Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Bethlehem, Pennsylvania'
Start a new discussion about 'Bethlehem, Pennsylvania'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia

Bethlehem is a city in Lehigh
Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
-Climate:Most of the county's climate is considered to fall in the humid continental climate zone. Summers are typically hot and muggy, fall and spring are generally mild, and winter is cold. Precipitation is almost uniformly distributed throughout the year....

 and Northampton Counties
Northampton County, Pennsylvania
As of the 2010 census, the county was 86.3% White, 5.0% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American or Alaskan Native, 2.4% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian, 2.2% were two or more races, and 3.8% were some other race. 10.5% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.As of the census of...

 in the Lehigh Valley
Lehigh Valley
The Lehigh Valley, known officially by the United States Census Bureau as the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ metropolitan area and referred to locally as The Valley and A-B-E, is a metropolitan region consisting of Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, and Carbon counties in eastern Pennsylvania and...

 region of eastern Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 74,982, making it the seventh largest city in Pennsylvania, after Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Allentown is a city located in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is Pennsylvania's third most populous city, after Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and the 215th largest city in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 118,032 and is currently...

, Erie
Erie, Pennsylvania
Erie is a city located in northwestern Pennsylvania in the United States. Named for the lake and the Native American tribe that resided along its southern shore, Erie is the state's fourth-largest city , with a population of 102,000...

, Reading
Reading, Pennsylvania
Reading is a city in southeastern Pennsylvania, USA, and seat of Berks County. Reading is the principal city of the Greater Reading Area and had a population of 88,082 as of the 2010 census, making it the fifth most populated city in the state after Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown and Erie,...

, and Scranton
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Scranton is a city in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania, United States. It is the county seat of Lackawanna County and the largest principal city in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area. Scranton had a population of 76,089 in 2010, according to the U.S...

.

Bethlehem lies in the center of the Lehigh Valley, a region of 731 square miles (1,893 km²) that is home to more than 800,000 people. The Valley embraces a trio of cities (Bethlehem, Allentown
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Allentown is a city located in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is Pennsylvania's third most populous city, after Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and the 215th largest city in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 118,032 and is currently...

 and Easton
Easton, Pennsylvania
Easton is a city in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 26,800 as of the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Northampton County....

) within two counties (Lehigh and Northampton), making it Pennsylvania's third-largest metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

. Smaller than Allentown but larger than Easton, Bethlehem is the Lehigh Valley's second most populous city.

There are three general sections of the city, North Bethlehem, South Bethlehem and West Bethlehem. Each of these sections blossomed at different times in the city's development and each contains areas recognized under the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

. Zip codes that use the address Bethlehem totaled 116,000 in population in the year 2000. These zip codes include Bethlehem Township.

In July 2006, Money
Money (magazine)
Money is published by Time Inc. Its first issue was published in October 1972. Its articles cover the gamut of personal finance topics ranging from investing, saving, retirement and taxes to family finance issues like paying for college, credit, career and home improvement...

magazine placed Bethlehem as number 88 on its "Top 100 Best Places to Live."

History


The areas along the Delaware River and its tributaries in eastern Pennsylvania were long inhabited by indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

 of various cultures. By the time of European contact, these areas were the historic territory of the Algonquian
Algonquian languages
The Algonquian languages also Algonkian) are a subfamily of Native American languages which includes most of the languages in the Algic language family. The name of the Algonquian language family is distinguished from the orthographically similar Algonquin dialect of the Ojibwe language, which is a...

-speaking Lenape Nation, which had two main language families, the Unami and the Munsee. They traded with the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 and then English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 colonists in the mid-Atlantic area.

On Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve refers to the evening or entire day preceding Christmas Day, a widely celebrated festival commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth that takes place on December 25...

 in 1741, David Nitschmann
David Nitschmann der Bischof
David Nitschmann der Bischof was with Johann Leonhard Dober one of the two first missionaries of the Moravian Brethren in the West Indies in 1732, and the first Bishop of the Renewed Unitas Fratrum, the Moravian Church...

 and Count Nicolaus von Zinzendorf, leading a small group of Moravians, founded the mission
Mission (Christian)
Christian missionary activities often involve sending individuals and groups , to foreign countries and to places in their own homeland. This has frequently involved not only evangelization , but also humanitarian work, especially among the poor and disadvantaged...

 community of Bethlehem along the banks of the Monocacy Creek
Monocacy Creek
Monocacy Creek is a tributary of the Lehigh River in Northampton County, Pennsylvania in the United States.One of only 56 limestone streams in the state of Pennsylvania, the creek's headwaters lie in the slate belt, near the borough of Chapman....

 by the Lehigh River
Lehigh River
The Lehigh River, a tributary of the Delaware River, is a river located in eastern Pennsylvania, in the United States. Part of the Lehigh, along with a number of its tributaries, is designated a Pennsylvania Scenic River by the state's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources...

 in the colony of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

. They named the settlement after the town of Bethlehem
Bethlehem
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank of the Jordan River, near Israel and approximately south of Jerusalem, with a population of about 30,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority and a hub of Palestinian culture and tourism...

 in Judea, the birthplace of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

. Originally it was a typical Moravian Settlement Congregation, where the Church owned all the property. Until the 1850s, only members of the Moravian Church were permitted to lease land plots in Bethlehem. The historic Brethren's House, Sisters' House, Widows' House and Gemeinhaus
Gemeinhaus-Lewis David de Schweinitz Residence
Gemeinhaus-Lewis David de Schweinitz Residence, also known as the Moravian Museum, is a house in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Built to house the married couples of the Moravian community as well as the community's place of worship, the Saal, it is the oldest surviving building in Bethlehem, the...

(Congregation House) with the Old Chapel are remnants of this period of communal living.

The Moravians ministered to regional Lenape Native Americans
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 through their mission in the area, as well as further east in the New York colony. In the historic Bethlehem God's Acre
God's Acre
God's Acre is an ancient Germanic designation for a burial ground. In his poem "God's-Acre," Henry Wadsworth Longfellow attributes the term to ancient Saxons.-In Christianity:...

 cemetery, converted Lenape were buried alongside the Moravians.

In 1762, Bethlehem built the first water works in America to pump water for public usage. While George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 and his troops stayed in Valley Forge
Valley Forge
Valley Forge in Pennsylvania was the site of the military camp of the American Continental Army over the winter of 1777–1778 in the American Revolutionary War.-History:...

, his personal effects were stored at the farm of James Burnside in Bethlehem. This is now a historical museum (Burnside Plantation).

The prosperous village was incorporated into a free borough in the County of Northampton in 1845. After the Unity Synod of 1848, Bethlehem became the headquarters of the Northern Province of the Moravian Church in North America.

On March 27, 1900, the Bach Choir of Bethlehem
The Bach Choir of Bethlehem
The Bach Choir of Bethlehem is the oldest Bach choir in America. They have been a choir for over 110 years and are based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA....

 presented the United States debut of German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 Lutheran Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity...

's Mass in B Minor in the city's Central Moravian Church.

