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Morning Call: Readers React: Walking Tour of Bethlehem Teacher’s City’s History

May 17th, 2019 |

Written by Chris Lang for The Morning Call

 

Recently I took a walking tour of old Bethlehem, offered by Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites. I really enjoyed it. Our city’s history is much more interesting than most people realize, and even if you’re a lifelong resident of Bethlehem, like myself, you’ll find that the more you learn about its history, the richer and more complex its social, economic, political and religious layers become.

Bethlehem was in many ways a representative microcosm of America during the 18th century, and simultaneously a unique outlier. It faced many challenges that we still face today. How should we best deal with our natural environment? How should we treat our fellow neighbors? What’s the ideal way to educate our children? What role should we play in our country’s broader politics?

Debates you hear today about socialism and capitalism were lived out in full force in early Bethlehem. And hateful rhetoric and fear of the “other” were constantly on display.

I encourage people to take the tour. You will leave with a new perspective on our city, and come to a better understanding of where we’ve come from in the past and where we’re headed in the future.

 

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