dies at the age of 97.
July 7, 1990 Edward M. Ryan, co-founder of Ryan Homes, donates the Bank Center Mall on Wood Street to Point Park College.
July 18, 1990 Former Republican minority Allegheny County Commissioner William Hunt dies at 76.
August 1, 1990 Despite public and union protests, Dorothy Six, a blast furnace at USX Corporation’s Duquesne works, is demolished.
September 30, 1990 The Pirates win their first Eastern Division Championship since 1979. They will lose to the Cincinnati Reds 4–2 games in the National League Playoff.
November 11, 1990 Stormie Jones, who survived the world’s first heart and liver transplant which was performed at Children’s Hospital, dies at 13.
November 15, 1990 Pirate Pitcher Doug Drabek wins the National League’s Cy Young Award.
November 20, 1990 City public school officials say enrollment of 39,661 shows an increase for the first time since the 1960s.
November 27, 1990 Temperatures in the city reach 75 degrees breaking the 103 year record high of 74.
December 4, 1990 Pipes carrying wires along the ceiling of the Liberty Tunnels collapse during rush hour, trapping some 150 cars and three buses.
January 2, 1991 The Urban Redevelopment Authority purchases the new City-County jail site along the Monongahela River.
February, 1991 “Friends of the Riverfront” is formed with the mission to “promote public access to and appreciation on for Pittsburgh’s riverfronts” according to John Stevens, a co-founder and director of the nonprofit group. In addition to general riverfront cleanups, the group is working toward the opening of a 12-mile-long “Three River’s Heritage Trail.”
February 27, 1991 The University of Pittsburgh will build two new buildings at the cost of $50 million.
April 4, 1991 Popular and highly regarded Senator H. John Heinz III is killed in an accident when the shuttle airplane carrying him collides with a helicopter near Philadelphia.
May 9, 1991 Harris Wofford is appointed to the U. S. Senate to fill the seat of the late H. John Heinz III.
May 25, 1991 The Pittsburgh Penguins win their first Stanley Cup in the franchise’s 24-year history by defeating the Minnesota North Stars. 20.000 fans greet the Pens when they arrive back in Pittsburgh the following day.
June 3, 1991 A six-week strike at the Giant Eagle Food Stores comes to an end.
June 17, 1991 250,000 Pittsburghers honor returning servicemen from the Persian Gulf War with a parade in Downtown.
July 5, 1991 Pittsburgh artist Henry Koerner dies in a car accident while visiting his native Vienna.
July 20, 1991 The Christian Buhl House, a restored 1805 house once occupied by the Buhl family, opens to the public in Zelienople.
August 8, 1991 James Irwin, the Pittsburgh astronaut who walked on the moon in 1971, dies.
August 27, 1991 Despite public protest, the University of Pittsburgh begins demolition of the Syria Mosque Hall.
September 22, 1991 The Pirates clinch the Eastern division title, but lose to the Atlanta Braves in the playoffs.
September 23, 1991 A citizens’ group proposes forming a non-profit corporation to take over the Pittsburgh Aviary from the city; it becomes the National Aviary in 1993.
November 5, 1991 Harris Wofford defeats Republican challenger Dick Thornburgh for U.S. Senator.
November 19, 1991 The Pittsburgh Penguins are sold for more than $563 million.
November 30, 1991 Edwin Grinberg, who served with distinction for two terms on the Pittsburgh School Board, ends his service as a Board member and Finance Chairman by recommending a settlement with the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers Union and a balanced no-tax-increase budget.
December 6, 1991 South African leader, Nelson Manuela, visits the city.
December 26, 1991 Chuck Noll retires after four Super Bowls and twenty years as the head coach of the Steelers.
January 21, 1992 Pittsburgh native Bill Cowher is named the new head coach of the Steelers.
February 25, 1992 J Dennis O’Connor is installed as Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh.
March 16, 1992 A strike by 2200 Port Authority workers leaves thousands of riders stranded.
April 6, 1992 Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of England, gives an address at the Vista Hotel.
May 15, 1992 President George Bush attends a $1,000-a-plate dinner at Duquesne University.
May 18, 1992 The Teamsters begin a strike at the Pittsburgh Press, one of the city’s two main newspapers.
June 1, 1992 The Penguins win the Stanley Cup for second year in a row, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks. Mario Lemieux is the NHL scoring leader.
June 12, 1992 Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton campaigns in Pittsburgh.
June 28, 1992 A 35-year-old man receives a liver transplant at the Presbyterian Hospital.
July 24, 1992 Sony Corp. begins TV tube production at the renovated VW plant in New Stanton.
August 12, 1992 Democrat Bill Clinton campaigns before the American Federation of Teachers at the Convention Center.
August 18, 1992 Kennywood Park is designated a historical landmark by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
August 20, 1992 Louise R. Brennen is named as Superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
August 20, 1992 Democratic vice presidential candidate, Al Gore, addresses the United Steelworkers of America Union.
September 5, 1992 Mayor Sophie Masloff breaks ground for a new $2.5-million entrance walkway at the Zoo.
September 9, 1992 Opening of the Southern Expressway, the $210-million, 7.5 mile road to the new Midfield Terminal of the Pittsburgh International Airport.
September 27, 1992 The Pirates win their third straight Eastern division title with a victory over the New York Mets at the Three Rivers Stadium.
September 30, 1992 Dedication of the $783-million Pittsburgh International Airport.
October 5, 1992 8,300 members of the International Association of Machinists (3,000 in Pittsburgh) strike against USAir. The strike is settled five days later.
December 8, 1992 The Rev. Thomas E. Smith, pastor of the Monumental Baptist Church in the Hill District, is elected president of the Pittsburgh NAACP.
December 9, 1992 Carl Barger, former president of the Pittsburgh Pirates, dies while at a meeting of the baseball owners.
December 13, 1992 Port Authority bus and trolley drivers ratify a new three year contract eight months to the day after being ordered back to work by the court following a 28-day strike.
December 17, 1992 First day of publication of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, formerly the Greensburg Tribune.
January 2, 1993 Jake Milliones, City Council Finance Chairman and former long term President of the Pittsburgh School Board, dies suddenly at 52. Milliones’ ability to build a majority during his career made him a powerful and effective leader especially on issues affecting minorities.
January 18, 1993 An eight month strike of Pittsburgh’s two newspapers ends as the Pittsburgh Post Gazette resumes publication. The Pittsburgh Press will no longer be published.
February 2, 1993 Mayor Masloff announces that she will not seek another term.
February 5, 1993 The Carnegie Board of Trustees unanimously approves the hiring of Ellsworth H. Brown, President and Director of the Chicago Historical Society, to become its seventh president.
March 13, 1993 A blizzard leaves four feet of snow on the streets.
April 1, 1993 Workers in the CNG Tower get the afternoon off as the office building is evacuated after an April Fool’s Day bomb threat.
April 17, 1993 President Bill Clinton speaks at the new airport.
May 24, 1993 Samuel Hazo, founder of the Pittsburgh International Poetry Forum, is named Pennsylvania’s first official poet.
June 14, 1993 Gov. Robert P. Casey receives a heart-liver transplant at the Presbyterian Hospital.
June 22, 1993 The new $2.5 million entrance walkway and plaza to the Pittsburgh Zoo’s lower parking lot is opened.
July 26, 1993 General Matthew B. Ridgway dies at his home in Fox Chapel.
July 31, 1993 Chuck Noll, former Pittsburgh Steeler Head Coach, is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
August 24, 1993 Helen Stinner Ball, a pioneer aviatrix dies. Ball, with her husband Clifford Ball, helped start air mail service in the U.S.
October 28, 1993 Congress designates the Pittsburgh Aviary as the “National Aviary in Pittsburgh.”
November 8, 1993 Pittsburgh Mounted Police begin patrolling the streets.
November 10, 1993 The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission awards a $100,000 grant to the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania to help secure and interpret a rockshelter near Avella which was used by Native Americans 16,000 years ago and is one of the oldest such sites in North America.
January 3, 1994 Thomas J. Murphy, former State Senator, is sworn in as Pittsburgh’s 55th mayor.
January 4, 1994 Up to 2–1/2 feet of snow fall in Southwestern Pennsylvania in the wake of a paralyzing blizzard.
March 1, 1994 British Prime Minister John Major, whose father worked briefly in East Pittsburgh as a bricklayer in the 1890’s before returning to England, meets with President Clinton in Pittsburgh.
March 9, 1994 Groundbreaking ceremonies for the $42 million Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center in the Strip District.
April 29, 1994 Horne’s Department Store, which was founded in 1849, is bought by Federated Department Stores of Cincinnati.
April 30, 1994 Pittsburgh Symphony names Marvin Hamlish to fill the new post of Principal Pops Conductor.
May 3, 1994 La Roche College receives $5 million from Gateway Clipper Fleet owner, John Connelly, for its new sports and fitness center.
May 13, 1994 Opening of the Andy Warhol Museum on the North Side.
June 16, 1994 The U.S. Open Golf Championship begins at Oakmont Country Club. Ernie Els of South Africa wins after a twenty hole sudden death playoff on June 21.
June 27, 1994 Lorin Maazel, Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony, will not renew his contract after the 1996 season.
July 27, 1994 The site for the Korean War Veteran’s Memorial in Roberto Clemente Park on the North Shore is dedicated.
September 8, 1994 USAir Boeing 737 crashes, killing 131 passengers and crew near Hopewell, Beaver County.
October 27, 1994 Pittsburgh Port Authority breaks ground for the new Airport to Downtown Express Busway.
November 8, 1994 Valerie McDonald, former President of the Pittsburgh School Board, is elected as the first African-American woman on City Council.
November 15, 1994 Monsignor Judson Procyk, rector of St. John’s Cathedral in Munhall, is named by Pope John Paul III as the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Byzantine Catholic Archdiocese in the city.
November 18, 1994 Reopening of the 111 year old Smithfield Street Bridge after an eleven month $16 million in repairs and improvements.
November 18, 1994 The 124-year-old Monongahela Incline reopens after a $3-million renovation.
December 17, 1994 A program offering $50 gift certificates for each gun turned in to Pittsburgh Police nets 800 guns.
February 17, 1995 Dr. Row Lubove, social historian at the University of Pittsburgh dies at 60. His two volumes “Twentieth Century Pittsburgh” are the outstanding chronicle of the city over the past 100 years.
February 18, 1995 Funeral at St. Paul’s Cathedral for the three fire fighter’s who lost their life in a house fire on Valentine’s Day, Patricia Ann Conroy, 43; Thomas Brooks, 42; and Marc Kolenda, 27.
February 22, 1995 Bobby Lewis, who coached the University of Pittsburgh Basketball team for 38 years and won more than 400 games, dies at his home.
March 21, 1995 Wilkinsburg School Board agrees to privatize Turner School, an elementary school which will be run by Alternative Public Schools Inc. of Nashville, the first private public school in the state.