Boroughs merge


After the civil war the Borough of South Bethlehem was formed. In 1886 the Borough of West Bethlehem (in Lehigh county) was formed. In 1904, the Boroughs of West Bethlehem (in Lehigh County) and Bethlehem (in Northampton County) were merged. In 1917, the Borough of South Bethlehem and Bethlehem were merged to become the City of Bethlehem. Bethlehem Township, Pennsylvania
Bethlehem Township, Pennsylvania
Bethlehem Township is a township in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, United States. Bethlehem Township is located in the Lehigh Valley region of the state and is a suburb of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania....

 has remained a separate political entity. Even after the merger of the two Boroughs, the bureau initially provided a count for the original sections.
Populations of the Municipalities named Bethlehem
Census All Three
boroughs
South
Bethlehem
Original
Bethlehem
West
Bethlehem
Bethlehem &
West Bethlehem
Bethlehem
Townshp
1850 ----- 1,516 ----- -----
1860 ----- 2,868 ----- -----
1870 3,556 4,512 ----- 2,230
1880 4,925 5,193 ----- 2,282
1890 19,823 10,302 6,762 2,759 9,521 2,397
1900 23,999 13,241 7,293 3,465 10,758 3,090
1910 32,810 19,973 8,365 4,472 12,837 3,414

Christmas star



On December 7, 1937, at a grand ceremony during the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, Mrs. Marion Brown Grace pulled a large switch to turn on the new Christmas street lights and a large wooden star. Mrs. Grace was the daughter of former South Bethlehem burgess, Charles F. Brown, and wife of Eugene Grace, President of Bethlehem Steel
Bethlehem Steel
The Bethlehem Steel Corporation , based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was once the second-largest steel producer in the United States, after Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based U.S. Steel. After a decline in the U.S...

 Corporation. Hundreds of citizens attended the ceremony and thousands more listened to the speeches and musical performances on the radio. This was the first year the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of commerce
A chamber of commerce is a form of business network, e.g., a local organization of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community...

 adopted the nickname "Christmas City, USA".

The Hotel Bethlehem was chosen for the ceremony because it was built near the site of the first building in Bethlehem, a two-room log house, where on Christmas Eve 1741, the original settlers conducted their evening worship. As their benefactor, Count Zinzendorf, observed the farm animals that shared the space and listened to them sing the hymn, "Not Jerusalem, But Lowly Bethlehem", he proclaimed the name of the settlement to be Bethlehem. The people gathered at the 1937 ceremony heard the same words when the Bach Choir sang the old German hymn, "Jesu, Rufe Mich (Jesus, Call Thou Me)", by Adam Drese.
The Bethlehem Globe-Times paid for the large wooden star erected on the top of South Mountain, at a cost of $460. The original star was created with four wooden planks, overlapped to create an eight point star, 60 feet high by 51 feet wide, mounted on two wooden poles, and lit by 150 50-watt light bulbs. The installation of the star was done by Pennsylvania Power and Light
PPL (utility)
PPL, formerly known as PP&L or Pennsylvania Power and Light, is an energy company headquartered in Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA. It currently controls about 19,000 megawatts of electrical generating capacity in the United States, primarily in Pennsylvania and Montana, and delivers electricity to...

 and the Bethlehem Water Department. The star was erected on the top of South Mountain, on property owned by the Water Department, located in Lower Saucon Township.

In 1939, the wooden star was replaced with a star made of Bethlehem steel, at a cost of $5,000. It had eight rays, with the main horizontal ray 81 feet wide and the main vertical ray 53 feet high. In 1967, the current star, 91 feet high, was installed on the old steel frame and set in a concrete base 25 feet wide by 5 feet deep. Plexiglas was installed to protect the 250 50-watt light bulbs. In the summer of 2006, the city repaired the base. A crew of municipal electricians changes the bulbs every two years. Beginning in the mid-1990s, the star was lit from 4:30 p.m. until midnight, every day of the year.

During World War II, from 1941 to 1945, none of the Christmas decorations in Bethlehem were lit. City officials said the lit star made "too good of an air raid target" and "during the global strife it didn't seem right for the lights to be all lit up when our boys were out in the darkness fighting for us." When lit, the star can be seen from as far as Wind Gap, 20 miles (32.2 km) away. The star has become an important symbol for Bethlehem.

Center of United States heavy industry


Bethlehem became a center of heavy industry and trade during the industrial revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

. Bethlehem Steel
Bethlehem Steel
The Bethlehem Steel Corporation , based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was once the second-largest steel producer in the United States, after Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based U.S. Steel. After a decline in the U.S...

, founded in 1857, began producing the first wide-flange structural shapes made in the United States. The company was the first to produce the now-ubiquitous "I-beam" used in construction of steel-framed buildings, including skyscrapers. It manufactured construction materials for numerous New York and other city skyscrapers, as well as major bridges.

The company was a major supplier of armor plate and ordnance products during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, including the manufacture of 1,100 warship
Warship
A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

s. After roughly 140 years of metal production at its Bethlehem plant, Bethlehem Steel ceased operations there in 1995. Overseas competition and declining demand had ended the business.

Geography




According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 19.4 square miles (50.2 km²), of which, 19.3 square miles (50 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square mile (0.517997622 km²) of it (0.88%) is water.

Because large volumes of water were required in the steelmaking process, the city purchased 22,000 acres (89 km²) of land in the Pocono Mountains, where its water is stored in reservoirs.

Climate


Bethlehem's climate falls in the humid continental climate zone. Summers are typically hot and humid, fall and spring are generally mild, and winter is cold. Precipitation is distributed throughout the year, with thunderstorms in the summer, showers in spring and fall, and snow in winter.
The average high temperature varies widely, from 34 °F (1.1 °C) in January to 84.5 °F (29.2 °C) in July. The highest recorded temperature was 105 °F (40.6 °C), while the lowest recorded temperature was -16 °F.

Neighborhoods



Bethlehem is divided into four main areas: Center City, West Side, East Side, and South Side. The West Side is located in Lehigh County, while the other three neighborhoods are located in Northampton county.
  • Center City is bounded by the Monocacy Creek to the west, Hanover
    Hanover Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania
    Hanover Township is a township in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, United States. Hanover Township is located in the Lehigh Valley region of the state.The population of Hanover Township was 10,866 at the 2010 census.-Geography:...

     and Bethlehem townships (both Northampton County
    Northampton County, Pennsylvania
    As of the 2010 census, the county was 86.3% White, 5.0% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American or Alaskan Native, 2.4% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian, 2.2% were two or more races, and 3.8% were some other race. 10.5% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.As of the census of...

    ) to the north, and Stefko Boulevard to the east.
  • The West Side begins at the city's western border with Allentown
    Allentown, Pennsylvania
    Allentown is a city located in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is Pennsylvania's third most populous city, after Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and the 215th largest city in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 118,032 and is currently...

     and continues east to the Monocacy Creek and north to Hanover Township (Lehigh County)
    Hanover Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
    Hanover Township is a township in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. Hanover Township is a suburb of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the state.The township's population was 1,913 at the 2000 census....

