Pittsburgh Pirates fans celebrate victory in the World Series, October 1960. George Silk for Life magazine.
On This Day in Pittsburgh History: October 13, 1960
With the World Series even, three games each, the Pirates win the seventh game 10-9 over the New York Yankees with a home run by Bill Mazeroski in the ninth inning. [Historic Pittsburgh]
Related: “50 Years Ago Today: World Series, Game 7,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2010
On This Day in Pittsburgh History: September 14, 1964
August 28, 1963: "The March on Washington"
The first special train arrived at Union Station in Washington D.C. before 7 a.m. and carried 535 marchers from Pittsburgh. Next came a train from Cincinnati. People were coming by bus, plane, automobile, bicycle and foot. The whole affair was giving the nation’s capital a case of the jitters. Alcohol sales were banned. Hospitals and jails made room for an onslaught of arrivals. More than 5,000 police were on hand. Many expected riots and looting.
Instead, the “March for Jobs and Freedom” had the peaceful atmosphere of a church picnic. Known now as the “March on Washington,” the event drew more than 200,000 people to the capital and became a defining moment in the nation’s Civil Rights Movement.
The march itself was fairly short — nine blocks, from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, where formal ceremonies were held. In the front ranks were the Pittsburgh delegation, singing marching songs and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Men removed their coats in the summer heat. The chant of “freedom, freedom” filled the air. At the Lincoln Memorial, speakers and musicians awaited the start of the official program. Not everyone was pleased with President John F. Kennedy’s pending Civil Rights legislation. Two Kennedy aides stood by, ready to pull the plug on the sound system should any of the speakers get out of hand.
Of course, The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech was the day’s highlight. It was carried live on television and is today considered one of the most important and moving speeches in American history.
Before the march, the Pennsylvania delegation met with Rep. William S. Moorhead, a Pittsburgh Democrat. Over coffee and breakfast rolls, Moorhead confided that passage of Civil Rights legislation then before Congress was by no means certain — blunt assessment that “mystified and dismayed” Moorhead’s fellow Pittsburghers, according to the Press.
“Do you think our coming here has helped the bill?” one marcher asked.
Probably, Moorhead replied. The march, in fact, is now credited with providing the political momentum that ensured passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
1962: ”Heat wave in Pittsburgh”
Forget these cooling centers and splash parks or hitting the pool to beat the inescapable heat and humidity we’ve been enveloped in lately. During a similarly unpleasant Pittsburgh heat wave in August 1962, Clarence Loy really knew how to cool off – with a beer almost as big as the portly brewer himself.
He quaffs with gusto in a United Press photo captioned: “With no end in sight for the Pittsburgh heat wave, Clarence Loy cools off in a local brewery with a huge stein of beer.”
According to the 1962 issue of the Post-Gazette published on August 7, the sizzling heat wave which, in its third day brought a high Downtown temperature of 93, was expected to continue in Pittsburgh for two more days. Henry Rockwood, meteorologist in charge of the Pittsburgh Weather Bureau, said the thundershowers would not drop enough rain to alleviate to any great degree the near-drought conditions in the district.
The day was hot, but not nearly as bad as the 103 recorded on the same date in 1916, the all-time high temperature for the city. The record high of 101 for Aug. 7 was also set in 1918.
The five-day forecast indicated that there was little chance of anything other than token relief before the end of the weekend, Rockwood said. Sounds a lot like the week we’ve just had. Of course, enduring a heat wave can be a relative thing, depending on where you are.
In that same edition of the Post-Gazette, staff writer Herbert G. Stein tells of Bob Cocuzzi and Carl Gatto and the 2,852 degrees Fahrenheit that separated them on that hot and sticky day.
Where Cocuzzi was it was 2,880 degress above zero. He was preparing to tap No. 50 open hearth at Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation’s Southside Works.
Where Gatto was it was 28 degrees above zero. He was making 25-pound blocks of ice out of 300-pound blocks of ice at the Federal City Products Corp. plant, 1502 Penn Ave., Strip District.
Outside everybody in Pittsburgh was talking about the 93-degree temperature and they thought it was unbearable.
“You don’t need no Metrecal around here,” Steelworker Cocuzzi, of 1973 Federal St. Extension, Northside, was saying. Then he put on an aluminized overcoat and a helmet to match, grabbed a metal bar and walked off to tap No. 50. After a moment there was a cannon-like blast. No. 50 burst open and the fiery soup shot out, accompanied by a cloud of sparks. Ideally the tapping takes six to 11 minutes and then Cocuzzi retreats to gulp one of half a dozen salt pills he takes during an eight-hour shift. He also sips hot tea.
"Anything hot you drink cools you off,” he said, “no matter what anybody says. One thing about this job is it’s good for your arthritis. One day I had a cold in my back but five minutes after I got down here it was gone.”
On the other side of No. 50 Martin Flaherty of 2002 Dellrose St., Carrick, was saying he’s been at the job for 30 years and thinks he’s used to it – but he still doesn’t like it when it’s hot outside.
“You can’t get away from the heat even for a minute on a hot day,” Flaherty said. “At least when it’s cold outside, you can step back for a minute and cool off – but not today.”