April 5, 1995 Myron Cope, sportscaster and creator of the “Terrible Towel,” gives his final afternoon talk show on WTAE. Cope continues as voice of the Steelers.
April 10, 1995 Tile Pittsburgh Symphony appoints Mariss Jansons as Music Director to succeed Lorin Maazel.
April 10, 1995 University of Pittsburgh Chancellor. J. Dennis O’Conner announces his resignation.
April 28, 1995 “Miss Pittsburgh,” an open cockpit hi-wing airplane, is unveiled at the new airport. The plane completed the first commercial airmail delivery here on April 21, 1927, landing in West Mifflin’s Bettis Field.
April 29, 1995 The new $147 million Allegheny County Jail Building opens.
May 16, 1995 In an upset victory in the Democratic Primary. Mike Dawida and Colleen Vuono, defeat Allegheny County Commissioners, Tom Forester and Pete Flaherty, two incumbents with a combined 40 years in office.
May 26, 1995 Teresa Heinz, the widow of Senator John Heinz, marries U.S. Senator John Kerry, D-Mass. in Nantucket, Massachusetts. She will remain active in the Pittsburgh area.
June 8, 1995 Sony Corporation will construct a glass making factory at the site of its TV assembly plant near New Stanton.
June 13, 1995 H.J. Heinz Company lights a 30 foot tall red and white neon sign at its North Side plant showing a full ketchup bottle.
June 23, 1995 Dr. Jonas Salk, who developed the polio vaccine while working in Pittsburgh, dies of heart failure in La Jolla, California at 80.
July 6, 1995 Dr. James 0. Van Trump, historian and co-founder of Pittsburgh History and Landmark Foundation, dies at the age of 88.
July 25, 1995 Forty-seven people are injured in a train collision in Beechview.
August 1, 1995 Westinghouse Electric Corp., in a major shift of business emphasis, purchases CBS for $5.4 billion.
August 5, 1995 Despite the rain, 31,147 fans attend the Pirates’ game at Three Rivers Stadium, as part of the Post-Gazette’s sponsored, “Ballot by Ballpark” in support of keeping the team in Pittsburgh. The Bucs win 3–1.
September 21, 1995 Sean Hitchman is arrested and charged with embezzling $1.2 million from ATMs while working for Mellon Bank.
October 6, 1995 Carnegie-Mellon celebrates its 100th anniversary.
October 12, 1995 Jonny F. Gammage, a black motorist, dies after an incident with police officers.
December 24, 1995 The Downtown Lazarus department store closes, marking the end of a 102 year old store which was previously a Horne’s store.
January, 1996 Neal Holmes, chairman of the Board of Allied Security, is unanimously reelected to his 4th term as chairman of the Port Authority.
January 1, 1996 Republicans Larry Dunn and Bob Cranmer take the oath of office as Allegheny County Commissioners along with Democrat Mike Dawida, giving Republicans control of the county for the first time in 60 years.
January 3, 1996 Nationally recognized forensic pathologist, Dr. Cyril Wecht, is sworn in as Allegheny County coroner after a 16 years hiatus.
January 13, 1996 City Council unanimously approves a package of loans and lease concessions to open the way for California newspaper owner, Kevin McClatchy, to purchase the Pirates.
January 14, 1996 Steelers defeat the Indianapolis Colts 20–16 earning a trip to Super Bowl XXX after a 16 year absence. They lose two weeks later to the Dallas Cowboys 20–17.
January 22, 1996 Pittsburgh cleans up from the worst flood in 24 years.
February 21, 1996 Mrs. Mary Hagan Barrett, executive secretary in charge of public relations at the Pittsburgh Hilton 1959–1983 and founder and two-terms president of the National Secretaries Association, dies.
March 5, 1996 Bill Foster, pitcher for the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords who led the Negro League in strikeouts four times, is elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee.
March 8, 1996 Long term Allegheny County Public Works Director Joseph P Moses and two codefendants are found guilty of participating in a kick-back conspiracy.
March 15, 1996 Robert Mehrabian retires as president of Carnegie Mellon University.
April 2, 1996 Robert McNeilly Jr., a member of the city’s police force for 19 years, is named chief of police.
April 25, 1996 The Pittsburgh Penguins complete the longest game in their history (6 hours, 38 minutes) by defeating the Washington Capitals 3–2 at 2:16 am, in a Stanley Cup playoff game held in Landover, Maryland.
May 5, 1996 The Pittsburgh Marathon is won by Ruben Maza of Venezuela and Tamara Karlioukova of Russia.
May 15, 1996 Elsie Hillman announces plans to step down from the Republican National Committee after 21 years of service.
May 20, 1996 Lorin Maazel conducts his 41st concert and his last as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, a position he held since 1984.
June 5, 1996 The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Shadyside Hospital confirm plans to merge, establishing an institution more than twice the size of its closest competitor.
June 7, 1996 Hillary Rodham Clinton, the President’s wife visits the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and the Strip District.
June 7, 1996 The Austrian Nationality Room opens at the University of Pittsburgh as the 24th nationality classroom.
June 17, 1996 William Strickland, ceramic artist and director of the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and the Bidwell Training Center, is honored with a grant of $295,000 by the MacArthur Foundation for his work with the city’s youth and unemployed.
June 20, 1996 Penguins’ Center Mario Lemieux wins the Hart Trophy for the third time as the National Hockey Leagues Most Valuable Player.
June 20, 1996 Mark Nordenberg, former Dean of the university’s law school, is named Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh after serving as interim chancellor since August 1, 1995.
June 29, 1996 A renovated 1898 foundry in Lawrenceville is dedicated as the home of the newly established National Robotics Engineering Consortium which links NASA and the world renowned robotics research department of Carnegie Mellon University in commercial projects for mobile robots.
July 31, 1996 Kurt Angie of Mt Lebanon wins the gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the Olympic Games in Atlanta.
August 1, 1996 Rosa Parks, civil rights heroine, visits Pittsburgh to promote the “Pathways to Freedom” program of workshops on black history for students ages 11 to 17.
August 12, 1996 Richard Armstrong, chief curator of the Carnegie Museum of Art, is appointed as the museum’s eighth director, effective August 30.
August 12, 1996 Kennywood’s 1936 Noah’s Ark reopens after a year of renovation. The ark is the country’s only funhouse remaining of the two dozen constructed in the 1920’s and 30’s.
August 15, 1996 Allegheny Ludlum, the largest maker of stainless steel in the United Stares acquires Los Angeles-based Teledyne Inc., creating Allegheny Teledyne Inc. with corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh.
August 24, 1996 The University of Pittsburgh welcomes 2841 first year students, the largest freshmen class in the university’s 209-year history.
September 23, 1996 Josh Gibson, Pittsburgh’s Negro League superstar who hit over 800 homeruns during a 16-year career with the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords, is officially honored with a marker at Ammons Field in the Hill District by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
September 25, 1996 Pittsburgh bids a tearful farewell to Jim Leyland as 20,022 fans watch him coach his final home game for the Pirates after 11 years as manager.
October 3, 1996 Gene Lamont, third base coach for seven years under Jim Leyland, becomes the 34th manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
January 3, 1997 Marie Torree, New York Herald Tribune columnist and former prominent television anchor in Pittsburgh, dies in New York City at the age of 72.
January 8, 1997 Six inmates escape from the State Correctional Institution at Woods Run by digging a 30-foot tunnel under the prison wall and into an adjacent warehouse. Eventually all were caught.
March 31, 1997 Paul P. Skoutelas becomes the Executive Director of the Port Authority of Allegheny County.
April 6, 1997 The exhibit, “Collecting in the Gilded Age Art: Patronage in Pittsburgh, 1890–1910” goes on display at The Frick Art Museum.
April 14, 1997 Former astronaut Jay Apt is named as the 11th director of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
April 15, 1997 Jared Cohon is named the 8th president of Carnegie Mellon University.
April 23, 1997 Mario Lemieux plays his final game at the Civic Arena, scoring a goal in the 4–1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in a Stanley Cup playoff match.
April 24, 1997 H.J. Heinz Co. Chairman Anthony O’Reilly breaks ground for the new home of the Pittsburgh Public Theater to be built on Penn Avenue and be named the O’Reilly Theater.
June 1, 1997 Thomas J. Kennelly, a 44-year veteran Pittsburgh firefighter who served as Chief of the Bureau of Fire for nine years in the Flaherty and Caliguiri administrations, dies at the age of 87.
June 4, 1997 Dale E. Frederick, former superintendent of Warren Ohio schools, is named superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
July 1, 1997 After nearly closing in 1995 due to financial difficulties, the Harvard-Yale-Princeton Club merges with another historic institution, the Pittsburgh Club (founded in 1879), to become the HYP-Pittsburgh Club. “Instead of losing two beloved and venerable institutions, Pittsburgh got the best of both worlds by combining the membership of the two Clubs and keeping a longtime luncheon tradition in old-world elegance alive,” said Simin Yazdgerdi Curtis, President of the HYP-Pittsburgh Club, 1997–1998.
July 12, 1997 Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon pitch the first combined extra-inning no-hitter in major league history and the third no hit performance in Three Rivers Stadium as the Pirates defeat the Houston Astros 3–0 in 10 innings.
July 14, 1997 LTV Steel, Pittsburgh’s remaining link to its once dominant steel industry, will permanently close its Hazelwood coke plant.
July 14, 1997 Albert Fondy is elected to his ninth, two-year term as President of the 38,000 member Pennsylvania Federation of Teachers. Fondy has served continuously since 1967 as President of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers and since 1980 as Vice-President of the American Federation of Teachers.
July 17, 1997 President Clinton addresses the 88th NAACP convention being held in Pittsburgh for the first the since 1931.
July 21, 1997 Fred Rogers is granted a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Television Critics Association.
July 26, 1997 Mike Webster is the 14th former Steeler football player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
August 4, 1997 City Council, led by Councilman Sala Udin, creates an independent civilian review board to investigate complaints against city police officers.
August 14, 1997 Republican commissioner Bob Crammer and Democratic Commissioner Mike Dawida collaborate to unseat the Republican chairman of the Allegheny County Commissioners Larry Dunn.
September 5, 1997 PNC Bank announces that it will build a new operations center to provide office space for 5600 employees on the site of the former B & 0 terminal overlooking the Monongahela River.
September 12, 1997 Landmark America, a Portland, Maine development firm, will turn Armstrong Cork Complex in the Strip District into 300+ apartments with retail stores and restaurants on the first floor.
September 13, 1997 “Pioneer,” a robot developed by CMU’s National Robotics Engineering Consortium and Red Zone Robotics, is selected to help clean up the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident at Chernobyl, Ukraine.
September 16, 1997 Bill Burns, popular Pittsburgh radio and television broadcaster for 36 years, dies at age 84.