    .
    • The Mount Airy Neighborhood is bounded by Pennsylvania Ave to the west, W. Broad St to the north, 2nd Ave to the east and the Lehigh River
      Lehigh River
      The Lehigh River, a tributary of the Delaware River, is a river located in eastern Pennsylvania, in the United States. Part of the Lehigh, along with a number of its tributaries, is designated a Pennsylvania Scenic River by the state's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources...

       to the south.
  • The East Side is bordered to the west by Center City and to the east by Bethlehem Township and Freemansburg
    Freemansburg, Pennsylvania
    Freemansburg is a borough in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, United States. Freemansburg is located in the Lehigh Valley region of the state.The population of Freemansburg was 1,897 at the 2000 census.-Geography:...

    . The East Side includes the Pembroke Village
    Pembroke Village
    Pembroke is a public housing community in northeast Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The area was listed as a national historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.-History:...

     area.
  • The South Side's borders are Fountain Hill to the west, the Lehigh River
    Lehigh River
    The Lehigh River, a tributary of the Delaware River, is a river located in eastern Pennsylvania, in the United States. Part of the Lehigh, along with a number of its tributaries, is designated a Pennsylvania Scenic River by the state's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources...

     to the north, South Mountain
    South Mountain (eastern Pennsylvania)
    South Mountain is a colloquial name applied to features in the mountain range extending south and south west from the Lehigh Valley to the Lebanon Valley regions of Pennsylvania. At times, it also been known as Durham Hills, Reading Hills, and the Lehigh Mountains...

     to the south, and Hellertown to the east.

Neighboring municipalities



Demographics



As of the census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2010, there were 74,982 people residing in the city. There were 31,221 housing units, with 5.9% vacant. The racial makeup of the city was 76.4% White, 6.9% African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.9% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 10.0% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 3.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 24.4% of the population.

As of the census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 71,329 people residing in the city, including 17,094 families and 28,116 households. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 3,704.4 people per square mile (1,429.9/km²). There were 29,631 housing units at an average density of 1,538.8 per square mile (594.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 81.85% White, 3.64% African American, 0.26% Native American, 2.22% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 9.44% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 2.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.23% of the population.
There were 28,116 households out of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.1% were married couples
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.2% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city, the population was spread out with 21.0% under the age of 18, 14.4% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,815, and the median income for a family was $45,354. Males had a median income of $35,190 versus $25,817 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $18,987. About 11.1% of families and 15.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.7% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.

The city is served by Lehigh Valley International Airport
Lehigh Valley International Airport
Lehigh Valley International Airport , formerly Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton International Airport, is a public airport in Hanover Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania....

, which also serves Allentown, Pennsylvania
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Allentown is a city located in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is Pennsylvania's third most populous city, after Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and the 215th largest city in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 118,032 and is currently...

 and the greater Lehigh Valley.

Economy



In December 2006, Las Vegas Sands Corp was awarded a Category 2 Slot Machine License by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is a governmental agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, founded in 2004 as the state licensing and regulatory agency responsible for overseeing slot machines and casino gambling in the state....

. LVSC began work on the site, categorized as both the largest brownfield redevelopment project in the nation and the largest casino development investment made to date in the Commonwealth. Its mission was to create reinvestment and urbanization
Urbanization
Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008....

 in the area. At a projected cost of $743 million, the historic Bethlehem Steel
Bethlehem Steel
The Bethlehem Steel Corporation , based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was once the second-largest steel producer in the United States, after Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based U.S. Steel. After a decline in the U.S...

 plant is being redeveloped as a fully integrated resort
Resort
A resort is a place used for relaxation or recreation, attracting visitors for holidays or vacations. Resorts are places, towns or sometimes commercial establishment operated by a single company....

, to include 3,000 slot machines, over 300 luxury hotel rooms, 9 restaurants, 200000 square feet (18,580.6 m²) of premium retail outlet shopping, and 46000 square feet (4,273.5 m²) of flexible multi-purpose space. In 2007, the casino resort company of Las Vegas Sands
Las Vegas Sands
Las Vegas Sands Corp. is an integrated resort company based in Paradise, Nevada, USA.-History:Founded in 1988, the company was the owner and operator of the Sands Hotel, which was demolished in 1996 to make room for The Venetian, which opened in 1999....

 began the construction of Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. The Sands Casino has been projected to bring in approximately one million dollars in revenue per day as of 2009.

Another major economic anchor to the city is St. Luke's Hospital located in neighboring Fountain Hill . That Hospital and Health Network is the second largest of its type in the Lehigh Valley
Lehigh Valley
The Lehigh Valley, known officially by the United States Census Bureau as the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ metropolitan area and referred to locally as The Valley and A-B-E, is a metropolitan region consisting of Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, and Carbon counties in eastern Pennsylvania and...

.

Shopping



The city has also experienced many new shops opening along Main Street Downtown and along E. Third Street on the South Side. Several years ago, W. Broad Street between N. New Street and Guetter Street was an outdoor pedestrian mall, similar to the former Hamilton Mall in Allentown
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Allentown is a city located in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is Pennsylvania's third most populous city, after Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and the 215th largest city in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 118,032 and is currently...

. Like the Hamilton Mall, the pedestrian mall was torn up and made into W. Broad Street. Adjacent to W. Broad Street is the Bethlehem Plaza Mall, a 90000 square feet (8,361.3 m²) enclosed shopping mall.

Outside of Downtown there are several other shopping centers.
  • Westgate Mall
    Westgate Mall (Bethlehem)
    Westgate Mall is an indoor shopping mall in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It is located in the Lehigh Valley. It is located near US Route 22 on Schoenersville Road.-History:...

     is an enclosed mall with anchors The Bon-Ton
    The Bon-Ton
    The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. is a regional department store company based in York, Pennsylvania, chiefly operating 275 stores, including 11 furniture galleries, in 23 states throughout the northern United States. Stores carrying its namesake nameplate serve the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions of...

     and Weis Markets
    Weis Markets
    Weis Markets, Inc. is a chain of supermarkets based in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, with a presence in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Maryland. In 2011, it operates 162 stores in five states.-History:...

    .
  • Lehigh Center Shopping Center has Marshalls/HomeGoods
    Marshalls
    Marshalls, Inc., is a chain of American department stores owned by TJX Companies. Marshalls has over 750 conventional stores, as well as larger stores named Marshalls Mega Store, covering 42 states and Puerto Rico. Marshalls expanded into Canada in March 2011...

    , Staples, Giant, and Big Lots
    Big Lots
    Big Lots, Inc. is a Fortune 500 retail corporation with annual revenues well over $4 billion.Its department stores focus mainly on selling closeout and overstock merchandise. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio, USA and currently operates over 1,400 stores in 47 states...

