Aliquippa became a borough in 1928 with the merger of Aliquippa, Woodlawn and New Sheffield. It was settled in 1793 and incorporated in 1894. Alexander McKee, the first resident, built a cabin and planted crops to be the first colonial farmer. In 1877, the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad started laying track in the community. Construction of the Aliquippa Works of Jones and Laughlin Steel Company began in 1906. Thousands of men and women worked at the company until its closing in the early 1980’s.
Fun facts about Aliquippa:
-In 1960, Aliquippa had a high population of 26,369, and in 2013, it was 9,317.
–Gustav “Gust” Avrakotos of Aliquippa was a case officer and task force chief for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
–Mike Ditka grew up in Aliquippa and was an American pro football player, coach and commentator. He played with the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. He coached the Bears and the New Orleans Saints.
-Numerous NFL players hail from Aliquippa.
–Pete “Pistol Pete” Maravich of Aliquippa was named to the Baskeball Hall of Fame in 1987. He played for the Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans /Utah Jazz and Boston Celtics. He passed away at age 40 in 1988.
–Jesse Steinfeld served as U.S. Surgeon General from December 18, 1969 to January 30, 1973 under President Richard Nixon. Two public health programs were established during his tenure, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Health Service Corp. He passed away in August 2014 at age 87.
–Henry Mancini, raised in Aliquippa, was a Grammy and Oscar winning music composer. Some his music included Moon River and the Pink Panther theme, among many others.