September 19, 1997 Mariss Jansons conducts his first concert as the eighth music director of The Pittsburgh Symphony.
October 6, 1997 Fore Systems Inc., a firm employing 1500 which was founded by CEO Eric Cooper and 3 CMU colleagues in 1990, opens a new $44 million headquarters in Warrendale.
October 17, 1997 The Pennsylvania General Assembly authorizes the spending of $16 million for the construction of a 72-mile segment of the bike path which will eventually connect Pittsburgh with Washington D.C.
October 23, 1997 Dana Scott, CMU Professor of Computer Science, Philosophy and Mathematical Logic is awarded a Schrock prize in math a ceremony in Stockholm for his developments in computer science.
October 29, 1997 Joan Apr, founder of Pittsburgh Public Theater, is inducted as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania.
November 4, 1997 Tom Murphy is reelected to a second 4-year term as mayor of Pittsburgh.
November 14, 1997 Renowned photojournalism pioneer and author Stefan Lorant dies.
November 17, 1997 Hundreds of Pittsburgh Penguin hockey fans travel to Toronto to witness the ceremonies in which Brian Trottier and Mario Lemieux are inducted into Hockey’s Hall of Fame. The 3 year waiting period is waived for Lemieux who retired earlier that year.
December 2, 1997 Anthony J. F. O’Reilly, chairman and CEO of H.J. Heinz, is stepping down as of April 30, 1998, although he will continue as non-executive chairman until September 2000. William Johnson, currently president, takes over the day to day control of the firm.
December 3, 1997 Pitt’s Walt Harris is named college football’s Big East Coach of the Year.
December 22, 1997 Fred Rogers is named Pittsburgher of the Year by Pittsburgh Magazine in recognition of his 30 years in public television broadcasting.
January 5, 1998 Bob O’Connor is elected City Council president.
January 13, 1998 Savio Woo, a researcher with the University of Pittsburgh, is awarded the International Olympics Prize for Sports Science for his work on the treatment of knee injuries.
January 16, 1998 PNC, Pittsburgh’s largest bank, reports its second straight year of record profits, rising above the $1 billion mark for the first time.
January 16, 1998 Martin G. McGuinn is named chairman and CEO of Mellon Bank effective April 1, replacing Frank Cahouet, who will be retiring at the end of the year.
February 2, 1998 The Pittsburgh Zoo, celebrating its centennial this year, announces a $29.5 million expansion.
March 2, 1998 Henry Steele Commager, a Pittsburgh-born prominent American historian and author of the first chapter of this book, dies in Amherst, Massachusetts at age 95.
March 4, 1998 Mellon Bank announces plans to construct a $100 million operations center on land above the Steel Plaza transit station.
March 10, 1998 Alcoa. the world’s largest producer of aluminum proposes, a $3.8 billion deal to take over Atlanta based Alumax, the Nation’s 3rd ranked aluminum producer.
March 20, 1998 The 105 year old Phipps Conservatory is renamed Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens as plans are revealed for a $30 million expansion.
March 27, 1998 Demolition begins at the Greater Pittsburgh drive-in in North Versailles. [Super Wal-Mart will be constructed on site.]
April 15, 1998 Martha Rial of the Post Gazette wins a Pulitzer Prize for spot news photography for her photos of Rwandian and Burundian refugees in Tanzania.
April 19, 1998 Mariss Jansons conducts 2048 young musicians from the tri-state area to set the record for the “World’s Largest Orchestra” according to the Guinness Book of Records.
April 20, 1998 Honus Wagner, former player and coach for the Pirates and one of the first 5 players elected to the Baseball Hail of Fame, will be memorialized with a plaque on Mansfield Blvd. in Carnegie where Wagner was born.
May 3, 1998 Keith Brantly wins the men’s division of the Pittsburgh Marathon and U.S. men’s National Championship with a new American course record of 2:12:31 for which he earns a $ 100.000 bonus.
May 19, 1998 Allegheny County voters narrowly approve Home Rule Charter, which changes county government to a single executive and a 15 member county council.
May 28, 1998 Pittsburgh has the highest percentage of women police officers among 100 of the largest law enforcement agencies in the country.
June 2, 1998 At least 14 tornadoes rip through the Pittsburgh area from 5:30 to 9:30 PM, hitting hardest in Mt Washington and parts of Shadyside and Squirrel Hill causing power outages and extensive damage by falling trees.
June 6, 1998 The ALCOA Foundation Hall of American Indians opens at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
June 12, 1998 Charles H. “Teenie” Harris, famed principal photographer for The Pittsburgh Courier from 1936 to 1975, dies at the age of 89.
July 7, 1998 Pittsburgh hosts the 18th National Veterans Wheelchair games for 600 athletes from 48 states, Puerto Rico and Great Britain.
July 23, 1998 Arletta Scott Williams is named Executive Director of ALCOSAN. Arletta, an engineering graduate of CMU, is the first woman and first African American to serve as Executive Director in the Authority’s history.
July 31, 1998 District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr. brings to a close Jonny Gammage case. His office will nor appeal a judge’s decision dismissing involuntary manslaughter charges against the two policemen in involved in the traffic stop that led to Mr. Gammge’s death.
August 1, 1998 The Cultural Trust announces that Allegheny Riverfront Park, a project funded by the Vira I. Heinz Endowment and the state, will open in the fall. The two-tier park will run from the Point to the 9th Street Bridge.
August 2, 1998 The Thee Rivers Regatta, in a new format of 4 days over one weekend under the new direction of James Roddey, draws 1.5 million spectators. Terry Phipps, executive director of International Outboard Grant Prix, calls the Pittsburgh regatta, “The Indianapolis 500 of the Waterways”.
August 8, 1998 The two Shadyside arts festivals — one on Shady Ave., the other on Ellsworth — attract 300,001 people.
August 22, 1998 The County 911 System begins operations at Lexington Technology Park in Point Breeze.
August 23, 1998 Mark McGuire hits homerun 53 at Three Rivers Stadium.
September, 1998 Hilda Pang Fu is selected by the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance to head a program to promote Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Regional Champions.
September 4, 1998 Sammy Sosa hits homerun 57 at Three Rivers Stadium.
September 7, 1998 U.S. Census Bureau finds that 19.2% of residents of Pittsburgh and the six surrounding counties are “stayers” They live in the same house for 30 or more years.
September 15, 1998 Tank barge leaks 3100 gallons of diesel fuel into the Monongahela near Donora, PA.
October 2, 1998 In a national survey released by the Land Grant Trust Alliance, Pennsylvania ranks second in conservation acres with 348.000 acres from 75 land trusts. 236,000 of the acres were designated by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. The only state with more is California.
October 7, 1998 Richard Cyert dies at 77. Cyert served as president of CMU for two decades. Cyert’s vision took CMU from a struggling college to a competitive university.
October 14, 1998 The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded to John A. Pople, professor emeritus of CMU, for his work using mathematical calculations to predict the properties of molecules.
October 15, 1998 100 CEO’s visit Pittsburgh for the 8th Annual Fortune 500 Forum.
November 6, 1998 Lazarus opens its new downtown store at 5th Avenue and Wood Street.
November 9, 1998 The Chatham College Arboretum, which preserves 37 acres of historic landscape, is officially recognized by the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboretums.
November 12, 1998 The Tibetan Dali Lama visits Pittsburgh.
November 19, 1998 East Liberty’s Nabisco plant shuts down.
December 30, 1998 Dorothy Miller, publisher of “Rich/Poor Man’s Guide to Pittsburgh” notes that there are now 72 outdoor cafes in Pittsburgh.
January 4, 1999 Herbert Elish is named Director of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
January 23, 1999 The Bost Building is recognized as a National Landmark for its role as the steelworker’s headquarters in the Homestead Strike. August R. Carlino. the executive director of the Steel Industry Heritage Corporation, which owns the Bost Building, is planning a $4 million renovation.
January 27, 1999 Albert Miller, founder of Meadowcroft Village and discoverer of Meadowcroft Rock Shelter, dies at age 87.
January 29, 1999 Leon Anthony Arkus, associated with Carnegie Museum of Art from 1954 to 1980, dies at 53. He was instrumental in planning the Sarah Scaife Gallery and in developing the permanent collection.
February 3, 1999 Plan B is passed in the state senate. Four new stadiums will be built in Pennsylvania, two in Philadelphia and two in Pittsburgh.
February 4, 1999 Michael Douglas is in Pittsburgh filming the movie “Wonder Boys.” The movie is based on a book of the same name by University of Pittsburgh graduate, Michael Chabon.
February 28, 1999 Rafael Vinoly’s design for the new Convention Center is chosen. The expanded David Lawrence Convention Center will be a tool in revitalizing Pittsburgh and showcasing the riverfront.
March, 1999 The University of Pittsburgh announces that Pitt Stadium will be razed, a convocation and events center will be built in its place, and the Panthers will play football in the new Steelers stadium.
March 26, 1999 Home Depot breaks ground for a new store in East Liberty on the site of the former Sears store.
April 6, 1999 George D. Lockhart, a founder of the city’s largest law firm, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, dies at the age of 89. A respected lawyer and man of quiet dignity, he served for many years as a trustee of Chatham College, the University of Pittsburgh and the former Presbyterian University Hospital.
April 7, 1999 Construction begins for the $228 million PNC Park, the new home of the Pirates, set to open in 2001. During a public “block party” to celebrate the groundbreaking, the Sixth Street Bridge was renamed the Roberto Clemente Bridge. When this bridge opened in 1928, it was named “the most beautiful bridge erected in U.S. or Canada that year” by the American Institute of Steel Construction.
April 8, 1999 Maxwell King, former editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer is named as the executive director of the Heinz Endowments, to be effective May 17.
April 25, 1999 At the intersection of Center Avenue and Crawford Street, ground is broken for a monument at “Freedom Corner” to honor the struggles and successes of civil rights demonstrators.
April 26, 1999 Fore Systems, a Warrendale networking firm, is bought by London-based General Electric (not related to the Connecticut General Electric Company) for $4.5 billion.
May 8, 1999 The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy raises $135,000 for the Frick Park restoration at its Spring Hat Luncheon.
May 18, 1999 Former long term County Commissioner Tom Forester running as an unendorsed candidate easily wins the Democratic nomination for a seat on the new County Council.
May 18, 1999 Republican James Roddey and Democrat Cyril Wecht win the nominations for the new position of Allegheny County Executive. County Commissioner Mike Dawida and Larry Dunn were both defeated.
May 20, 1999 Mayor Murphy and about a dozen other cyclists begin a five day bicycle journey from Point State Park to Washington, D.C. to promote Rails to Trails.