    .
  • Martin Court Shopping Center has Lowe's
    Lowe's
    Lowe's Companies, Inc. is a U.S.-based chain of retail home improvement and appliance stores. Founded in 1946 in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, the chain now serves more than 14 million customers a week in its 1,710 stores in the United States and 20 in Canada. Expansion into Canada began in...

     and PriceRite
    PriceRite
    PriceRite, based in Wethersfield, CT, is a chain of limited-assortment supermarkets throughout the U.S. States of Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland and California. There are currently 49 PriceRite stores and the chain is growing fast, opening 6 new stores...

    .
  • Stefko Boulevard Shopping Center has Valley Farm Market, Dollar Tree
    Dollar Tree
    Dollar Tree, Inc. is an American chain of discount variety stores that sells every item for $1.00 or less. A Fortune 500 company, Dollar Tree is headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia and operates 4,010 stores throughout the 48 contiguous U.S. states. Its stores are supported by a nationwide...

    , and Radio Shack
    Radio shack
    Radio shack is a slang term for a room or structure for housing radio equipment.-History:In the early days of radio, equipment was experimental and home-built. The first radio transmitters used a noisy spark to generate radio waves and were often housed in a garage or shed. When radio was first...

    .


In Bethlehem Township
  • Bethlehem Square is a shopping center with Giant, TJMaxx, Wal-Mart
    Wal-Mart
    Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. , branded as Walmart since 2008 and Wal-Mart before then, is an American public multinational corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouse stores. The company is the world's 18th largest public corporation, according to the Forbes Global 2000...

    , The Home Depot
    The Home Depot
    The Home Depot is an American retailer of home improvement and construction products and services.The Home Depot operates 2,248 big-box format stores across the United States , Canada , Mexico and China, with a 12-store chain...

    , and K Mart.

Politics and government



The city government is composed of a mayor
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

 and a seven-person city council. The current mayor of Bethlehem is John B. Callahan
John B. Callahan
John B. Callahan is the mayor of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He was the Democratic nominee in an unsuccessful 2010 bid for United States Representative for Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district.-Early life, education and career:...

, who was elected to his second term in November 2005. His election marks the 10th consecutive year a Democrat has held the city's highest office.

Callahan is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition
Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition
Mayors Against Illegal Guns is a coalition of over 600 mayors who support a number of gun control initiatives that the group calls "commonsense reforms" to fight illegal gun trafficking and gun violence in the United States...

, a bi-partisan group with a stated goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets." The Coalition is co-chaired by Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 Mayor Thomas Menino
Thomas Menino
Thomas Michael "Tom" Menino is the mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, United States and the city's first Italian-American mayor...

 and New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg
Michael Rubens Bloomberg is the current Mayor of New York City. With a net worth of $19.5 billion in 2011, he is also the 12th-richest person in the United States...

.

Federally, Bethlehem is part of Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district
Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district
Pennsylvania's 15th Congressional District is located in eastern Pennsylvania, comprising all of Northampton County, most of Lehigh County, and small parts of Berks and Montgomery Counties...

, represented by Republican Charlie Dent
Charlie Dent
Charles "Charlie" Dent is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2005. He is a member of the Republican Party.The district includes all of Northampton County, most of Lehigh County, and small parts of Berks and Montgomery Counties....

, elected in 2004.

Crime


Bethlehem has a significantly lower crime rate than that of Allentown
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Allentown is a city located in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is Pennsylvania's third most populous city, after Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and the 215th largest city in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 118,032 and is currently...

 and Easton
Easton, Pennsylvania
Easton is a city in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 26,800 as of the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Northampton County....

. In 2008, Bethlehem had an overall crime index of 244.4, while Allentown's crime index was 510.4 and Easton's crime index was 379.2. The United States' average was 320.9. Also, Bethlehem's violent crime rate was more than half of Allentown's rate. Bethlehem's crime is often concentrated in low-income areas, such as the Pembroke Village
Pembroke Village
Pembroke is a public housing community in northeast Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The area was listed as a national historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.-History:...

 neighborhood.

Colleges and universities



Bethlehem is home to three institutes of higher education. Lehigh University
Lehigh University
Lehigh University is a private, co-educational university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the United States. It was established in 1865 by Asa Packer as a four-year technical school, but has grown to include studies in a wide variety of disciplines...

, located on South Mountain on the city's South Side, has 4,800 undergraduates and 2,100 graduate students. The university, which was founded in 1865, was ranked #35 in U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is an American news magazine published from Washington, D.C. Along with Time and Newsweek it was for many years a leading news weekly, focusing more than its counterparts on political, economic, health and education stories...

's 2010 ratings of America's best colleges.

Moravian College
Moravian College
Moravian College a private liberal arts college, and the associated Moravian Theological Seminary are located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States, in the Lehigh Valley region.-History:...

, located in the center city area, is a small, highly respected liberal arts
Liberal arts
The term liberal arts refers to those subjects which in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free citizen to study. Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic were the core liberal arts. In medieval times these subjects were extended to include mathematics, geometry, music and astronomy...

 college
College
A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...

. Founded in 1742 as Bethlehem Female Seminary, Moravian is the sixth oldest college in the nation. Besides undergraduate programs, the college also includes the Moravian Theological Seminary, a graduate school with approximately 100 students from more than a dozen religious denominations.

The International Institute for Restorative Practices
International Institute for Restorative Practices
The International Institute for Restorative Practices Graduate School , based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is dedicated to the advanced education of professionals at the graduate level and to the conduct of research that can develop the growing field of restorative practices -History:The...

 is a graduate school dedicated to the advanced education of professionals and to the conduct of research that can develop the growing field of restorative practices
Restorative practices
Restorative practices is a new field of study that integrates developments from a variety of disciplines and fields—including education, psychology, social work, criminology, sociology, organizational development—in order to build healthy communities, increase social capital, decrease crime and...

 . The IIRP offers two master’s degrees: the Master of Restorative Practices and Education (MRPE) and the Master of Restorative Practices and Youth Counseling (MRPYC). The IIRP also offers an 18-credit Graduate Certificate in Restorative Practices .

Northampton Community College
Northampton Community College
Northampton Community College is a community college in Bethlehem Township, Pennsylvania, USA, just outside the city of Bethlehem. The college, founded in 1967, also has a second campus in Pocono Township in neighboring Monroe County...

 is also located in neighboring Bethlehem Township
Bethlehem Township, Pennsylvania
Bethlehem Township is a township in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, United States. Bethlehem Township is located in the Lehigh Valley region of the state and is a suburb of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania....

.

Primary and secondary education


Bethlehem is home to the Bethlehem Area School District
Bethlehem Area School District
The Bethlehem Area School District covers the City of Bethlehem, the Boroughs of Fountain Hill and Freemansburg and Bethlehem Township and Hanover Township in Lehigh County and Northampton County. The district operates two High Schools, four Middle Schools and sixteen Elementary Schools as well as...

