A Brief History of McKeesport

history of McKeesport

McKeesport is a city in Allegheny County (and a suburb of Pittsburgh) and located at the confluence of the Monongahela and Youghiogheny Rivers. By population, it is known as Allegheny County’s second-largest city (after the actual city of Pittsburgh). The community was named after John McKee, who founded it. It remained a village until 1830, around the time when coal mining started in the area. The neighborhood was incorporated as a borough in 1842 and a city in 1891. A major employer for McKeesport was the National Tube Works, which created iron pipes. Believe it or not, at one time it employed a whopping 10,000 men. The National Tube closed in the ’80s. McKeesport was also home to the first five-and-dime store in the country too.

Facts about McKeesport

history of McKeesport

Thirteen years before both faced off in Presidential debates, former Presidents Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy faced off as U.S. Representatives for the first of five debates on labor issues. As a celebration of McKeesport’s diverse mix of races and nationalities, the community holds an annual ethnic food festival and celebration that is known as “International Village.” It was started in 1960 and includes food from England, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Croatia, Serbia and more. Notable people from McKeesport include Oscar-nominated actress Aline MacMahon, Miss America 1935 Henrietta Leaver, Bob Carroll, Jr., a TV screenwriter known for his work on I Love Lucy, Herbert Spiegel (the father of hypnosis), Tommy Gale, a NASCAR driver from the ’70s and ’80s and many others.

8 thoughts on “Pittsburgh Suburbs: History of McKeesport”
    1. During it peak years, McKeesport was once an important politically. Their series of debates was an attempt to gain the labor vote in a competitive races, which drew national attention.

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