June 14, 1999 The Pittsburgh Board of Public Education announces that Dr. Helen Faison will serve as Interim Superintendent during the search for a person to fill the position left vacant when Dr. Dale Frederick accepted a position at Arizona. Faison began teaching for the district in 1950 and retired as a deputy superintendent in 1993. The past four years Dr. Faison has served as Dean of Education at Chatham College.
June 18, 1999 A crowd of 3000 attends the groundbreaking for the new $262 million stadium, new home of the Steelers and the University of Pittsburgh Panthers.
June 23, 1999 University of Pittsburgh graduate, John Peterson and his wife make the largest individual gift ever to the university. The gift will be used for the new convocation center which will be called the John M. and Gertrude E. Peterson Events Center.
June 23, 1999 The second International Trails & Greenways Conference sponsored by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is held in Pittsburgh. The conference is expected to attract 1000 participants from 20 countries. According to Rails-to-Trails President, David Burwell, “the city is recreating itself on a foundation of trails and Greenways, making Pittsburgh one of America’s most livable communities.”
June 24, 1999 Jaromir Jagr receives the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player.
June 24, 1999 Mario Lemieux’s plan for Penguin ownership is approved by Federal Bankruptcy Court.
June 30, 1999 May Company purchases the Mellon bank Building on Smithfield Street for use as a Lord and Taylor Department Store.
July 10, 1999 A 3000 pound fiberglass replica of Diplodocus carnegii, named after Andrew Carnegie, is dedicated on the grounds of the Carnegie Museum in honor of the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the dinosaur.
July 11, 1999 The LTV Steel stacks are toppled with dynamite. The demolition clears the site for a riverfront redevelopment.
July 11, 1999 Mayor Murphy announces a blue ribbon Riverlife Task Force, co-chaired by Alcoa Chairman Paul O’Neill and Post-Gazette editor, John G. Craig Jr. The task force will make recommendations regarding future development along Pittsburgh’s riverfronts.
July 12, 1999 LTV Hazelwood Steel Plant demolition begins. The last steel mill in the city of Pittsburgh.
July 21, 1999 Drought emergency declared in fifty-five counties in Pennsylvania.
July 29, 1999 Third highest rainfall in Pittsburgh area. 3.48 inches of rain are recorded at Greater Pittsburgh International Airport.
August 5, 1999 West Penn Hospital and Allegheny General Hospital agree to combine and operate under the name of West Penn Allegheny Health System.
August 20, 1999 Paul Spadafora, a McKees Rocks native, wins the International Boxing Federation lightweight championship by beating Israel Cardona.
August 30, 1999 The Drake Line, part of the South Hills trolley system since 1936 is discontinued.
September, 1999 Palazzo Nudo, a sculpture by Alexander Brodsky is installed at Seventh and Penn.
September 3, 1999 Mario Lemieux headed financial to group formally acquire the Pittsburgh Penguins.
September 8, 1999 Viacom purchases Columbia Broadcasting System, the successor to the Westinghouse Corporation (owner of KDKA).
September 9, 1999 Homestead Waterfront (shopping and entertainment) opens on the former site of United States Steel Homestead Works at a cost of three hundred million dollars.
September 10, 1999 LTV announces the purchase of Copperweld Steel and plans permanent headquarters in Pittsburgh for expanding steel tube business.
September 11, 1999 Westmoreland County Airport renamed the Arnold Palmer Airport.
October 5, 1999 Ted Papp named to succeed Eddie Gilbert as Pittsburgh Public Theatre artistic director.
November 3, 1999 James Roddey (Republican) wins first Allegheny County Executive election. The first County Council is also elected.
November 13, 1999 University of Pittsburgh Panthers play their last football game at Pitt Stadium. They defeated Notre Dame by a score of 37–27.
December 1, 1999 University of Pittsburgh begins demolition of Pitt Stadium.
December 11, 1999 O’Reilly Theater opens in the Pittsburgh Cultural District on Penn Avenue as the new home of the Pittsburgh Public Theatre with the world premiere of August Wilson’s “King Hedley II.”
2000’s January 3, 2000 The first Allegheny County Executive and Allegheny County Council begin terms.
January 11, 2000 Tom Foerster, former County Commissioner and driving force for the new terminal at Pittsburgh International Airport, dies at the age of 71.
January 16, 2000 Pittsburgh Federal Courthouse begins $50 million renovation.
January 30, 2000 Tamara Horowitz, first woman chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, dies.
February 7, 2000 Federal government budgets funds for Monongahela River lock and dam improvements and Saw Mill Run flood control.
February 21, 2000 Floodwaters strike the Monongahela River Valley from Charleroi to Braddock.
February 23, 2000 Wexford native Christina Aguilera wins best new artist at the 42nd Grammy Awards ceremony.
March 1, 2000 In Wilkinsburg, racially motivated shooting spree by Ronald Taylor kills two.
March 7, 2000 PNC Bank Corporation changes its name to PNC Financial Services Group.
March 13, 2000 Pittsburgh native Dan Marino retires from football after a career with Central Catholic High School Vikings, the University of Pittsburgh Panthers and the Miami Dolphins.
April 2, 2000 Green Mountain Energy Company starts to build ten windmills near Somerset, Pa. for use as an electrical energy source.
April 9, 2000 Census shows loss of 222,023 people over the past ten years in the six county Pittsburgh metropolitan area.
April 10, 2000 Tito Capobianco steps down after seventeen years as Artistic Director of the Pittsburgh Opera.
April 11, 2000 City opens Oak Hill, 150 town houses in the Hill District to replace Allequippa Terrace.
April 12, 2000 State begins moving out residents of Western Center, the Canonsburg facility for the mentally retarded, to group ;homes and other institutions in preparation for the centers closing.
April 19, 2000 John W. Thompson is named the Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools.
April 23, 2000 State Game Commission reports the state turkey population is now greater than during Colonial times.
April 28, 2000 Racially motivated killing spree of minorities by Richard Baumhammers results in five deaths in the South Hills area.
May 3, 2000 Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) takes over Reynolds Aluminum Company to become the world’s largest aluminum producer.
May 7, 2000 Jack Robin, considered by many the chief motivator for the Pittsburgh Renaissance, dies.
May 10, 2000 University of Pittsburgh renames the Forbes Quadrangle for former Chancellor Wesley Posvar.
May 17, 2000 Marc USA, Pittsburgh’s largest advertising agency acquires St. George Group, another Pittsburgh agency.
May 26, 2000 Last synagogue in McKeesport, Temple B’nai Israel, closes because of changing population and moves to White Oak.
May 29, 2000 Local racecar owner Chip Ganassi wins the Indianapolis 500 car race with driver Juan Montoya.
June 23, 2000 Former Jones and Laughlin Hot Metal Bridge opens to vehicular traffic connecting South Side and Oakland.
July 7, 2000 U.S. News and World Report rank UPMC fifteenth best hospital in the nation.
July 10, 2000 H. J. Heinz Company introduces green ketchup.
July 25, 2000 Dan Rooney, Pittsburgh Steeler owner, joins his father, Art, in the Football Hall of Fame.
August 16, 2000 Turner Dairy of Penn Hills, Pa. discontinues home delivery. The last dairy to do so.
September 5, 2000 Center for Sports Medicine of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center opens at the combined Steeler and University of Pittsburgh training facility on the South Side.
September 6, 2000 Pittsburgh Roman Catholic Diocese agrees to sell St. Nicholas Church (the first Croatian Roman Catholic Church in the United States) to permit the widening of Route 28.
September 12, 2000 William R. Johnson becomes the fifth chairman in the 131-year history of H. J. Heinz Company.
September 19, 2000 PNC begins to move its headquarters from Tenth and Duquesne Way to First and Grant Streets.
October 1, 2000 Pittsburgh Pirates play last game at Three Rivers Stadium losing to the Chicago Cubs 10–9.
October 26, 2000 Carnegie Science Center plans a 160,000 square foot expansion.
November 1, 2000 Lord and Taylor Department Store opens in the former Mellon National Bank Building on Smithfield Street.
November 13, 2000 Former Penguin Hockey star, Joey Mullen is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
December 1, 2000 Gwen Mellon, co-founder with husband Dr. William L. Mellon, Jr. of the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti, dies.
December 7, 2000 Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission purchases boundary land around Bushy Run Battlefield.
December 8, 2000 Mario Lemieux announces plans to come out of retirement to play hockey.
December 16, 2000 Steelers defeat the Washington Redskins 24–3 at the last football game at Three Rivers Stadium.
December 30, 2000 The Queen of England knights Anthony O’Reilly, former Chief Executive Officer of Heinz.
January 1, 2001 Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Oakland merges with Pittsburgh Garden Place in Shadyside.
January 4, 2001 Allegheny County makes property assessments available online.
January 7, 2001 Kenny Derrett, Schenley High School basketball star who later played in the National Basketball Association, dies of a heart attack at the age of 52.
January 20, 2001 Paul O’Neill, former president of Alcoa, is confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury under the Bush Administration.
February 9, 2001 Herbert Simon, winner of the 1978 Nobel Prize in economics and professor at Carnegie Mellon University, dies at age 84.
February 11, 2001 Three Rivers Stadium is imploded to make room for parking at Heinz Field and PNC Park.
March 9, 2001 Census data indicates Pittsburgh area lost 1.5 % of its residents in the last ten years.
March 28, 2001 Allegheny Trail Alliance begins campaign to promote the expansion of the 204-mile hiking/biking trail known as the Great Allegheny Passage. When complete, it will link Pittsburgh and Washington D.C. March 31: PNC Park opens.
April 1, 2001 U.S. News and World Report lists Carnegie Mellon University as having the nation’s best computer engineering program.
April 4, 2001 Clifford G. Shull, a Pittsburgh native who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1994, dies at age 85.
April 7, 2001 The Pittsburgh Pirates unveil a statue of Willie Stargell outside the left field entrance to the new PNC Park.
April 9, 2001 PNC Park hosts its first official MLB game. Pirates lose to the Cincinnati Reds 8–2.
April 9, 2001 Wilver (Willie) Stargell, Hall of Fame baseball player who led the Pirates to the World Series Championship in 1979, dies of a stroke at age 61.
April 23, 2001 Freedom Corner Memorial is dedicated at Centre Avenue and Crawford Street. This was the site where freedom marches started in Pittsburgh during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.
April 27, 2001 Paul Wilhelm, president of US Steel Group and vice president of USX Corporation, dies at age 59 of cancer.
May 3, 2001 Byrd Brown, local president of the NAACP from 1958 to 1971, mayoral candidate, and civil rights activist, dies at age 71.
May 12, 2001 Singer Perry Como, a Canonsburg native, dies at age 87. His career included fifty top 10 songs, three successful television series and numerous television specials.
June 15, 2001 H. J. Heinz Company secures naming rights to the new football staduim (“Heinz Field”) by paying $57 million over the next twenty years.
June 16, 2001 Fort Pitt Museum in Point State Park opens a new $2.1 million addition.
