Pittsburgh is certainly an incredible city. We’ve had our fair share of interesting history over the years, from a tornado on Mt. Washington to Super Bowl wins and everything in between. We put together some of the most memorable moments in Pittsburgh history, in no particular order, from around the time most of our readers might remember until closer to present day. Enjoy this trip down memory lane!
1. The Blizzard of ’93
The Blizzard of 1993 that happened on March 13th of that year was not the most snow the region has ever seen. It was the most snow that has ever fallen in one day—a whopping 23.6 inches. CBS took a look back during the blizzard’s 20th anniversary.
2. The tornado on Mt. Washington
An F1 tornado hit the Pittsburgh area and caused lots of damage in the Mt. Washington area of the city. Weather.gov took a look back at the dangerous weather.
3. The crash of USAir Flight 427
A USAir flight crashed in Hopewell Township on Sept. 8, 1994 due to a rudder hardover issue with the plane. All on board died. The New York Times covered the story the day after, describing a devastating and grisly scene.
4. The Immaculate Reception
One of the most famous plays in football history, it occurred in an AFC divisional playoff game and sealed Franco Harris as an iconic part of Pittsburgh history forever.
5. The Greater Pittsburgh Airport opening
In 1944, Allegheny County proposed expanding their military airport with a commercial passenger terminal to relieve some of the traffic from Allegheny County Airport, which opened in 1926. Ground was broken on the new passenger terminal in July of 1946 and opened on May 31, 1952. 20 years later the airport went from Greater Pittsburgh Airport to Greater Pittsburgh International with an international arrivals wing.
6. The Fort Pitt Tunnel opening
The Fort Pitt Tunnel opened on September 1, 1960 with a dedication ceremony. It cost $17 million back then, which averages out to around $141 million today. Now, it’s home to lots of traffic decades later but still incredible views coming into the city.
7. The Pittsburgh Penguins are formed
In 1967, the Pens were formed. Did you know that a contest was held to pick the name of the team and 700 of 26,000 entries picked the Penguins? A lot of it had to do with the fact that they played in the Civic Arena, which was nicknamed the Igloo at the time. Did you also know the logo with the yellow triangle behind the penguin playing hockey symbolizes the Golden Triangle of Pittsburgh?
8. The Pittsburgh Pirates win the 1971 World Series
On Oct. 17, 1971 the Pittsburgh Pirates won the World Series in game 7 versus the Baltimore Orioles. That crazy Baltimore, still causing us trouble to this day!
9. The Pittsburgh Steelers win Super Bowl X
Super Bowl X established the Steelers as the third team to win back-to-back Super Bowls and was just the beginning of the great dynasty of the 1970s. It also established Pittsburgh as the City of Champions.
10. Pamela’s Diner opens
Pamela’s Diner was established in 1979, making for decades of weekend brunches digging into items like their gigantic pancakes
11. The Pittsburgh Marathon and Great Race begin
The Marathon was established on May 5, 1985 and the Great Race eight years previous in 1977. They’ve been delighting Pittsburgh athletes ever since.
12. The Carnegie Science Center opens
The center opened on October 5, 1991. Since then it has become the most visited museum in Pittsburgh.
13. PNC Park and Heinz Field open
2001 was a big year for Pittsburgh. On March 31, PNC Park opened. Later that summer, Heinz Field opened, making for brand-new facilities for both the Steelers and Pirates.
14. The Stanley Cup is awarded in Pittsburgh for the first time
On June 6, the Stanley Cup was first awarded in Pittsburgh on June 6, 2008 at Mellon Arena. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Penguins 4 games to 2 in a bittersweet day—it was exciting to see the cup but the Pens suffered a loss. Later, that would all change of course!
15. Rivers Casino opens
The Rivers Casino opened on August 9, 2009 and includes multiple restaurants, buffets and slot machines—a little taste of Vegas in the ‘burgh.
16. The giant rubber duck comes to town
Many will remember in September 2013 when a 40-foot rubber duck came to “tahn.” The duck was the work of a Dutch artist. It spent three weeks at Point State Park.
17. The day Roberto Clemente died
The Pittsburgh Pirates’ Roberto Clemente passed away on New Year’s Eve 1972 at the age of 38 in a plane crash. He left behind a wife and three children and an incredible legacy.
18. The Gateway Clipper begins operating
The Gateway Clipper Fleet began in 1975 and is now believed to be the largest inland riverboat fleet in the country.
19. The O opens
Essie’s Original Hot Dog Shop, or the O as it is so affectionately nicknamed, opened in 1960 much to the delight of Pittsburgh college students living in Oakland and Pirates fans headed to nearby (at the time) Forbes Field. The restaurant is still in operation today, serving the 4th best hot dogs in America.
20. The U.S. Steel Tower is constructed
On September 30, 1971, the U.S. Steel Tower opened. It made history as the first to use liquid-filled fireproofed columns.
21. The Steelers win Super Bowl XLIII
2009 marked the last Super Bowl the Steelers have won, versus the Arizona Cardinals in a nail-biter, 27-23.