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A Pittsburgh Century (cont.)

1919
Jan. 29 -- The Eighteenth Amendment is adopted, prohibiting the manufacture, sale or transportation of "intoxicating liquors." However, the amendment, and its empowering Volstead Act, are only half-heartedly enforced. Legendary federal agent Izzy Einstein reports that in most cities it took only 30 minutes to find alcohol. In Pittsburgh, he says, it took 11.

May 14 -- Henry John Heinz, founder of the H.J. Heinz Co., one of the world’s largest food manufacturing firms, dies of pneumonia at his home at 7009 Penn Ave. He was 75.

Aug. 11 -- Industrialist Andrew Carnegie dies at 84 at his summer home, Shadowbrook, in Lennox, Mass, of pneumonia. At the time of his death, he had given away $350 million of his fortune to various philanthropies, including his beloved Carnegie libraries. A huge sum in its day, it is even more impressive translated into 1999 dollars, where it would be worth $3.7 billion.

Sept. 21 -- A campaign to unionize the steel industry begins in Pittsburgh when the National Committee for Organizing Iron and Steel Workers calls a strike. Nationally, 365,000 steel workers take to the streets, seeking union recognition and reduction of the 12-hour work day. The strike ends four months later without achieving its goals.

Dec. 2 -- Industrialist Henry Clay Frick dies at 69 in his New York residence. His body is brought to Pittsburgh for burial. Frick leaves $20 million to public, educational and charitable institutions in Pittsburgh -- equivalent to $212 million in today’s dollars.

1920
Jan. 11 -- Allegheny County judges wear gowns in court for the first time.

Jan. 15 -- Henry Ford visits the city to place $15 million worth of steel contracts with area mills.

Feb. 28 -- Enrico Caruso, the great Italian tenor, sings at the Syria Mosque.

March 1 -- The U.S. Supreme Court declines to dissolve the United States Steel Corp. as requested by the federal government, which alleges antitrust violations.

April 28 -- John Brashear, the noted astronomer and maker of telescope lenses and other scientific instruments, dies at his South Side home. He was 80.

Aug. 18 -- Women win the right to vote when Tennessee becomes the 36th state to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment.

Nov. 2 -- Allegheny County women appear for the first time at polling places to cast ballots in the general election. KDKA, the first licensed radio station, reports the Harding-Cox presidential election returns as its first scheduled broadcast.

1921
Jan. 2 -- A church service is broadcast from the Calvary Protestant Episcopal Church in East Liberty, the world’s first such broadcast.

May 25 -- Madame Marie Curie, the famed scientist who co-discovered radium, arrives in Pittsburgh for a visit but becomes ill. The next day, still weak, she appears at Memorial Hall to receive her 59th honorary degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Nov. 26 -- Andrew W. and Richard B. Mellon present a 14-acre tract, valued at $2.5 million, from the Henry Clay Frick estate to the University of Pittsburgh for further campus development. The site will house the Cathedral of Learning.

1922
Jan. 9 -- Minnie Penfield becomes the first woman to serve on a jury in Allegheny County.

May 11 -- The first Liberty Tube opens.

Nov. 5 -- Five people die in auto accidents, setting a new record in Allegheny County for vehicular fatalities in one day.

1923
August -- Despite claims by opponents that city construction would be discouraged, the city’s first zoning ordinance, one of the earliest in the United States, takes effect.

Oct. 2 -- The Boulevard of the Allies opens to traffic. The cost, about $1.6 million per mile ($15.3 million in today’s dollars), is said to be the most expensive road construction project in the world.

1924
June -- Rodgers Airfield, the first city-county airport, is completed on a 41-acre tract near Aspinwall.

Nov. 6 -- University of Pittsburgh Chancellor John G. Bowman announces plans for a 52-story Gothic skyscraper to be built at a cost of $10 million. It will be known as the Cathedral of Learning.

1925
July 24 -- John T. Scopes is found guilty of having taught evolution in a Dayton, Tenn., high school and is fined $100 and costs.

Sept. 26 -- Pitt Stadium opens, with the Panthers defeating Washington and Lee, 28-0. Attendance in the 60,000-capacity stadium is 20,000.

Oct. 15 -- The Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Washington Senators, 9-7, to win the seventh and deciding game in the World Series before 42,856 fans at Forbes Field. Business is suspended Downtown and traffic is stopped as fans celebrate the victory.

