JULY 1933: U.S. Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins visited Homestead and Pittsburgh, speaking to hundreds of steelworkers … Perkins was the first woman named to a White House cabinet position and known as “The Architect of the New Deal” and a solid advocate for worker rights.
In April 1947, a debate at the Penn-McKee Hotel in McKeesport was held between two young politicians seeking a bigger piece of the national limelight John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Richard M. Nixon of California.
Kennedy, 30, and Nixon, 34, had just been elected to their first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and both served on the House’s Labor and Edcuation Committee. Their debate topic was the expected impact of the Taft-Hartley Labor Management Relations Act up for a vote in Congress that spring. Republicans supported the legislation for its union-restricting provisions, while Democrats saw the bill as excessively weighted against workers.