The Slow Descent: 1960 - 1980

       The sixties and seventies were a time of change and confusion in Bethlehem.  To most of the city, it seemed as though the golden years brought on by the Steel would never end.  The community still enjoyed financing from the company for public projects, and employment remained high.  Yet those in the Loop were burdened with the knowlegde that the Steel was becoming outdated and had to make drastic changes to maintain profitability.  The American steel oligopoly was threatened by the growing number of minimills and by foreign steel importation.  Even more harmful were the precidents set by earlier decades of Bethlehem Steel employees.  Executives expected large salaries and extensive "perks", and laborers enjoyed high wages and job security protected by the union.  It wouldn't be until the late seventies that Bethlehem would realized how tied they were to a single industry as that industry initiated a series of downsizings.  By that time, the downward economical spiral was too far in affect, and all the town could do was wait to see what the eighties would bring.


 Community relations  Declining Efficiency at the Steel  Minimills and Foreign Competition  "The Last Supper"