Nov. 6 -- United States Steel stock jumps 5 1/2 points to 138 per share, the highest stock quotation ever recorded at that time. </B><B>

1926
Jan. 6 -- Marcus Loew announces plans to erect the largest theater in the state, a 4,000-seat edifice at Sixth Street and Penn Avenue. Forty-five years later, the plush Penn Theater would be remade and refurbished as Heinz Hall.

Feb. 3 -- An explosion in a Pittsburgh Terminal Co. mine near Castle Shannon kills 21 men.

June 13 -- The new Seventh Street Bridge opens.

Nov. 27 -- Carnegie Tech’s football team upsets Notre Dame, 19-0, at Forbes Field before 45,000.

1927
April 24 -- The executive board of the Pittsburgh Symphony is arrested after a Sunday concert, on charges of violating the "blue laws" of 1794. They are found guilty and fined $25 each.

June 25 -- Frick Park, 380 acres of land in Squirrel Hill that was willed to the city by Henry Clay Frick, opens to the public.

Aug. 3 -- The city fetes Charles Lindbergh, who on May 21 became the first person to fly alone over the Atlantic Ocean to Europe.

Oct. 13 -- President Coolidge is guest speaker at the Carnegie Institute’s 31st Founders Day exercises at Carnegie Music Hall. In accordance with a promise made to Carnegie Tech students by Institute President Samuel H. Church, Coolidge appears before them. He makes a nine-word "speech" -- "I shall not break Colonel Church’s promise to you."

1928
March 27 -- The Liberty Bridge opens for public use.

July 12 -- The state Superior Court approves Sunday symphony concerts for Pittsburgh but the Sabbath Association announces it intends to demand enforcement of the Blue Laws.

Aug. 8 -- In its East Pittsburgh laboratories, Westinghouse stages what was said to be the world’s first demonstration of "motion pictures broadcast by radio" -- television.

November -- Herbert Hoover, a supporter of Prohibition, is elected president.</B><B>

1929
Jan. 13 -- A $20 million expansion program is announced for United States Steel Corp. subsidiary plants in Duquesne, McKeesport and Braddock.

Feb. 1 -- The Grant Building -- at 37 stories the city’s tallest and topped with an airplane beacon spelling out "Pittsburgh" in Morse Code -- opens for occupancy.

June 25 -- The Pittsburgh Metropolitan District Charter, which would make Pittsburgh the country’s fifth-largest city with a population of more than 1.3 million, goes down to defeat in a vote by Allegheny County residents. City voters favor the bill by an 8-1 margin, but only 47 of the 62 municipalities acquire the two-thirds majority required in each suburb.

Oct. 29 -- The Stock Market crash signals the end of postwar prosperity, causing investors to lose as much money on one day as the U.S. had spent fighting World War I. The Great Depression would grip the nation for most of the next decade.

1930
July 10 -- The Better Traffic Commission recommends a ban on all curb parking Downtown and urges Mayor Charles H. Kline to eliminate the practice of fixing traffic tickets.

Nov. 25 -- The Stanley Theater is filled to capacity for a benefit show for Pittsburgh unemployed and needy families. Among the featured entertainers are leading man Dick Powell, Broadway star Fred Stone and musical film star Phil Baker.

1931
Jan. 16 -- With their funds exhausted, representatives of relief agencies warn that nearly 48,000 Pittsburgh area residents would "begin starving" immediately.

March 17 -- The county commissioners approve the $3 million construction cost of the Homestead High Level Bridge.

July 23 -- Forty-two people are killed and 157 injured in a fire that destroys the Little Sisters of the Poor Home at Penn and South Aiken avenues. </B><B>

1932
March 1 -- Charles Lindbergh Jr. is kidnapped. He is found dead May 12.

Feb. 4 -- Andrew W. Mellon, 76, is appointed ambassador to Great Britain after serving 11 years as Secretary of the Treasury, the richest man ever to hold that post and the architect of the "trickle-down theory," which argued that spending by big business benefits all citizens. President Hoover sends Mellon to England after Mellon comes under fire for contributing to the Depression.

Oct. 19 -- New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Democratic presidential candidate, speaks to 30,000 people at Forbes Field. Three weeks later he is elected.

Nov. 14 -- Free milk is distributed to 50,000 needy and undernourished students in 500 schools in Allegheny County.

1933
March 9 -- Congress convenes in an emergency session that will last 100 days, during which President Roosevelt will sign 15 historic bills, including those that regulate the stock exchanges; complete the rescue of the banking system with deposit insurance; send $500 million to the states for direct relief; create the Civilian Conservation Corps and Tennessee Valley Authority; save a fifth of all homeowners from foreclosure; and refinance farm mortgages.

