Our region is rich with history. A part of that history is the City government and the Police Officers who served the citizens of Bethlehem over the years.
We are very fortunate that those before us had the foresight to preserve some interesting pieces of information. We are happy to have in our possession several scrap-books containing newspaper clippings from years ago. The above photo depicts some of the books, but what is not obvious to the casual observer is the size of these tomes; the bottom one, for example, measures 17″ x 14″ and is almost 2″ thick.
Over time we intend to share with our readers some of these news stories. Though we have many articles from the past few decades, the scrap-book containing articles from the early 20th century is quite interesting indeed.
Within the oldest of our books we get a peek at an important time period of American history. Many of our clippings are from 1918, a time when the U.S. was involved in “The War to End All Wars”, with Bethlehem Steel being an important part, as well as a time in our history leading up to Prohibition. Speak-Easies and Bawdy Houses were in abundance. Folks were still adjusting to automobiles as the Model-T competed with horses and carriages. Yes, there was plenty going on in Bethlehem during these days.
Also in these articles the reader will notice frequent mentions of nationality or ethnicity, something that does not occur in our current society. We have seen mentions of Germans, Mexicans, Hungarians, Lithuanians, Spaniards, Austrians, Italians, Greeks, a Swede, Chinese, and the generic “Foreigners”. Some other identifiers used might be considered offensive these days, but we here at BPD did not write the articles. We just found them and believe they are of important historical value.
We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.