 (BASD), which covers a 40 square miles (103.6 km²) area that includes the city, the boroughs of Fountain Hill and Freemansburg, and Bethlehem and Hanover Townships. The district operates two high schools for grades 9-12: Liberty High School
Liberty High School (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)
For schools with similar names, see Liberty High School.Liberty High School is a public high school located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the United States....

 near center city and Freedom High School
Freedom High School (Pennsylvania)
Freedom High School is a public high school, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, in the United States. Freedom is one of two public high schools in the Bethlehem Area School District. It is located at 3149 Chester Avenue, Bethlehem Township.The total...

 in neighboring Bethlehem Township
Bethlehem Township, Pennsylvania
Bethlehem Township is a township in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, United States. Bethlehem Township is located in the Lehigh Valley region of the state and is a suburb of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania....

.

The district also has four public middle schools for grades 6-8: Broughal Middle School, East Hills Middle School, Nitschmann Middle School
Nitschmann Middle School
Nitschmann Middle School is a public middle school located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is located at 909 W Union Blvd, Bethlehem, PA....

, and Northeast Middle School. In addition, BASD maintains 19 public elementary schools for grades K-5. Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts
Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts
Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts, or LVPA, is a four-year Charter High School located minutes away from historic downtown Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the state....

 (LVPA) is also operated by the district, though it accepts students in grades 9-12 from throughout Northampton and surrounding counties.

Bethlehem has two private high schools: Bethlehem Catholic High School, which serves grades 9-12, and Moravian Academy
Moravian Academy
Moravian Academy, whose headmaster is George King, is a prekindergarten through 12th grade coeducational college preparatory school located in historic Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in the United States...

, which serves all primary and secondary school grades. Notre Dame High School
Notre Dame High School (Easton, Pennsylvania)
Notre Dame High School also known as Notre Dame Green Pond, is a private, Roman Catholic high school near Easton, Pennsylvania, United States, in Bethlehem Township. It is located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown.-Background:...

, located just north of the city, also serves grades 9 through 12.

Bethlehem Catholic, Freedom and Liberty all compete athletically in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley Conference
Lehigh Valley Conference
The Lehigh Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference is an athletic conference consisting of 12 large high schools from Lehigh and Northampton counties in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, in the United States...

.

Media



Bethlehem's daily newspaper, The Globe-Times, ceased publication in 1991. The Morning Call
The Morning Call
The Morning Call is a daily newspaper based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The newspaper is owned by the Tribune Company, whose other publications include the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Baltimore Sun....

, based in Allentown, and The Express-Times
The Express-Times
The Express-Times is a daily newspaper published in Easton, Pennsylvania, with an emphasis on local news. It has won awards in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.-Ownership:...

, based in Easton, are now the city's dominant newspapers. The newspapers used to have offices on Bethlehem's historic Main Street, separated by only a couple of buildings, but the Express-Times has moved several blocks away. Other smaller newspapers include the Bethlehem Press; an award-winning weekly, Pulse Weekly, based in Allentown; Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal, based in Bethlehem; and Lehigh Valley Sports Extra, an all-sports monthly newspaper founded in 2001.

Religious broadcaster WBPH is the only television station licensed in Bethlehem, though WLVT Channel 39
WLVT-TV
WLVT-TV "PBS 39" is a Public Broadcasting Service member Public television station serving the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania in the United States.The station signed on September 7, 1965 as a National Educational Television affiliate...

, a PBS
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

 affiliate, has its operations in the city. WFMZ Channel 69
WFMZ-TV
WFMZ-TV, virtual channel 69 , is a general interest independent television station in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which is part of the Philadelphia DMA. Its studio and transmitter are located on South Mountain in Allentown.-Background:...

, an independent station, is based in neighboring Allentown. Bethlehem is part of the Philadelphia DMA
Media market
A media market, broadcast market, media region, designated market area , Television Market Area , or simply market is a region where the population can receive the same television and radio station offerings, and may also include other types of media including newspapers and Internet content...

 and its cable systems also receive select radio and television broadcasts from New York City.

Bethlehem has two licensed commercial radio stations, variety WGPA
WGPA
WGPA is a Class D daytimer radio station in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA. It is currently owned by a local polka musician, Jolly Joe Timmer, and plays a mixture of local and syndicated talk radio programs, oldies, and polka music.- History :...

 AM, and hard rock
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 WZZO
WZZO
WZZO, popularly known as "95.1 WZZO", is a popular rock radio station located in Whitehall Township, outside of Allentown, in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, in the United States.WZZO broadcasts locally at 95.1 MHz FM...

 FM (though the latter's facilities are in Whitehall Township
Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania
Whitehall Township is a township in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is a suburb of Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the state.The population of Whitehall Township was 24,896 at the 2000 census.-Geography:...

). There is also one non-commercial station, WLVR FM, operated by Lehigh University. In addition, public radio
Public broadcasting
Public broadcasting includes radio, television and other electronic media outlets whose primary mission is public service. Public broadcasters receive funding from diverse sources including license fees, individual contributions, public financing and commercial financing.Public broadcasting may be...

 station WDIY
WDIY
-External links:*...

 FM, while licensed in Allentown, maintains its facilities in Bethlehem. There are numerous other stations broadcast from Allentown and Easton representing a variety of commercial formats, as well as several translators of public stations from Philadelphia and New Jersey.

Sports

Club League Venue Established Championships
Lehigh Valley Steelhawks
Lehigh Valley Steelhawks
The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks are a professional indoor football team set to begin play in the Indoor Football League for the 2011 season. Based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the Steelhawks will play their home games at Stabler Arena....

IFL
Indoor Football League
The Indoor Football League began in 1999 as an offshoot of the troubled Professional Indoor Football League. Keary Ecklund, the owner of the Green Bay Bombers and Madison Mad Dogs, left the PIFL after its first, financially-troubled, season to start his own league. Unlike the PIFL, the IFL was an...

, Indoor football
Stabler Arena
Stabler Arena
Stabler Arena is Lehigh University's 6,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, located on its Goodman Campus in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, in the United States...

2011 0

Philadelphia Eagles, Lehigh Valley Storm, and Lehigh Valley Steelhawks


The Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles are a professional American football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are members of the East Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 of the National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

 hold their pre-season training camp each summer at the football facilities of Bethlehem's Lehigh University
Lehigh University
Lehigh University is a private, co-educational university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the United States. It was established in 1865 by Asa Packer as a four-year technical school, but has grown to include studies in a wide variety of disciplines...

. The Eagles camp in Bethlehem is among the most highly-attended training camps in the entire NFL, drawing thousands of fans to each practice. During training camp, Eagles' practices typically are held twice daily (at 8:45 am and 2:45 pm) and are usually open to the public. An estimated 10,000 fans attended Eagles practice daily, the highest of any NFL team's training camp, in the summer of 2006.

A semi-professional football team, the Lehigh Valley Storm, is also based in the city. Bethlehem is also home to the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks
Lehigh Valley Steelhawks
The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks are a professional indoor football team set to begin play in the Indoor Football League for the 2011 season. Based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the Steelhawks will play their home games at Stabler Arena....

, an Indoor Football League
Indoor Football League
The Indoor Football League began in 1999 as an offshoot of the troubled Professional Indoor Football League. Keary Ecklund, the owner of the Green Bay Bombers and Madison Mad Dogs, left the PIFL after its first, financially-troubled, season to start his own league. Unlike the PIFL, the IFL was an...

 team who began playing their home games at Stabler Arena
Stabler Arena
Stabler Arena is Lehigh University's 6,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, located on its Goodman Campus in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, in the United States...

 in Bethlehem in 2011.