July 7, 2001 Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center announces an expansion plan for exhibit space and educational programming activities.
July 7, 2001 A fire at the Meadows Race Track kills 28 horses. Delvin Miller, who won 2,442 harness races during his career, built the racetrack.
July 17, 2001 Mellon Financial Corporation sells Mellon Bank to Citizens Bank for $2.1 billion. Citizens is the U.S. banking arm of The Royal Bank of Scotland.
July 21, 2001 Replacing Alfred W. “Burr” Wishart Jr., Dr. William Trueheart is named as the new President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Foundation.
July 27, 2001 Wesley Posvar, Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh from 1967–1991, dies.
August 4, 2001 Lynn Swann, former Pittsburgh Steeler, is inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
August 5, 2001 Bill Mazeroski is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He is most famous for hitting a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of the seventh game of the 1960 World Series to defeat the New York Yankees.
August 18, 2001 A concert by N’Sync is the first official event at Heinz Field.
September 4, 2001 University of Pittsburgh Panthers play their first football game at Heinz Field, beating East Tennessee State 31–0.
September 11, 2001 After learning that two hijacked planes had been flown into the World Trade Center in New York City and another plane had been flown into the Pentagon in Washington, D. C., passengers of hijacked Flight 93 overcome their hijackers and crash the plane in a field in Shanksville, PA.
September 25, 2001 The National Science Foundation awards Carnegie Mellon University grants totaling $24 million to be divided among fourteen research groups.
October 7, 2001 Pittsburgh Steelers play their first football game at Heinz Field, beating the Cincinnati Bengals 16–7.
October 11, 2001 Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Lee Mazur decides to split the archival collection of industrialist Henry Clay Frick. Frick’s business papers and items of local interest will stay in Pittsburgh at the University of Pittsburgh’s Archives Service Center in Point Breeze, while his remaining papers will be housed at the Frick Art Reference Library in New York City.
October 13, 2001 Charles Daugherty is inaugurated as the thirteenth president of Duquesne University.
October 13, 2001 The Rooney family announce plans to develop 25 acres around Heinz Field and PNC Park.
October 22, 2001 Riverlife Task Force unveils plans for a ten-mile park along Pittsburgh’s three rivers.
October 24, 2001 Somerset Wind Farm opens as the largest wind generated electricity facility in the eastern United States.
November 1, 2001 Patti Burns, much loved TV anchor and daughter of television news pioneer Bill Burns, dies at age 49. She shared anchor duties on the noon news with her father in the 1970s.
November 6, 2001 Tom Murphy is re-elected Mayor of Pittsburgh, becoming only the third Pittsburgh mayor elected to three terms.
November 14, 2001 Braddock’s Field Historical Society is awarded a $500,000 challenge grant by USX to restore the area around Braddock’s Defeat and establish a visitor’s center. The work is expected to be completed in time for the 250th anniversary of the battle in 2005.
December 7, 2001 Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh begin a $600 million collaboration called the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse for biotechnology research and development.
December 18, 2001 Mario Lemieux and Lynn Swann participate in the official opening of an outdoor ice skating rink at PPG Plaza.
January 17, 2002 The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine receives funding from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Diseases at the National Institutes of Health to fund studies that target stem cells to treat disease.
January 31, 2002 Lenox closes Mt. Pleasant hand-blown glass factory built in 1970. It was the first glass factory in the United States devoted to hand-blown crystal glass.
February 6, 2002 Jones Brewing Company closes its brewery (built in 1907) and contracts Iron City Brewing Company to produce Stoney’s Beer.
February 12, 2002 Girder collapses at the Pittsburgh Convention Center construction site killing worker Paul Corsi.
February 27, 2002 Chuckles, the Amazon River Dolphin at the Pittsburgh Zoo, dies at age 34.
March 5, 2002 President George W. Bush imposes tariffs of 8 to 39 percent on a range of imported steel products from select countries.
March 19, 2002 Pittsburgh hosts six games in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
March 24, 2002 Shell Oil Company buys Pennzoil and Quaker State Oil for 1.8 billion dollars.
April 1, 2002 Five Pittsburgh companies make Fortune 500: Alcoa at No. 88 with $22.8 billion revenue; H.J. Heinz Co. at 206 with $9.4 billion; PPG Industries at 237 with $8.1 billion; PNC Financial Services Group at 269 with $6.9 billion; and Mellon Financial Corp. at 398 with $4 billion.
April 10, 2002 The Carnegie Museum of Natural History unveils plans for a $37 million renovation of Dinosaur Hall.
April 12, 2002 Part of Mon-Fayette Expressway opens between I-70 and Route 51.
April 16, 2002 Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh presents new logo as part of its first branding campaign in its 107-year history.
May 14, 2002 Founded in Pittsburgh in 1902 by Chester Garfield Fisher, Fisher Scientific celebrates its 100 year anniversary. His company was the first commercial source of equipment and reagents for the laboratories of western Pennsylvania’s booming factories, as America became an industrial nation.
May 31, 2002 A macro stormburst downs trees and damages buildings from West Mifflin to Lawrenceville. The roof of the Whip (a ride at Kennywood) collapses, killing one.
June 20, 2002 President George W. Bush names Lynn Swann, former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
June 24, 2002 Hard Rock CafĂ© Pittsburgh opens in Station Square.
July 1, 2002 Allegheny General Hospital opens its new $30 million cancer center, a five-story 100,000 square foot facility.
July 24, 2002 Nine miners at Quecreek Mine near Shanksville, Somerset County become trapped 240 feet underground.
July 27, 2002 All nine miners are rescued from Quecreek Mine.
August 3, 2002 John Stallworth, former Pittsburgh Steeler, and Jim Kelly, a native of East Brady, Pa., are inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
August 3, 2002 May Department Stores Company closes Kaufmann’s Pittsburgh business headquarters and moves it to Boston.
August 11, 2002 US Airways files a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition.
August 19, 2002 Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to relocate to the former St. Francis Medical Center in Lawrenceville.
September 7, 2002 St. Francis Health System in Lawrenceville closes after 137 years.
September 30, 2002 After five years of renovations, the Fort Pitt Bridge and Tunnel construction project is completed.
October 11, 2002 University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Hillman Cancer Center opens in Shadyside named for the generous donation of Henry L. Hillman and the Hillman Foundation.
October 16, 2002 United States Steel to sell Clairton Works.
October 31, 2002 The Pittsburgh law firm Reed Smith approves a merger with Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May of California, putting it among the 20 largest law firms in the world.
November 17, 2002 A team of western Pennsylvanians began their walk across Antarctica to the South Pole in an awareness and fund-raising effort called “The Ultimate Walk to Cure Diabetes.”
November 18, 2002 Elephant kills handler, Michael Gatti, at the Pittsburgh Zoo.
November 19, 2002 The Buhl Foundation gives the largest single gift in its history ($3 million grant) to the Carnegie Science Center to endow the Science Center’s director position.
November 26, 2002 Pittsburgh selected as site for the nineteenth Senior Olympics in 2005.
December 7, 2002 Paul O’Neill, former head of Alcoa, resigns as and Secretary of the Treasury of the United States.
December 10, 2002 Grok Technology and 3 Rivers Connect launch Grok Secure Net, Pittsburgh’s first secure wireless network in the Oakland area.
December 10, 2002 UPMC South Side Hospital opens new digital operating rooms with learning center for orthopedic surgery.
December 16, 2002 A.J. Palumbo, local philanthropist who donated millions of dollars to Roman Catholic colleges in the area, dies at 96.
December 20, 2002 Heinz Company merges with Del Monte Foods. Heinz now owns 75% of Del Monte and has spun off some of its products to them. Del Monte takes over the North Side plant.
December 23, 2002 FreeMarkets Inc. chairman and CEO Glen Meakem is appointed chairman of the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania board of directors.
January 3, 2003 Alcoa Business Service Center on the North Side is completed.
January 22, 2003 Parent company of the New Pittsburgh Courier acquired by Real Times Inc. of Chicago.
February 9, 2003 Pennsylvania state stores allow Sunday sales of wine and liquor. Sunday sales had been illegal since before prohibition.
February 27, 2003 Fred Rogers, host of the children’s program “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” on the Public Broadcasting System, dies at age 74.
March 6, 2003 Groundbreaking for the University of Pittsburgh Biomedical Tower 3, which will house the Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases.
March 12, 2003 Bayer Corporation debuts its newly remodeled polymer research center “Americas Technical Center” in Robinson Township, one of only three such centers in the world.
April 1, 2003 US Airways receives financing to emerge from bankruptcy.
April 2, 2003 United States Steel buys Sertid, Serbia’s largest steel company.
April 17, 2003 United States Steel acquires bankrupt National Steel for $1.5 billion.
April 23, 2003 Nick Perry, broadcast pioneer and host of “Bowling for Dollars,” dies at age 86. His career ended when he helped rig the Pennsylvania Lottery in 1980.
May 8, 2003 The Historic Isaac Meason Mansion in Fayette County is put up for sale on eBay. There were no bids high enough for the sale.
May 13, 2003 The Heinz Endowments give Saint Vincent College funds for the Fred Rogers Center, a repository for his research and a teacher education facility.
May 19, 2003 Weirton Steel Corporation files for bankruptcy.
August 1, 2003 Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corporation emerges from bankruptcy.
September 17, 2003 University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the University of Pittsburgh open the Center for Biosecurity to prepare for and fight bioterrorism.
September 27, 2003
- 1 Cochran becomes the largest General Motors dealership in the eastern United States.
October 18, 2003 General Nutrition Corporation sold to Apollo Management LP of Los Angeles.
October 21, 2003 United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan visits the University of Pittsburgh.
October 23, 2003 Point Park College becomes Point Park University.
October 25, 2003 Britain’s Prince Andrew visits Pittsburgh and Uniontown.
November 1, 2003 Hepatitis A outbreak infects at least 650 people and kills three. The cause of the outbreak is traced to a supply of green onions at the Chi-Chi’s Restaurant in the Beaver Valley Mall. Chi-Chi’s eventually closes their nationwide chain after filing for bankruptcy.
December 25, 2003 George Zambelli dies at the age of 79. He was the head of Zambelli Fireworks, an internationally recognized company with many awards. His funeral was concluded with a massive fireworks display.
January 3, 2004 Democrat Dan Onorato sworn in as Allegheny County’s second chief executive after defeating Republican incumbent Jim Roddey.
January 10, 2004 Bake-Line Group announces closure of its bakery at the former Nabisco plant site in East Liberty.
January 17, 2004 Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra becomes the first American orchestra to perform at the Vatican; Pope John Paul II is in attendance.
February 6, 2004 Federal budget earmarks mass transit funds for the proposed “North Shore Connector,” a project to construct a light-rail tunnel beneath the Allegheny River connecting Downtown to the North Shore.
