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TIMELINE 1950-1998 |  Civil Rights 1950-1998  |  Education 1950-1998  |  Health 1950-1998  |  War – Korean Conflict 1950-1998  |  War – Vietnam 1950-1998

TIMELINE 1950-1998


Martin Kovach and Phil Murray
Martin Kovach, a Union Leader of Ellwood City United Steelworkers, meets with Phil Murray, head of the Steelworkers Union

1953: Major labor strike at Shenango China


  • Supreme Court outlaws school segregation
  •  First black teacher hired in New Castle School district, John Bush


  • Salk polio vaccine proven effective in preventing polio. Dr. Thomas Francis head of Salk team – local resident
  •  Shenango China commissioned to make plates for Eisenhower White House
Nuclear reactor parts at New Castle Mesta Plant
Part of a nuclear reactor being built at the New Castle Mesta Plant

1956: Mesta moves into vacant United Engineering plant

1957: McConnell’s Mill designated State Park

Fishing at Cascade Park 1950s
Many local angler’s fished Cascade Park Lake after it was restocked in the 1950′s


1961: Lt. Governor Brown house behind New Castle High School torn down to make practice field


  •  President Kennedy Assassinated
  • Kurtz house on corner of Croton and East Washington Streets in New Castle torn down to make a parking lot
American Cyanamid Explosion
Date of Explosion: July 6, 1964
Reprinted with permission of the New Castle News


  • Explosion at American Cyanamid kills 5 


  • Civil Rights March to Selma, Alabama turns deadly, killing local civil rights activist Reverend James Reeb
    Lt. Commander Robert H. Shumaker
    Lt. Commander Robert H. Shumaker (1965) and his North Vietnamese captors
    POW Vietnam
  • Lt. Commander Robert H. Shumaker taken prisoner by North Vietnamese
  • Quality Tools (Old Forge) in New Wilmington is sold to the Dowley Company
  • Mr. and Mrs. Alex Crawford Hoyt donate the home of May Emma Hoyt to the Lawrence Cultural Association.

1967: New Castle native, Raymond Shafer inaugurated as Governor of Pennsylvania


1972: U. S. Steel leaves Ellwood City

1973: War in Vietnam ends. 4500 served; 36 never returned and Lt. Commander Robert Shumaker is released from North Vietnamese prison

Destruction of city block in New Castle 1972
A bird’s eye view of the 1975 destruction of an entire city block to make way for the Washington Center

1975: Lawrence Savings and Trust torn down along with whole block for Washington Center


  • Dam breaks at Cascade Park
  • Johnson Bronze closes

1987: First “Back to the 50’s Weekend” held in downtown New Castle

1991: Shenango China closes

1993: Rockwell International closes

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