Stabler Arena


Bethlehem also is home to Lehigh University's Stabler Arena
Stabler Arena
Stabler Arena is Lehigh University's 6,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, located on its Goodman Campus in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, in the United States...

, which hosts numerous athletic and music events. Stabler is home to the Indoor Football League's
Indoor Football League
The Indoor Football League began in 1999 as an offshoot of the troubled Professional Indoor Football League. Keary Ecklund, the owner of the Green Bay Bombers and Madison Mad Dogs, left the PIFL after its first, financially-troubled, season to start his own league. Unlike the PIFL, the IFL was an...

 Lehigh Valley Steelhawks
Lehigh Valley Steelhawks
The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks are a professional indoor football team set to begin play in the Indoor Football League for the 2011 season. Based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the Steelhawks will play their home games at Stabler Arena....

 and to Lehigh University
Lehigh University
Lehigh University is a private, co-educational university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the United States. It was established in 1865 by Asa Packer as a four-year technical school, but has grown to include studies in a wide variety of disciplines...

 collegiate basketball.

High school athletics


Bethlehem-area high schools, including Bethlehem Catholic High School, Freedom High School and Liberty High School, compete athletically in the Lehigh Valley Conference
Lehigh Valley Conference
The Lehigh Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference is an athletic conference consisting of 12 large high schools from Lehigh and Northampton counties in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, in the United States...

.
The Liberty High School football team won the 2008 PIAA 4A state championship in Hershey, PA

Other


In the early part of the 20th century, Bethlehem was a hotbed of American soccer, with the corporate Bethlehem Steel
Bethlehem Steel
The Bethlehem Steel Corporation , based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was once the second-largest steel producer in the United States, after Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based U.S. Steel. After a decline in the U.S...

 team, named Bethlehem Steel F.C.
Bethlehem Steel F.C.
Bethlehem Steel Football Club was one of the most successful early American soccer clubs. Known as the Bethlehem Football Club from 1911 until 1915 when it became the Bethlehem Steel Football Club, the team was sponsored by the Bethlehem Steel corporation and played their home games first at East...

 after the company, winning the 1918-19 championship in the National Association Football League (NAFL), and then winning what amounted to national championships three more times during the next decade (1920-21 in the NAFL; 1926-27 in the American Soccer League I; and in 1928-29 winning the EPSL II). The Bethlehem Steel sides consisted largely of British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 imported players and also had the distinction of being the first American professional soccer team to play in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, which it did during its tour of Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 in 1919. The team also won the U.S. Open Cup, now called the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is a knockout tournament in American soccer. The tournament is the oldest ongoing American soccer competition and is presently open to all United States Soccer Federation affiliated teams, from amateur adult club teams to the professional clubs of Major League...

 after billionaire sports franchise owner Lamar Hunt
Lamar Hunt
Lamar Hunt was an American sportsman and promoter of American football, soccer, basketball, and ice hockey in the United States and an inductee into three sports' halls of fame. He was one of the founders of the American Football League and Major League Soccer , as well as MLS predecessor the...

, five times beginning in 1915, and for the last time in 1926.

The Lehigh Valley RFC rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 team play their matches in Bethlehem at Monocacy Park.

Recreation and entertainment


The city is famous for its annual Musikfest
Musikfest
Musikfest is a music festival that has been held each August in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA since 1984. The festival begins on the first Friday in August and ends on Sunday ten days later....

, a largely free, ten-day music festival that draws over a million people to the city each August. Other festivals include The Celtic Classic, which celebrates Celtic culture, food and music, and the SouthSide Film Festival
SouthSide Film Festival
The SouthSide Film Festival is an annual non-competitive, not-for-profit film festival that takes place each June in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA. The first festival took place in 2004....

, a non-competitive, not-for-profit film festival. The city has also been the past, and current host of the North East Art Rock Festival, or NEARFest
NEARfest
The North East Art Rock Festival, or NEARfest for short, is a multi-day event celebrating the resurgence of progressive and eclectic music in the United States and around the world. The event is held annually in early summer in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, approximately one hour north of Philadelphia...

, a popular 3-day Progressive rock
Progressive rock
Progressive rock is a subgenre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of a "mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility." John Covach, in Contemporary Music Review, says that many thought it would not just "succeed the pop of...

 music event.

The Bethlehem Area Public Library is a popular destination for recreation and entertainment. The Banana Factory houses studios of area artists and is open to the public every first Friday of the month. Touchstone Theatre, also on the SouthSide, houses the Valley's only professional resident theatre company, producing and presenting original theatre performances.

Historic Bethlehem features many specialized boutiques, spas and nightclubs along its main streets.

On the first Friday of the month, the businesses of the Southside Shopping District hosts First Friday, a celebration of arts and culture. Stores, restaurants and art galleries stay open late and offer special discounts, refreshments, gallery openings and more.

Lehigh University's Zoellner Arts Center
Zoellner Arts Center
Zoellner Arts Center is an arts center located on the campus of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It opened in 1997, and houses the following facilities:...

 offers a variety of musical and dramatic events through the year.

The city is the location of Pennsylvania's largest casino, the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, located on the former Bethlehem Steel property.

The Lehigh Canal
Lehigh Canal
The Lehigh Canal was constructed by the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company to carry anthracite from the upper Lehigh Valley to the urban markets of the northeast, especially Philadelphia...

 provides hiking and biking opportunities along the canal towpath
Towpath
A towpath is a road or trail on the bank of a river, canal, or other inland waterway. The purpose of a towpath is to allow a land vehicle, beasts of burden, or a team of human pullers to tow a boat, often a barge...

 which follows the Lehigh River
Lehigh River
The Lehigh River, a tributary of the Delaware River, is a river located in eastern Pennsylvania, in the United States. Part of the Lehigh, along with a number of its tributaries, is designated a Pennsylvania Scenic River by the state's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources...

 in Bethlehem.

The western part of the former Bethlehem Steel site was selected as a filming location for the movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a 2009 American science fiction-action film directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is the sequel to the 2007 film Transformers and the second installment in the live-action Transformers series...

, which was released in 2009. In the film, the Steel's blast furnaces and surrounding area are used for the opening sequence of the film to represent Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

.

City parks


Bethlehem owns 39 park sites, encompassing 568 acres (2.3 km²). Among the city's parks are Buchannan Park, Elmwood Park, Illick's Mill Park, Johnston Park, Monocacy Park, Rockland Park, Rose Garden, Sand Island, Saucon Park, Sell Field, South Mountain Park, Triangle Park, West Side Park, and Yosko Park.

Notable people


  • Jeff Andretti
    Jeff Andretti
    Jeff Andretti is an American race car driver. He competed in CART, and was the series' Rookie of the Year in 1991.-Racing career:...