March 12, 2004 US Airways reached an agreement with the Air Transportation Stabilization Board to revise the terms of the $1 billion loan that was made to US Airways upon its emergence from Chapter 11 on March 31, 2003.
March 13, 2004 Ebenezer Baptist Church, a presence in the Hill District community for 131 years, is destroyed by fire. Two firefighters die fighting the blaze.
March 27, 2004 Dam at Locks and Dam 2 at Braddock on the Monongahela River is removed by a controlled explosion as part of the renovation of the Monongahela River locks and dams.
March 28, 2004 WQED, the nation’s first educational television channel, marks their 50th anniversary in broadcasting.
April 1, 2004 Ellsworth Brown resigns as president of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, a position he held since 1993.
April 16, 2004 The National Rifle Association (NRA) holds their first annual meeting in Pittsburgh at the new David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
April 25, 2004 The Pittsburgh Steelers select Ben Roethlisberger from Miami University (Ohio) as their number one choice in the NFL football draft.
May 6, 2004 The University Club sells its 81-year-old building in Oakland to the University of Pittsburgh for $3.1 million.
May 14, 2004 The Downtown Lazarus-Macy’s department store closes.
May 24, 2004 Mariss Jansons conducts his last concert as director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
May 29, 2004 Josie Carey, who hosted the television show on WQED that would later become Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, dies at age 73.
June 2, 2004 Global aluminum company ALCOA plans to outsource 130 jobs, including 70 IT positions, to an India-based services provider as part of a move to reduce costs.
June 29, 2004 Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden breaks ground on a major $36.6 million modernization project to upgrade and expand its 110-year-old facility.
July 6, 2004 Democrat Governor Ed Rendell signs bill into law legalizing 61,000 slot-machines in Pennsylvania, more than any other state except Nevada.
July 8, 2004 Local cable television magnate, John Rigas (founder and chairman of Adelphia Communications Corp.), is convicted along with his son Timothy of looting the cable company to line their own pockets.
July 17, 2004 PNC Financial agrees to buy Riggs National of Washington, D.C. for $779 million.
August 11, 2004 Pennsylvania State Archives collects Allegheny City records, an archive containing 3,000 volumes of information spanning the years 1828, when Allegheny City was a fledgling community, until 1907, when it was absorbed by Pittsburgh.
August 14, 2004 City announces it will no longer hold the annual Pittsburgh Marathon because of lack of funds and sponsors.
August 22, 2004 Lauryn Williams, a Rochester, Pa. resident, wins silver medal in the 100-meter sprint at the summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.
August 23, 2004 The 59-year-old Pittsburgh Center for the Arts suspends its operations and lays off 13 staff members due to $1.1 million debt.
August 26, 2004 Carlow College marks 75th anniversary by announcing name change to Carlow University, becoming the first women-centered Catholic school to reach university status in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
September 2, 2004 University of Pittsburgh to offer health benefits to domestic partners of gay and heterosexual employees starting in January 2005.
September 9, 2004 Remains of Hurricane Francis hit Western Pennsylvania, flooding Etna and Zelienople.
September 15, 2004 Carnegie Mellon University receives $20 million from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help fund construction of a new building for the School of Computer Science.
September 17, 2004 Remnants of Hurricane Ivan dump up to nine inches of rain across Western Pennsylvania. Thousands of homes and businesses in Allegheny County and surrounding counties were severely damaged or destroyed.
October 1, 2004 State historical marker placed at the site of the former home of the Pittsburgh Courier in the Hill District in honor of the late legendary reporter Frank E. Bolden.
October 12, 2004 Carnegie Mellon University professor Finn Kydland shares the 2004 Nobel Prize in Economics with Edward C. Prescott, a former CMU professor.
October 22, 2004 Members of the University Club agree to dissolve the 114-year-old club. Founded in 1890 and originally located Downtown, the club was chartered to bring together college graduates who shared an affinity for literature, art and other culture. It later moved to Oakland for closer proximity to the city’s college campuses and into its present building, designed by architect Henry Hornbostel in 1923.
November 6, 2004 Anchor Glass Container Company in Connellsville closes eliminating 340 jobs.
November 13, 2004 Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center opens the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum and the Smithsonian wing of the original building.
November 15, 2004 Sarah Heinz House Boys & Girls Club breaks ground on an $8.7 million expansion project to increase the amount of programming offered and provide a new gymnasium and indoor pool.
November 20, 2004 A court-appointed trustee operating the Glenshaw Glass Company in Shaler orders the 109-year-old bottle maker to cease production.
December 2, 2004 Duquesne University announces plans for $70 million in construction projects, including retail stores, a pharmacy or grocery store, high-rise housing and buildings for academic use, across from the campus on Forbes Avenue.
December 4, 2004 The City of Pittsburgh experiences drop in its S&P bond credit rating from A- to BB, an exceptionally large decline for a debt rating resulting in one of the lowest ratings of any major U.S. city.
December 5, 2004 Pittsburgh Public School board members vote not to rehire John W. Thompson as Superintendent.
December 21, 2004 Mt. Washington Tunnel, the former Wabash Railroad Tunnel, opens to vehicular traffic.
December 23, 2004 Former Miami Dolphins head coach Dave Wannstedt named the new head coach of the University of Pittsburgh football team. After playing offensive tackle at Pittsburgh from 1970–73, Wannstedt began his 30-year coaching career as a graduate assistant with the Panthers in 1975.
January 2, 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Buffalo Bills, 29–24, to end their regular season at 15–1, a team record.
January 9, 2005 The Elizabeth M towboat goes over Montgomery Locks and Dam near Industry killing four crew members trying to save a barge that washed away.
January 13, 2005 Western Penitentiary, the state’s oldest correctional institution, closes after being in operation for 123 years.
February 2, 2005 The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation assumes about $2.3 billion in retirement payments to 51,000 US Airways retirees.
February 23, 2005 Former lightweight-boxing champion Paul Spadafora is sentenced to five years in prison for shooting his fiancĂ©e.
March 1, 2005 Federated Department Stores, Inc., the owner of Macy’s, agrees to acquire May Department Store Company, the parent company of Kaufmann’s and Lord & Taylor, for $17 billion.
March 7, 2005 The University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball team wins the Big East regular season championship.
March 14, 2005 Glenshaw Glass Company of Shaler files Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
March 18, 2005 Seventh Avenue Bridge is renamed the Andy Warhol Bridge. The bridge spans the Allegheny River between Downtown and the North Side where the Andy Warhol Museum is located.
March 25, 2005 The Frick Building, constructed by Henry Clay Frick in 1902, is bought by Rugby Realty Company, Inc. of New Jersey for an undisclosed sum.
April 1, 2005 Phipps Conservatory opens its new environmentally-friendly Welcome Center designed by IKM Architects of Pittsburgh.
April 10, 2005 University of Pittsburgh hosts the 50th anniversary celebration of the Salk polio vaccine.
April 18, 2005 Pete Flaherty, former mayor of Pittsburgh from 1970 to 1977, dies at age 80.
April 19, 2005 Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy receives a $5 million check from Governor Ed Rendell to help transform Schenley Plaza in Oakland from a parking lot into a park.
April 28, 2005 University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and IBM enter into an eight year agreement worth $420 million to upgrade medical technologies and health information systems.
May 3, 2005 Southwest Airlines begins service at Pittsburgh International Airport.
May 13, 2005 PNC Financial Services Group Inc. acquires Riggs National Corp. of Washington, D.C. for $652 million.
May 17, 2005 David M. Hillenbrand is appointed as president of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.
June 3, 2005 Pittsburgh welcomes the 2005 Senior Olympics and hosts more than 10,000 athletes competing in 18 sports during the next two weeks.
June 6, 2005 The 64-story US Steel Tower building is sold at sheriff’s sale for $1.35 million as part of a plan to shift title from 600 Grant Street Associates to 600 GS Prop GP LLC without exchanging money.
June 20, 2005 The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and UPMC Cancer Centers receive a $20 million donation from Henry and Elsie Hillman.
June 21, 2005 H. J. Heinz Company acquires the HP Foods Group, which includes the Lea & Perrins brand Worcestershire sauce, for $855 million.
June 22, 2005 The Byham Theatre hosts the premiere of the Zombie horror film “Land of the Dead.”
July 22, 2005 The Pittsburgh Penguins win the draft lottery and select teenage sensation Sidney Crosby as their first overall pick.
July 24, 2005 Mark Roosevelt, great-grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, is selected by the Pittsburgh Public Schools to be the next superintendent.
July 28, 2005 Kaufmann’s Department Store announces that Federated Department Stores Inc. will convert Kaufmann’s to its Macy’s brand.
August 1, 2005 Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre announces it will replace the musicians of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Orchestra with recorded music for its 2005–2006 season.
August 7, 2005 Dan Marino is inducted into the National Football League Hall of Fame. He played for the Central Catholic Vikings in high school and the University of Pittsburgh Panthers before his professional career.
August 17, 2005 Gateway Center is flooded when a 36-inch water main breaks in Downtown.
August 26, 2005 The 911th Airlift Wing becomes part of a regional homeland security center after surviving a final base closing vote.
September 6, 2005 After leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 55–81 season standing, manager Lloyd McClendon is fired while Pete Mackanin completes the rest of the season as manager.
September 7, 2005 A permanent memorial named Crescent of Embrace is chosen to honor the passengers and crew of Flight 93 which crashed in Shanksville, PA on September 11, 2001.
September 26, 2005 US Airways merges with America West Airlines to become the nation’s largest discount airline.
September 28, 2005 The Rolling Stones perform a sold-out concert at PNC Park.
October 2, 2005 August Wilson, an African-American playwright who won two Pulitzer Prizes and grew up in the Hill District, dies at the age of 60.
October 4, 2005 CMU alumnus John Hall shares the Nobel Prize in physics.
October 11, 2005 Pittsburgh Pirates name Jim Tracy as their next manager.
November 8, 2005 Bob O’Connor is elected mayor of Pittsburgh, replacing Tom Murphy.
November 10, 2005 Harris N. Ferris is hired as the executive director of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.
November 19, 2005 The last original map of Pittsburgh is sold at a Philadelphia auction for $55,000.
November 24, 2005 After falling to the West Virginia Mountaineers, the University of Pittsburgh football team finishes its inaugural season under head coach Dave Wannstedt with a 5–6 record.
December 7, 2005 Faced with a $2.5 million delinquent sewage bill, Pittsburgh Brewing Company files for bankruptcy to keep the city from shutting off its water supply.
December 11, 2005 Michel Thierrien is named the next head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins after the firing of Ed Olczyk.
December 19, 2005 PNC Financial Services Group announces plans to build a 30-story building in Downtown.
January 3, 2006 Bob O’Connor (Democrat) is inaugurated as mayor of the City of Pittsburgh replacing Tom Murphy, who previously served three terms.
