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Times News: Remembering Bethlehem Steel

September 15th, 2020 |

Through Sept. 18, the community is invited to submit photos of family members and friends who worked at Bethlehem Steel Corp. as part of the “Last Cast 25” commemoration taking place this fall at the Bethlehem plant.

Submissions for the “Faces of Steel” display are being accepted digitally through 5 p.m. Sept 18 at www.steelstacks.org/lancast25.

All photo submissions should include the person’s hometown, dates worked at Bethlehem Steel and primary title or role at the company.

Photos should be high-resolution images of at least 4 by 6 inches and 300 DPI in one of the following formats: jpeg, tiff, bitmap, or PDF file.

Each submitted photo will be displayed as part of the virtual “Faces of Steel” photo gallery at www.steelstacks.org/lancast25.

In addition, images will be displayed on the outdoor LED screen at Lehigh Valley Public Media Sept. 26-27 as part of the National Museum of Industrial History’s Steel Weekend and as part of the Last Cast 25 Steelworkers Reunion Party in October on the Air Products Town Square at the ArtsQuest Center.

A reunion party will then be held on Oct. 3 at ArtsQuest Center’s Air Products Town Square.

Taking place from September through November, Last Cast 25 is a series of events designed to honor and remember the rich history of Bethlehem Steel, with last manufactured steel 25 years ago in fall 1995.

Last Cast 25 will feature a series of events and programs that tie arts, music, education and culture to the rich history of the Bethlehem Steel, paying homage to one of the region’s largest employers in the 20th century and the second largest steel manufacturer in the nation.

The Bethlehem plant, which employed more than 30,000 people at its height, was instrumental in manufacturing steel for much of the Manhattan skyline, Madison Square Garden and artillery and ships in the two World Wars.

Partners collaborating on the initiative include Bethlehem Area Public Library, Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites, Lehigh Valley Public Media, the National Museum of Industrial History, Steelworkers’ Archives, Wind Creek Resort and ArtsQuest.

Confirmed Last Cast 25 programs and events so far include:

‘Bethlehem Steel: The People Who Built America’

Sept. 16, 7 p.m.

Lehigh Valley Public Media present the Emmy Award-winning documentary “Bethlehem Steel: The People Who Built America,” which tracks the amazing history of Bethlehem Steel from a booming multinational company to a historic landmark in south Bethlehem.

Meet the workers who helped build America and discover the legacy left behind the corporation.

Includes a panel discussion with former Bethlehem Steel CEO Hank Barnette, former Bethlehem mayor Don Cunningham and the National Museum of Industrial History’s Andria Zaia.

‘The First Cast’

Sept. 26, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Join the National Museum of Industrial History as it unveils its miniature iron melting furnace and holds its first public casting demonstration.

The afternoon-long event will culminate in a molten iron pour around 3 p.m., during which commemorative Last Cast 25th Anniversary medallions will be created.

This once-in-a-lifetime event will take place on the museum’s outdoor plaza and is weather dependent.

‘Faces of Steel’

Starting Sept. 26

Last Cast 25 will honor the men and women who worked at Bethlehem Steel Corp with a photo gallery shared online at steelstacks.org and via the outdoor screens on the SteelStacks campus.

Submitted photos will be displayed on the outdoor LED screen at Lehigh Valley Public Media Sept. 26-27 as part of the National Museum of Industrial History’s Steel Weekend and as part of the Last Cast 25 Steelworkers Reunion Party Oct. 3 at SteelStacks.

Steelworkers Reunion Party

Oct. 3, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Bethlehem Steel’s workers and their family and friends are invited to gather on the Air Products Town Square for a 25th anniversary reunion featuring lunch and the opportunity catch up with old friends – socially distanced of course.

Details will be announced in the coming weeks.

Steelworkers’ Archives Exhibition & Activities

Throughout Fall

The Steelworkers’ Archives is displaying images from its permanent collection including steelworker portraits and images from the Bethlehem plant, as well as offering film viewings, open-air presentations and stories by former steelworkers.

There will also be a printed guide for all visitors that covers the events and exhibition.

Last Cast 25 Community Art Juried Exhibition

Nov. 6 – Jan. 3, 2021

As part of Last Cast 25 and InVision, the Banana Factory Arts Center is hosting a digital exhibition focused on photography and photo-based artwork featuring Bethlehem Steel.

Jurors for this exhibition are National Museum of Industrial History’s Glenn Koehler, former Bethlehem Steel worker and photographer Bruce Ward and ArtsQuest’s Nicole Gencarelli. Works will be juried on artistic and technical merit for inclusion in this digital exhibition.

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