    , is an American race car driver.
  • John Andretti
    John Andretti
    John Andretti is an American race car driver. He has won in CART, IMSA GTP, Rolex Sports Car Series and NASCAR. He was the last NASCAR driver to win a Cup race for the famous Petty Enterprises team.-Andretti family:...

    , professional race car driver, raced in NASCAR
    NASCAR
    The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is a family-owned and -operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events. It was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1947–48. As of 2009, the CEO for the company is Brian France, grandson of the late Bill France Sr...

    , and currently races in the IndyCar Series
    IndyCar Series
    The IZOD IndyCar Series is the premier level of American open wheel racing. The current championship, founded by Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony George, began in 1996 as a competitor to CART known as the Indy Racing League . Citing CART's increasing reliance on expensive machinery and...

    .
  • Michael Andretti
    Michael Andretti
    Michael Mario Andretti is a retired American CART and Formula One driver and owner of the Andretti Autosport team in the IndyCar Series. Andretti is the son of Mario Andretti. His son is Marco Andretti.-Early career:...

    , professional racing team owner, former professional race car driver.
  • David A. Bader
    David A. Bader
    David A. Bader is a Professor and Executive Director of High-Performance Computing in the Georgia Tech College of Computing. In addition, Bader was selected as the director of the first Sony Toshiba IBM Center of Competence for the Cell Processor at the Georgia Institute of Technology...

    , Georgia Tech
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    The Georgia Institute of Technology is a public research university in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States...

     professor.
  • Chuck Bednarik
    Chuck Bednarik
    Charles Philip Bednarik is a former professional American football player, known as one of the most devastating tacklers in the history of football and the last two-way player in the National Football League...

    , former professional football player, Philadelphia Eagles
    Philadelphia Eagles
    The Philadelphia Eagles are a professional American football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are members of the East Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

    , Pro Football Hall of Fame
    Pro Football Hall of Fame
    The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame of professional football in the United States with an emphasis on the National Football League . It opened in Canton, Ohio, on September 7, 1963, with 17 charter inductees...

     member.
  • Michael Behe
    Michael Behe
    Michael J. Behe is an American biochemist, author, and intelligent design advocate. He currently serves as professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and as a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture...

    , biochemist
    Biochemist
    Biochemists are scientists who are trained in biochemistry. Typical biochemists study chemical processes and chemical transformations in living organisms. The prefix of "bio" in "biochemist" can be understood as a fusion of "biological chemist."-Role:...

     at Lehigh University
    Lehigh University
    Lehigh University is a private, co-educational university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the United States. It was established in 1865 by Asa Packer as a four-year technical school, but has grown to include studies in a wide variety of disciplines...

    , advocate of intelligent design
    Intelligent design
    Intelligent design is the proposition that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." It is a form of creationism and a contemporary adaptation of the traditional teleological argument for...

    .
  • Stephen Vincent Benét
    Stephen Vincent Benét
    Stephen Vincent Benét was an American author, poet, short story writer, and novelist. Benét is best known for his book-length narrative poem of the American Civil War, John Brown's Body , for which he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1929, and for two short stories, "The Devil and Daniel Webster" and "By...

    , American writer.
  • Pete Carril
    Pete Carril
    Peter J. "Pete" Carril is a former collegiate head coach and former NBA assistant with the Sacramento Kings.-Early years:...

    , former professional and collegiate basketball coach.
  • Alexandra Chando
    Alexandra Chando
    Alexandra Chando is an American actress. She is best known for playing the role of Maddie Coleman on the daytime soap opera As the World Turns, which she began in 2005, and currently stars in 2011 in the ABC Family original series The Lying Game along with a few other popular stars such as Blair...

    , actress, As The World Turns
    As the World Turns
    As the World Turns is an American television soap opera that aired on CBS from April 2, 1956 to September 17, 2010. Irna Phillips created As the World Turns as a sister show to her other soap opera Guiding Light...

    .
  • H.D.
    H.D.
    H.D. was an American poet, novelist and memoirist known for her association with the early 20th century avant-garde Imagist group of poets such as Ezra Pound and Richard Aldington...

    , writer, poet.
  • Russell Davenport
    Russell Davenport
    Russell Wheeler Davenport was an American publisher and writer.Davenport was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the son of Russell W. Davenport, Sr., a vice president of Bethlehem Steel, and Cornelia Whipple Farnum....

    , publisher and writer.
  • Jimmy DeGrasso
    Jimmy DeGrasso
    Jimmy DeGrasso is an American heavy metal drummer. He is currently the drummer for F5.DeGrasso was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and graduated from Liberty High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1981....

    , drummer, Alice Cooper band
    Alice Cooper
    Alice Cooper is an American rock singer, songwriter and musician whose career spans more than four decades...

    , former drummer, Megadeth
    Megadeth
    Megadeth is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California which was formed in 1983 by guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine, bassist Dave Ellefson and guitarist Greg Handevidt, following Mustaine's expulsion from Metallica. The band has since released 13 studio albums, three live albums, two...

    .
  • Richard Diehl
    Richard Diehl
    Richard A. Diehl is an American archaeologist, anthropologist and academic, noted as a scholar of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures...

    , archaeologist, academic and Mesoamericanist scholar.
  • Edwin Drake
    Edwin Drake
    Edwin Laurentine Drake , also known as Colonel Drake, was an American oil driller, popularly credited with being the first to drill for oil in the United States.-Early life:...

    , oil driller.
  • Jonathan Frakes
    Jonathan Frakes
    Jonathan Scott Frakes is an American actor, author and director best known for his role as Commander William T. Riker in the Star Trek franchise, as well as for his tenure as host of Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction ....

    , director and actor, Star Trek: The Next Generation
    Star Trek: The Next Generation
    Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry as part of the Star Trek franchise. Roddenberry, Rick Berman, and Michael Piller served as executive producers at different times throughout the production...

    .
  • John Gorka
    John Gorka
    John Gorka is a contemporary American folk musician. In 1991, Rolling Stone magazine called him "the preeminent male singer-songwriter of what has been dubbed the New Folk Movement."-Biography:...

    , singer-songwriter
    Singer-songwriter
    Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose and sing their own musical material including lyrics and melodies. As opposed to contemporary popular music singers who write their own songs, the term singer-songwriter describes a distinct form of artistry, closely associated with the...

    .
  • Eugene Grace
    Eugene Grace
    Eugene Gifford Grace was the president of Bethlehem Steel Corporation from 1916 to 1945, and chairman of the board from 1945 until his retirement in 1957...

    , industrialist, President of Bethlehem Steel
    Bethlehem Steel
    The Bethlehem Steel Corporation , based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was once the second-largest steel producer in the United States, after Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based U.S. Steel. After a decline in the U.S...

    , 1916-1945.
  • Mel Harris
    Mel Harris
    Mel Harris is an American actress.-Personal life:Harris was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the daughter to Mary Michael "Mike", a high school science teacher, and Warren Harris, a university football coach...

