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  • Country sinking into economic depression
  • Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act signed into law. Increasing protective tariffs
Carneigie Steel in New Castle PA
Carnegie Steel Mill and Furnaces, New Castle, PA


  • U. S. Steel closes its New Castle plant
  • 20,156 miles of local roads were taken over by the state as a part of Governor Gifford Pinchot’s program, “to get the farmers out of the mud”

1932: Franklin D. Roosevelt elected president of United States 15,000,000 jobless

CCC workers
CCC workers being transported to a work site


  • Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) founded to provide jobs and education for young men and women
  • Works Project Administration founded. Put men and women back to work
  • Prohibition repealed. Union Brewing Company reopens
New Castle Post Office (circa 1934)
A current view of the New Castle Post Office that was built in 1934


  • New United States Post Office opens on the square in New Castle 
  • Penn Power deeds Cascade Park to the city of New Castle


  • Demonstrators arrested during strike at Johnson Bronze for distributing Communist literature
  • Social Security legislation was passed providing old age and survivor insurance
Workers at the “Pants Factory”
Workers at the “Pants Factory”


  • New Castle High School defeats Paul Brown’s Massillon, Ohio, Tigers
  • Sit-down strike at Pants Factory is settled
  • U.S. Steel (big steel) recognizes the labor unions
  • Bloody riots breakout in Youngstown, as the CIO tries to organize little steel


  • WKST, New Castle’s first radio station goes on the air


  • Hitler invades Poland


  • Pennsylvania Turnpike completed from Carlisle to Irwin
First trolly car in Lawrence County
The first trolley car in Lawrence County


Japanese attack Pearl Harbor in Hawaii beginning the United States’ involvement in World War II

Streetcars stop running in New Castle


  • Alcoa moves into old tin mill
  • United Engineering Company built new plant in New Castle


  • Lawrence County experiences a labor shortage as men are called into the armed service. Women join the work force in large numbers


  • G.I. Bill of Rights signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Victory Day WWII in New Castle
WWII Victory Day parade (1945)
Downtown New Castle


  • War in Europe ends in May
  • First atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima Japan. Japan surrenders. World War II ends.
  • Alcoa Plant order closed by Department of Justice immediately after V-J Day
  • When World War II ended, Lawrence County erupted in celebration. These young patriots participate in a Victory Day parade in downtown New Castle in 1945.
Suburban life
Post WWII suburban life in Lawrence County


  • Massive unemployment as men return home. Large scale housing shortage
  • Soldiers returning from the war and their families created a housing boom that brought suburban life to Lawrence County.
  • Suburbs begin to grow as new housing is constructed in the townships
  • College and trade schools double and triple enrollments as service men go back to school under the G.I. Bill of Rights
US Steel shareholders meeting
Labor leader Samuel G. Neff
Seated nearby, United Steelworkers leader Martin Kovach


  • U.S. Steel threatens to leave Ellwood

After The U.S. Steel announced in 1946 that the National Tube Plant in Ellwood City would close, labor leader, and later State Senator, Samuel G. Neff addressed the U.S. Steel shareholders at their annual meeting to urge that the decision be reconsidered. Seated by Neff is United Steelworkers leader Martin Kovach. Note the expressions of boredom and impatience on the faces of the stockholders. The plant did not close until 1974. 


  • United Engineering and Foundry leaves New Castle