Sept. 20 -- Modern professional football begins in Pittsburgh when the Pittsburgh Pirates, owned by Arthur J. Rooney, lose to the New York Giants, 23-2, before a crowd of 25,000 at Forbes Field.

Nov. 7 -- William McNair is elected mayor and blue laws are voted out.

Dec. 5 -- Prohibition dies when Utah’s vote for the Twenty-first Amendment provides the required two-thirds majority to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment, the first time an amendment to the Constitution had ever been repealed.

1934
Oct. 13 -- Postmaster James A. Farley dedicates the city’s new $7 million post office-federal building in an outdoor ceremony on Grant Street.

Dec. 28 -- Professor Albert Einstein is one of the lecturers at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He speaks about "the equivalent of mass and energy" in the Carnegie Tech Little Theater.

1935
May 12 -- Andrew Mellon announces a gift of $10 million for construction of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and gives it his private art collection, valued at $40 million.

Aug. 14 -- Congress passes the Social Security Act.

Nov. 5 -- By a margin of 3-1, Allegheny County voters approve Sunday movies. Three weeks later, large crowds fill theaters for the inaugural Sunday films.

Nov. 9 -- The Committee for Industrial Organization -- CIO -- is formed to expand industrial unionism.

1936
March 17 -- What comes to be known as the St. Patrick’s Day Flood begins as rivers rise to 34 feet at the Point and water flows over the city’s low-level streets. The next day, floodwaters crest at 46.4 feet, highest in the city’s history. The flood kills 74, injures more than 300 and leaves 50,000 homeless. It leads to tri-state discussions on flood prevention measures.

June 17 -- The Steel Workers’ Organizing Committee holds its first meeting in the Commonwealth Building, naming Philip Murray, international vice president of the United Mine Workers, as chairman of a planned organizing campaign.

June 27 -- Allegheny General Hospital is dedicated.

August -- Jesse Owens wins four gold medals in the Summer Olympics in Berlin, helping repudiate Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s racial supremacy theories. The University of Pittsburgh’s John Woodruff of Connellsville, another black athlete, wins a gold medal in the 800 meter race at the same Olympics.

1937
March 17 -- Five United States Steel subsidiaries, headed by Benjamin F. Fairless of Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corp., sign the first wage contract with the Steel Workers’ Organizing Committee, establishing a $5 minimum daily wage (about $58 in today’s money), a 40-hour week, paid vacations, seniority rights and grievance procedures.

April 21 -- The Buhl Foundation gives the city $750,000 for a planetarium and popular science institute on the site of the old Allegheny City Hall.

May 6 -- Andrew W. Mellon dedicates the $10 million Mellon Institute at the start of a five-day program in Carnegie Music Hall. The highlight is an announcement of a successful new treatment for pneumonia developed by institute scientists.

May 22 -- Ground is broken for Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corp.’s Irvin works in West Mifflin. Officials estimate it will cost $63 million to build and will employ 4,000 men.

June 7 -- During a week-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of its founding, the University of Pittsburgh opens the 42-story Cathedral of Learning, 10 years after construction began.

1938
May 2 -- Post-Gazette reporter Ray Sprigle is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his expose of Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black’s affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan.

May 12 -- Homeopathic Hospital changes its name to Shadyside Hospital.

Oct. 1 -- The Pittsburgh Housing Authority announces that its first low-cost housing project will be located in the Hill District and be named Bedford Dwellings, the initial step in a $40 million city-county slum-clearance project.

1939
April 17 -- A newly proposed metropolitan plan, which seeks to establish Pittsburgh as the nation’s fifth-largest city with a population of 1.7 million residents, is defeated in Harrisburg when it fails to receive backing from Allegheny County senators, Democrats and Republicans alike.

Sept. 1 -- Germany attacks Poland after signing the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact in August. Two days later, thousands of people attending the Allegheny County Fair join in a peace demonstration, as Great Britain declares war on Germany.

1940
Sept. 14 -- The first peacetime draft is approved.

Oct. 1 -- The original Pennsylvania Turnpike, the nation’s longest toll road, opens. The 160-mile, $70-million "dream highway" between Irwin and Carlisle draws 1,560 motorists on its first day.

Oct. 11 -- President Roosevelt visits the city, inspecting the area’s flood-control program, touring steel mills and armament plants and dedicating the $13.8-million Terrace Village, the country’s second-largest public housing project.

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