    , actress, ABC
    American Broadcasting Company
    The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

    's thirtysomething.
  • George Hrab
    George Hrab
    George Joseph Hrab is a drummer, guitarist, composer and podcaster known for performing rock, funk and jazz and for exploring atheist, skeptic and science themes in his work. He has released six albums as a solo artist.-Musical career:Hrab performs in several genres of music, but most often in...

    , musician.
  • Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, professional wrestler and actor.
  • Steve Kimock
    Steve Kimock
    -External links:** at the Internet Archive's live music archive* at the Internet Archive's live music archive* at Internet Archive's live music archive*, San Francisco, April 3, 1999*, Unofficial Fan Forum...

    , freeform rock guitarist.
  • Gelsey Kirkland
    Gelsey Kirkland
    Gelsey Kirkland is an American ballerina. Kirkland joined the New York City Ballet in 1968 at age fifteen, at the invitation of George Balanchine. She was promoted to soloist in 1969 and principal in 1972...

    , ballerina.
  • Nathan Homer Knorr
    Nathan Homer Knorr
    Nathan Homer Knorr was the third president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, becoming so on January 13, 1942, replacing Joseph Franklin Rutherford, who had served in the position since 1916.-Life:...

    , religious leader and 3rd president, Jehovah's Witnesses
    Jehovah's Witnesses
    Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

    .
  • Gary Lavelle
    Gary Lavelle
    Gary Robert Lavelle is a retired professional baseball pitcher who played in Major League Baseball from 1974–1985 and 1987....

    , former professional baseball player, Oakland Athletics
    Oakland Athletics
    The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Athletics have played in the O.co Coliseum....

    , San Francisco Giants
    San Francisco Giants
    The San Francisco Giants are a Major League Baseball team based in San Francisco, California, playing in the National League West Division....

     and Toronto Blue Jays
    Toronto Blue Jays
    The Toronto Blue Jays are a professional baseball team located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Blue Jays are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball 's American League ....

    .
  • Barry W. Lynn
    Barry W. Lynn
    Barry W. Lynn, Esq. has been the Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State since 1992. He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, and a prominent leader of the American religious left...

    , executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State
    Americans United for Separation of Church and State
    Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a group that advocates separation of church and state, a legal doctrine interpreted by AU as being enshrined in the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.-Mission:The guiding principle of Americans...

    .
  • Alix Olson
    Alix Olson
    Alix Olson is an American poet who works exclusively in spoken word. She graduated from Wesleyan University in 1997 and uses her work to address issues of capitalism, sexism, homophobia, heterosexism, transphobia, misogyny, and patriarchy...

    , spoken word poet.
  • Billy Packer
    Billy Packer
    Anthony William "Billy" Packer is a former American sportscaster for CBS Sports and a published author.-Early life:Packer is a graduate of Liberty High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania...

    , CBS
    CBS
    CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

     basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

     analyst.
  • Daniel Roebuck
    Daniel Roebuck
    Daniel James Roebuck is an American television film actor, writer and producer, primarily in films, soap operas and television.-Life and career:...

    , actor, ABC
    American Broadcasting Company
    The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

    's Lost
    Lost (TV series)
    Lost is an American television series that originally aired on ABC from September 22, 2004 to May 23, 2010, consisting of six seasons. Lost is a drama series that follows the survivors of the crash of a commercial passenger jet flying between Sydney and Los Angeles, on a mysterious tropical island...

    .
  • Thom Schuyler
    Thom Schuyler
    Thom Schuyler is an American songwriter. Schuyler wrote songs recorded by more than 200 various artists including "16th Avenue" for Lacy J. Dalton, "Love Will Turn You Around" for Kenny Rogers, and "Long Line of Love" for Michael Martin Murphey.In 1983, Schuyler signed to Capitol Records and...

    , country music singer and songwriter
  • Charles M. Schwab
    Charles M. Schwab
    Charles Michael Schwab was an American steel magnate. Under his leadership, Bethlehem Steel became the second largest steel maker in the United States, and one of the most important heavy manufacturers in the world....

    , industrialist, former President of U.S. Steel
    U.S. Steel
    The United States Steel Corporation , more commonly known as U.S. Steel, is an integrated steel producer with major production operations in the United States, Canada, and Central Europe. The company is the world's tenth largest steel producer ranked by sales...

    , later founded and was first Chairman of Bethlehem Steel Corporation
  • Sheetal Sheth
    Sheetal Sheth
    Sheetal Sheth is an actress who is known for her wide range of roles in an impressive body of work in film, television, and theater. She has starred in many feature films, perhaps best known for starring opposite Albert Brooks in Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World...

    , actress, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World
    Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World
    Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World is a 2006 film starring and directed by Albert Brooks. It was shown at the Dubai International Film Festival.-Synopsis:...

    .
  • John Spagnola
    John Spagnola
    John Stephen Spagnola is a former professional American football tight end in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, and the Green Bay Packers.-Early life:...

    , former professional football player, Green Bay Packers
    Green Bay Packers
    The Green Bay Packers are an American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The Packers are the current NFL champions...

    , Philadelphia Eagles
    Philadelphia Eagles
    The Philadelphia Eagles are a professional American football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are members of the East Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

     and Seattle Seahawks
    Seattle Seahawks
    The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattle, Washington. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team...

    .
  • Donald Smaltz
    Donald Smaltz
    Donald C. Smaltz is California lawyer who was appointed as Independent Counsel to investigate charges that Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy had received improper gifts from companies with business before his department.- Background :...

    , lawyer
  • Gary Mark Smith
    Gary Mark Smith
    Gary Mark Smith is an American street photographer. Smith is noted for his empathetic and literal style of photography captured in extremely hazardous environments.-Early life and education:...

    , artist, author, and global street photographer.
  • Sarah Strohmeyer
    Sarah Strohmeyer
    Sarah Strohmeyer is an award-winning American author of crime novels and of books about human relations between men and women. Her works include The Cinderella Pact, The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives, The Sleeping Beauty Proposal, and the Bubbles Yablonsky series...

    , novelist, creator of Bubbles
    Bubbles Yablonsky
    Bubbles Yablonsky is the fictional protagonist of the Bubbles series of screwball mysteries by Sarah Strohmeyer. She first appeared in Bubbles Unbound, published in 2001; as of 2006, she has appeared in six novels by Strohmeyer strictly about Bubbles, with an extra cameo in Strohmeyers "The...

    .
  • Jonathan Taylor Thomas
    Jonathan Taylor Thomas
    Jonathan Taylor Thomas is an American actor, voice actor, former child star, and teen idol...

    , actor, ABC
    American Broadcasting Company
    The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

    's Home Improvement.

Sister cities


Murska Sobota
Murska Sobota
Murska Sobota is a city in northeastern Slovenia. It is located in the eponymous municipality near the Mura River in the region of Prekmurje and is the regional capital.-Name:...

, Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

 Tondabayashi, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 Schwäbisch Gmünd
Schwäbisch Gmünd
Schwäbisch Gmünd is a town in the eastern part of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. With a population of around 62,000, the town is the second largest in the Ostalbkreis and the whole region of East Württemberg after Aalen...

, Germany

External links