Key Events in Pittsburgh History

Forks of the Ohio

30,000 BC Asians migrate over the Aleutian Strait, becoming the first humans to settle North America

10,000-16,000 BC Native Americans migrate to western Pennsylvania

1,000-2,000 BC Native Americans develop agriculture

Fort Pitt

1755 George Washington establishes Fort Prince George for British

1755 French capture Fort Prince George and build Fort Duquesne

1758 British take over Fort Duquesne and build Fort Pitt. Pittsburgh founded.

1794 Whiskey Rebellion

1795 Treaty of Greeneville turned over to the USA Indian land east of the Ohio-Indiana border

Gateway to the West

1797 James O'Hara and Isaac Craig started first glass production in this region.

1804 First bank established in Pittsburgh.

1809 First steam flour mill west of the Alleghenies began operation.

1811 Steamer New Orleans, built at Pittsburgh, began steam navigation on the Western Rivers.

1812 Christopher Cowan operated the region's first rolling mill. Oliver Evans built a steam engine works.

1814 Allegheny Arsenal began at Lawrenceville.

1816 Pittsburgh became a city.

1818 Smithfield Street Bridge-a covered wooden span-opened as the region's first river bridge.

1829 The Pennsylvania Mainline Canal (Pennsylvania State System) began operations in Pittsburgh and Allegheny.

1834 Entire State System was completed, including a tunnel through Grant's Hill and the portage railway over the Allegheny Mountains.

1845 The Great Fire destroyed Pittsburgh's waterfront and Smithfield Street Bridge. 982 buildings were destroyed leaving about 12,000 people homeless and causing up to $8 million of damage. John Roebling rebuilt the canal aqueduct over the Allegheny as a wire-cable suspension bridge-the first major one in the U.S.

1851 The Ohio & Pennsylvania Railroad, opened between Allegheny and New Brighton, began passenger rail service in the region.

Smoky City

1852 First through rail service from Philadelphia on the Pennsylvania Railroad.

1853 Jones & Laughlin founded.

1855 Central High School opened.

1856 Allegheny Valley Railroad opened.

1859 Clinton and Soho iron furnaces introduced coke-fire smelting to the Pittsburgh area. Horsecar service began.

1862 Ammunition exploded at the Allegheny Arsenal, killing 74, mostly young women.

1868 Pittsburgh annexations between the rivers as far east as Wilkinsburg.

1869 Westinghouse Air-Brake Company founded. H. J. Heinz began food production.

1870 T. Mellon & Sons founded. Monongahela Incline was first to carry passengers.

1872 Many boroughs south of the Monongahela, including Birmingham, annexed by Pittsburgh.

1876 Railroad strike.

Steel City

1875--Edgar Thomson Works opened at Braddock to make Bessemer steel rail.

1877--Pennsylvania Railroad strike and riots.

1878--Duquesne University began.

1882--Second courthouse burned.

1888--Third Courthouse and Jail (present building by H.H. Richardson) completed. First commercial aluminum cast.

1889--Mary Croghan Schenley donated 300 acres for a park.

1890--First Carnegie Library, in Allegheny, opened. Trolleys began operation.

1892--Homestead Steel Strike.

1895--Carnegie Institute completed.

1901--Carnegie sold steel interests to J.P. Morgan, forming U.S. Steel Corporation.

1905--Carnegie Tech opened.

1907--Major flood. Pittsburgh annexed Allegheny.

1908--First water treatment for Pittsburgh water.

1919--Nationwide steel and coal strikes. Local trolley strike.

1920--KDKA introduced scheduled radio broadcasting.

1924--Rodgers Airfield completed.

1928--Liberty Bridge and Tunnel opened.

1929--Canalization of Ohio River celebrated.

1936--St. Patrick's Day Flood.

1937--Cathedral of Learning completed.

1939--Plan foreshadowing traffic components of Pittsburgh Renaissance completed.

1940s--Pennsylvania Turnpike opens

1943--Allegheny Conference on Community Development established.

Renaissance City

1946--David Lawrence and Richard King Mellon kick off the Renaissance

1950--Pittsburgh hits its peak population: 676,806

1950--Gateway Center under construction: first Renaissance building project

1953--Greater Pittsburgh Municipal Airport opens

1954--Work begins on the Penn-Lincoln Parkway

1956--Lower Hill cleared

1961--Civic Arena opened

East Liberty and Allegheny Center redevelopments

1967--Port Authority of Allegheny County begins replacing trolleys with bus routes

1970--Last game at Forbes Field

1970 USX Tower and Three Rivers Stadium last building projects of Renaissance I

1972 Hurricane Agnes flood

1973 Point State Park completed

Late 1970s-early 1980s--Steel furnace shutdowns

1980's Renaissance II

1985--The "T" subway goes into service

High Technology Council founded

J&L site cleared for High Technology Center

1990s Homestead, Duquesne and South Side USSteel works cleared

1992--New Airport Terminal at Pittsburgh International Airport

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