January 10, 2006 Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium purchases land in Somerset County for care and breeding of large animals.
February 5, 2006 The Pittsburgh Steelers win Super Bowl XL in Detroit with a score of 21 to 10 over the Seattle Seahawks. This is the fifth Super Bowl win for the Steelers.
February 7, 2006 An estimated crowd of 250,000 celebrate the Steelers win during a parade in Downtown Pittsburgh.
March 17, 2006 K. Leroy Irvis, former Speaker of the House of Pennsylvania, dies. He was the first African-American to serve in this position in any state legislature in the United States.
April 3, 2006 Marshall Goldberg, an All-American at Pitt on the 1936 team that won the Rose Bowl and the 1937 team that won the National Collegiate Championship, dies.
April 9, 2006 The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh — Allegheny Regional branch on the North Side is struck by lightning, forcing the building to permanently close to the public.
April 23, 2006 Pittsburgh’s Ninth Street Bridge spanning the Allegheny River is renamed the Rachel Carson Bridge. Born in Springdale, Carson was a marine biologist and nature writer whose writings are often credited with launching the global environmental movement.
May 17, 2006 The Most Reverand Donald Wuerl, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, is named the archbishop of the Diocese of Washington, D.C.
May 25, 2006 Pittsburgh Public School board approves plan to close 22 schools.
July 5, 2006 A Macquarie-led consortium announces plan to acquire Duquesne Light Holdings for $1.59 billion.
July 11, 2006 Pittsburgh hosts the Major League Baseball All-Star Game for the second time. The American League beat the National League by a score of 3–2.
September 1, 2006 Mayor Bob O’Connor dies at 61 from a rare form of brain cancer only seven months into his term. Luke Ravenstahl, City Council President, is sworn in as new mayor.
September 16, 2006 Five Duquesne University basketball players are shot on campus after a dance in the worst act of random violence to strike a major college sports program.
September 19, 2006 Route 65 in Kilbuck Township is closed after a major landslide resulted from the construction of a Wal-Mart on the site of the former Dixmont State Hospital. The slide also covers the tracks of the Norfolk Southern Railroad.
December 4, 2006 Mellon Financial merges with the Bank of New York.
December 20, 2006 State Gaming Commission awards Pittsburgh casino rights to PITG Gaming for its Majestic Star casino on the North Shore.
January 5, 2007 Bill Cowher resigns as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers after fifteen seasons.
January 22, 2007 Mike Tomlin announced as the new head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers; he is the first African-American to hold this position within the Steelers organization.
January 24, 2007 Viennese Manfred Honeck named as new conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony.
February 5, 2007 A failed expansion joint causes a slab from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to crash onto 10th Street leading to the replacement and repair of fifty other beams.
February 21, 2007 Pittsburgh is chosen for US Airways’ new $25 million flight operations control center, which will employ 600 positions.
February 23, 2007 Former Allegheny County Sheriff Pete DeFazio is sentenced to six months of house arrest for permitting the pressuring of county employees to contribute to his campaign fund.
March 13, 2007 Pittsburgh Penguins agree to remain in Pittsburgh with a 30-year lease and a new $290 million arena built in the Lower Hill.
March 22, 2007 Another rock slide, due to warm and wet weather, closes Route 28 South.
April 9, 2007 University of Pittsburgh Medical Center announces that it will relocate its headquarters from Oakland to the US Steel Tower Downtown.
April 11, 2007 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato were present when building demolition began for new Pittsburgh Penguins arena in the Lower Hill.
April 16, 2007 Two students from Pittsburgh were injured in the massacre on the Virginia Tech campus that killed 32 people.
April 26, 2007 Pittsburgh named the most livable city in the United States by Places Rated Almanac.
May 1, 2007 Allegheny County’s new smoking ban goes into effect with waivers for small venues; the ban is later revoked by an appeals court.
May 15, 2007 University of Pittsburgh announces $1 billion plan to update facilities and build new buildings.
May 30, 2007 Pittsburgh Planning Commission approves master plans for the casino on the North Shore.
June 12, 2007 Five children, home alone and playing with matches, die in house fire in Lincoln-Larimer neighborhood of Pittsburgh; the mother is later charged with manslaughter and endangerment.
June 19, 2007 Dollar Bank in Pittsburgh leads the region in allowing customers to perform bank transactions via text messaging from cell phones.
July 1, 2007 Mellon Bank merges with Bank of New York to become Bank of New York Mellon.
July 18, 2007 The Reverend David A. Zubik, Roman Catholic bishop of Green Bay, Wisconsin and native of Ambridge, is named to head the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
July 26, 2007 Respironics Inc., maker of sleep therapy devices, announces plans to build a $32 million manufacturing plant in Upper Burrell which will employ 575 workers.
August 9, 2007 Trio of storms cause flooding in Millvale, Etna and Sharpsburg.
September 17, 2007 The Diocese of Pittsburgh announces settlement of lawsuits by 32 plaintiffs for sexual assault by priests for $1.25 million.
October 8, 2007 Record high temperature of 87 degrees in Pittsburgh; previous high of 86 degrees in 1916.
October 15, 2007 The merger of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh was cleared by federal regulators preserving the last Catholic hospital in Pittsburgh.
October 22, 2007 Richard K. Mellon Foundation awards Carnegie Mellon University $25 million for bio-sciences programs.
October 31, 2007 As part of a reorganization of the city high schools, plans are announced to close Schenley High School due to asbestos and deteriorating infrastructure.
November 6, 2007 Luke Ravenstahl elected in his own right to finish Bob O’Connors’s term as mayor.
November 13, 2007 Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Twanda Carlisle pleads no contest to charges for taking $43,000 in kickbacks and resigns her seat on council.
November 20, 2007 The 31st Street Bridge reopens after a $27 million, two year renovation.
December 1, 2007 United States Steel commits $1 billion to upgrade the Clairton Coke Works.
December 5, 2007 Allegheny County Council votes to enact a 10% drink tax on poured alcoholic beverages and a $2 per day rental car tax to help finance the Port Authority.
December 11, 2007 Spanish company Parques Reunidos announces plans to purchase Kennywood, Idlewild, Sandcastle and other properties from Kennywood Entertainment of Pittsburgh.
January 1, 2008 Four years after it was closed to save money, the Pittsburgh West End police station reopens.
January 1, 2008 Allegheny County’s 10 percent poured drink tax goes into effect.
January 3, 2008 University of Pittsburgh Medical Center incorporates Mercy Hospital into the system creating UPMC Mercy.
January 5, 2008 In the first round of AFC playoffs, the Steelers lose to Jacksonville, 31–29.
February 4, 2008 Former Pittsburgh City Coucilwoman Twanda Carlisle receives a sentence of one to two years imprisonment for taking kickbacks in excess of $43,000.
February 8, 2008 The deck of the Birmingham Bridge drops eight inches forcing thousands of motorists to take alternate routes while the bridge is closed for repairs.
February 20, 2008 An Allegheny County jury convicts Patrick Stollar, landscaper, of first-degree murder for the strangling and stabbing of Jean Heck, 78, in her Upper St. Clair home in 2003.
February 27, 2008 Beloved Pittsburgh sportscaster, Myron Cope, dies from respiratory failure.
March 12, 2008 The Duquesne Men’s basketball team ends its first winning season since 1993–94.
March 18, 2008 Respironics Inc., a Murrysville-based manufacturer of sleep-therapy and breathing-aid devices, is acquired by Royal Philips Electronics for $4.9 billion.
March 20, 2008 The city county Sports & Exhibition Authority agrees to buy and relocate Beth Hamedrash Hagodol synagogue in the Hill District for $5.5 million as the final step in clearing the area for the Penguin’s new hockey arena.
March 24, 2008 For the first time in its program’s history, the Pitt women’s basketball team advances to the Sweet 16 by besting Baylor.
April 8, 2008 After jurors announced that they were hopelessly deadlocked, a federal judge declares a mistrial in the corruption case against Cyril H. Wecht.
April 9, 2008 A state Ethics Commission investigation into receipt of gifts from an advertising executive who does business with the city results in the resignation of Mayor Ravenstahl’s press secretary, Alecia Sirk, and forces her husband, Pat Ford, to take a paid leave of absence from his position as executive director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
April 23, 2008 Officials report that a Romare Bearden mural located in a Downtown Port Authority subway station that is to be demolished as part of the North Shore expansion is appraised at $15 million.
April 24, 2008 In Somerset Township, a tractor-trailer slams into a van from a Bentleyville group home for mentally disabled adults killing five.
April 26, 2008 The Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust agree to a merger.
May 2, 2008 Dick’s Sporting Goods announces its sponsorship of the 2009 Pittsburgh Marathon.
May 3, 2008 “Life on Mars: The 55th Carnegie International” opens at the Carnegie Museum of Art located in Oakland.
May 10, 2008 Manfred Honeck, the incoming music director for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, makes his first recording with the symphony.
May 18, 2008 The Penguins beat the Philadelphia Flyers and advance to the Stanley Cup final.
May 23, 2008 The $500 million RiverParc project, a plan to build condominiums, townhouses and a four-star hotel along the Allegheny River, has been indefinitely delayed according to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
May 28, 2008 Pittsburgh judge fines two Oakland landlords over $460,000 for years of neglect of building and fire code violations.
June 2, 2008 Army Specialist Ross McGinnis, 19, who died in Iraq when he threw himself onto a grenade, thus saving his comrades, is awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously at a White House ceremony.
June 13, 2008 A statewide smoking ban, prohibiting smoking in 95 percent of Pennsylvania workplaces and public places including restaurants, is signed by Governor Ed Rendell.
June 15, 2008 The Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Oakland opens “T.rex vs. T.rex”, the final phase of its $36 million renovation of the Hall of Dinosaurs .
July 6, 2008 Nate McLouth, Pirates center fielder, is named to the National League All-Star team.
July 10, 2008 The first of two tubes to be bored under the Allegheny River for the Port Authority’s North Shore Connector light-rail project is completed.
July 18, 2008 The Squirrel Hill Theatre and the former Poli’s Restaurant, two neighborhood landmarks, will be demolished to make way for a $50 million project that includesretail stores, condominiums, a hotel and restaurant.
August 14, 2008 State gambling regulators approve the takeover by an investment group led by Neil Bluhm, a Chicago billionaire, of the North Shore casino project to avoid possible foreclosure of the casino site.
September 3, 2008 The so-called East End Rapist, Keith O. Wood of Highland Park, receives an 80 to 160 year prison sentence.
September 11, 2008 The closed St. George Crystal Ltd. Plant in Jeannette is acquired for $2.75 million at a Westmoreland County sheriff’s auction by Pittsburgh businessman, William A. Kelman. Kelman previously rescued L.E. Smith Glass of Mt. Pleasant and the former Glenshaw Glass of Shaler.
