Women of Bethlehem Steel: Spotlight on Myrna Rivera by Hannah Provost

Myrna Rivera was born in Puerto Rico, but considers herself a native of Bethlehem, PA. At six months old, her mother and father brought her to Bethlehem, and she spent her entire life and career here. Rivera’s story, and her work at Bethlehem Steel, reveals the nuances of cultural expectations for women during the 1970s, as she was growing up and joining the workforce. Rivera remembers that, in 1972, when she was graduating high school, it was not a time when very many women went to college, and for her, that attitude was particularly entrenched in her family’s culture.

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A Bethlehem Moment: June 22, 1969

Written by: Mary Foltz, Lehigh UniversitySusan Falciani Maldonado, Muhlenberg CollegeKristen Leipert, Muhlenberg College In this moment in Bethlehem history, Le-Hi-Ho, the first organized group for gays in the Lehigh Valley, held its first meeting As the Lehigh Valley concludes the celebration of Pride month and Allentown’s Pride Festival in August, the Lehigh Valley LGBT Community…

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Women of Bethlehem Steel: Spotlight on Judy Hoffert by Hannah Provost

Later in life, Judy Hoffert would learn how dangerous her husband’s job was working the blast furnaces. The one time she was able to visit his work, she recalls the space being freezing cold and very dangerous. During his time at the Steel, there had been an explosion at the blast furnaces that killed two men, though Jeff had not been there at the time. Another time, Jeff had witnessed a man almost killed when he got run over by a truck. As more and more of these incidents happened, Judy says her husband became increasingly reticent, keeping these traumas to himself so that she did not have to worry about him, or ask him to change jobs.

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A Celebration of Latinx Stories at Bethlehem Area Public Library: from 1976-Today

In 1976, Bethlehem Area Public Library’s (BAPL) South Side Branch became an intellectual haven for Bethlehem’s Latinx residents and a “fiesta para todos” would celebrate the library’s new multi-cultural vision and resources available for the Hispanic community. In 2019, through a Mellon Grant from Lehigh Valley Engaged Humanities Consortium and in partnership with Lehigh University‘s…

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Stories of the Women of Bethlehem Steel

The Beyond Steel Archive historical collections contain photos, documents, and interviews of Lehigh Valley residents during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with a specific focus on the steel industry. With its international headquarters located in Bethlehem, PA, Bethlehem Steel  dominated the industrial, economic, and cultural life of the Lehigh Valley during its operation. The goal…

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