September 27, 2008 Manfred Honeck begins his tenure as music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
October 1, 2008 The long time voice of the Pirates, Lanny Frattare, announces his retirement.
October 24, 2008 Due to insubordinate comments following an overtime scandal in his department, Pittsburgh Public Works Director, Guy Costa, is suspended without pay for four days.
October 24, 2008 PNC Financial Services Group announces plans to buy the troubled National City Corporation for $5.6 billion.
November 14, 2008 L.L. Bean, the famous catalog retailer, opens a store at Ross Park Mall.
November 19, 2008 Thirty-three year old FBI Special Agent Samuel Hicks was fatally shot during a drug raid in Indiana Township.
November 25, 2008 The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust takes over the management of the Three Rivers Arts Festival, formerly run by the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.
November 28, 2008 Pitt wins the Backyard Brawl against West Virginia, 19–15.
December 2, 2008 Pittsburgh City Council votes in a bill that would fine all gun owners who do not report lost or stolen weapons within 24 hours.
December 2, 2008 Allegheny County Council votes to reduce the 10 percent poured drink tax to 7 percent.
January 6, 2009 Alcoa, a Pittsburgh based aluminum manufacturer, announced they will have to cut 13,500 jobs locally and globally due to the economy.
January 18, 2009 For the third time in the season, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens, 23–14, to win the AFC Championship.
January 21, 2009 Due to demands of the state Insurance Department, health insurers Highmark, Inc. of Pittsburgh and Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia dismissed their proposed merger.
January 25, 2009 Franco Harris unveils an “Immaculate Reception” statue at the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum.
February 1, 2009 The Steelers claim their record sixth Super Bowl title against the Arizona Cardinals, 27–23.
February 3, 2009 Steelers fans, numbering around 350,000, horde a mile-long parade route welcoming home the Steelers after winning Super Bowl XLIII.
February 16, 2009 The Pitt basketball team wins its first game against a No. 1 ranked program, the University of Connecticut.
February 16, 2009 Stanley Grumberg, age 81, passed away. He was the chairman of J.J. Gumberg Co., a real estate development firm that controlled four of the 25 largest retail centers in the Pittsburgh area.
February 27, 2009 The music director of the River City Brass Band, Denis Colwell, announces his resignation.
March, 2009 For only the second time in 53 years, the Pittsburgh Folk Festival had to be canceled due to financial problems.
March 12, 2009 PPG Industries Inc. stated the company would cut 2,500 jobs globally, including some at the Downtown corporate headquarters.
March 17, 2009 Steelers owner, Dan Rooney, was nominated by President Obama to be the ambassador to Ireland.
March 23, 2009 The NFL names three new partners in the Steelers ownership group: Bruce V. Rauner, chairman of GTCR Golder Rauner; Hall of Famer and former Steelers player John Stallworth, president and CEO of Genesis II; and the Varischetti family.
March 27, 2009 University of Pittsburgh’s Men’s basketball team makes it to the Elite Eight for the first time in history of the 64-team NCAA “March Madness” tournament field.
April 2, 2009 U.S. Steel Corp. indefinitely suspends its $1.1 billion modernization of its Clairton coke plant due to the global recession.
April 2, 2009 Holly Childs is named executive director of Pittsburgh’s Green Building Alliance.
April 4, 2009 Eric G. Kelly, Stephen J. Mayhle and Paul J. Sciullo II, three Pittsburgh police officers, were shot and killed outside a Stanton Heights home by suspect Richard Poplawski, who was waiting for them with an AK-47 and other firearms after his mother made a call to 911.
April 11, 2009 Penguins star, Evgeni Malkin, achieves his first NHL scoring title, ending with 113 points.
April 20, 2009 Construction began on the first of four nuclear power plants being built in China by Westinghouse Electric Co. of Monroeville.
May 2, 2009 UPMC opened the new Children’s Hospital in Lawrenceville. The old Children’s Hospital in Oakland closed that morning.
May 2, 2009 Virgil Cantini, a University of Pittsburgh professor, passed away at the age of 90. He was named one of the “Hundred Leaders of Tomorrow” by Time magazine in 1953.
May 6, 2009 The 110 year-old Davis Avenue Bridge, which connects Bellevue with Brighton Heights, falls onto Wood Run Avenue after explosives separate it from its supports.
May 14, 2009 Chrysler gives 19 Western Pennsylvania automobile dealers their termination notices.
May 15, 2009 Upper St. Clair School District named No. 1 in the PBT Honor Roll by the Business Times.
June 2, 2009 Charges against Dr. Cyril H. Wecht of Squirrel Hill were dropped by federal prosecutors. Wecht was accused of cheating taxpayers and trading unclaimed bodies during his time as the Allegheny County coroner.
June 10, 2009 Pittsburgh named most livable city in the United States and ranked 29th worldwide in a survey by The Economist.
June 11, 2009 Iron City beer reported the 148-year-old brewery was moving from Pittsburgh to a Latrobe brewery that once made Rolling Rock.
June 12, 2009 The Penguins earned their third Stanley Cup, defeating the Detroit Red Wings in seven games.
June 13, 2009 A new, permanent exhibit focusing on robots, called Roboworld, opened at the Carnegie Science Center.
June 15, 2009 After 17 years of waiting, an estimated 375,000 Penguins fans lined up along Grant Street and the Boulevard of the Allies to welcome back the Stanley Cup to Pittsburgh.
June 29, 2009 John Mullarkey of Monroeville receives a mandatory life sentence for the first-degree murder of a Gateway High School cheerleader, Demi Cuccia, on August 15, 2007.
August 2, 2009 Parts of the Eighth Street Market, a 108-year-old building in Braddock, collapsed onto the street after twenty years of decay.
August 4, 2009 George Soudini of Scott opened fire in a Collier LA Fitness center aerobics class, killing three women and wounding nine others. Soudini then killed himself.
August 5, 2009 Shareholders of Tollgrade Communications Inc. elect three directors to a telecommunications company in Harmar after a months-long proxy fight.
August 7, 2009 After 17 years of operation, the Open Stage Theatre closes due to the bad economy and accumulated debt.
August 9, 2009 Rivers Casino opens on the North Shore.
August 14, 2009 Hindered by Internet fraud, federal regulators seize Dwelling House Savings & Loan Association, a 119-year-old institution in the Hill District, and hand it over to PNC Bank.
August 14, 2009 Due to funding problems, the Fort Pitt museum closes indefinitely.
September 7, 2009 The Pittsburgh Pirates become the first North American professional sports program to post a 17th consecutive losing season.
September 17, 2009 Named after the Pulitzer prize-winning playwright born in Pittsburgh, the August Wilson Center opens in the Cultural District.
September 24, 2009 President Obama and other world leaders gathered at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center for the Group of 20 (G-20) economic summit. Nearly 200 people were arrested for protesting.
October 6, 2009 The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh received an Institute of Museum and Library Services National Medal, the highest honor for a library and museum.
October 7, 2009 Pittsburgh named No. 1 in the 16th Annual Best Sports Cities in the United States and Canada by Sporting News.
October 10, 2009 Roger Brockenbrough from Mt. Lebanon wins the 75–79 age group in the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii, grabbing the World Triple Crown in his sport.
November 3, 2009 Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl was re-elected, defeating two independent challengers to win his first full term as mayor.
November 7, 2009 PNC Financial Services takes over National City Bank, converting over 100 branches to PNC branches.
November 7, 2009 Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, Gov. Ed Rendell and other officials partook in the groundbreaking of a memorial to the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 near Shanksville in Somerset County who died on September 11, 2001.
November 12, 2009 John Perzel, former House Speaker, is charged with being the mastermind of a “sophisticated criminal strategy” to spend more than $10 million of taxpayers’ money on political campaigns. Nine other Republicans were charged as well.
November 17, 2009 Kuhn’s Market decides not to go forward with plans to build a government-subsidized grocery store in the Hill District.
November 23, 2009 Baltimore FBI field office is renamed the Sam Hicks Building in honor of Agent Sam Hicks, who was fatally shot while serving a warrant in Indiana Township to Robert Korbe. More than 200 people gathered for the ceremony.
December 2, 2009 Head football coach at the University of Pittsburgh (1982–85), Foge Fazio, passed away at the age of 71.
December 4, 2009 Allegheny County officials agreed to perform a court-ordered assessment on 570,000 properties by 2012 after Common Pleas Judge R. Stanton Wettick issued an order outlining a plan to update property values by 2014.
December 6, 2009 Penn Hills Police officer Michael Crawshaw was killed waiting for back-up outside a home where shots were reported being fired. The shooter killed a man inside the home and then proceeded to riddle Crawshaw’s vehicle with bullets.
December 16, 2009 Fred Honsberger, an iconic Pittsburgh radio newsman and talk show personality known for his outspoken, conservative political views, passed away at the age of 58.
December 19, 2009 Carnegie’s Science Center reopens Sportsworks in a new facility.
2009 - Three PNC Plaza was completed at a cost of $170 million. It is 362 feet high with 23 floors. It is the tallest building constructed during the 2000’s. It is a LEED certified green building, and one of the nation’s largest green buildings. 2010 2010 - Consol Energy Center opens its doors on August 18th with a performance by Paul McCartney. Bakery Square development and Consol Energy Center (arena) opens. December: Stage AE opens Population: 307,484.
2011 January 1: The 2011 Winter Classic is held at Heinz Field. February 6: The Green Bay Packers defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31–25, in Super Bowl XLV. Pittsburgh Power of the Arena Football League is established. September 26: Pittsburgh Civic Arena is demolished. November 14: The Pittsburgh Press is resurrected as an online newspaper by Block Communications. 2012 Wigle Whiskey distillery in business. March 23: North Shore Connector opens. June 22–23: The 2012 NHL Entry Draft is held at the Consol Energy Center. December 27–28: First Three Rivers Classic is played.
2013 - The world’s largest rubber duck comes to Pittsburgh, drawing huge crowds. April 11–13: The 2013 Men’s Frozen Four is held at Consol Energy Center. April 13: Highmark Stadium opens November 5: Pittsburgh mayoral election, 2013 held.
2014 January 6: Bill Peduto becomes mayor, succeeding Luke Ravenstahl. November 17: The Pittsburgh Power of the Arena Football League folds.
2016 - Legendary golfer Arnold Palmer dies. 2016 - Magician Lee Terbosic replicates Harry Houdini’s upside-down straight jacket feat on the 100th anniversary of the event. June 12: The Pittsburgh Penguins win their fourth Stanley Cup.
2017 - Filmmaker George Romero dies. February 25: The 2017 NHL Stadium Series (sport event) is held at Heinz Field. June 11: The Pittsburgh Penguins win their fifth Stanley Cup.
2018 - The deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States takes place at the Tree of Life Synagogue when a gunman kills 11 people and wounds six. 2019 - The Art Institute of Pittsburgh closes down. 2020 2020 -
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