The 18th Congressional District has a rich history of national significance. During the French and Indian War (1756-1763), British forces unsuccessfully attempted to attack Fort Duquesne, a French outpost at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers. One of the colonial militia officers who participated in this ill-fated expedition was George Washington, who subsequently became the commander-in-chief of the American army during the American Revolution.
After the Revolutionary War, the region became an important manufacturing center, becoming famous for its iron and steel mills. By the 1830s, Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities had developed into such a large industrial center that one British visitor described the area as "Hell with the lid off." Pittsburgh eventually came to be known as the "Steel Capital of the World."
Due to its prominence as an industrial center in the nineteenth century, Western Pennsylvania played an important role in American labor history. Pittsburgh was the site of a number of major railroad and steel strikes in the late 1800s and early 1900s, including the railroad strikes of 1877, the Homestead Strike of 1892, and the 1937 Aliquippa Strike.
The 18th Congressional District contains a number of important historic sites associated with these events, including the Fort Pitt Museum and the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.
The District Today
The 18th Congressional District is home to a number of other significant cultural institutions as well, including the National Aviary, the Pittsburgh Zoo, the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Science Center, the Phipps Conservatory, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Pittsburgh Children’s History Museum, the submarine U.S.S. Requin, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Pops, the Pittsburgh Ballet, the Pittsburgh Opera, and the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.
While Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania are most often associated with the steel industry, the economy of the 18th Congressional District has diversified significantly in the last 30 years. The regional economy now includes vibrant finance and health care sectors, and it is the home of a number of growing high-tech industries as well -- like computer software and robotics. The 18th Congressional District is home to a number of Fortune 500 corporations, including USX, ALCOA, H. J. Heinz, PPG Industries, PNC Bank Corporation, and Consolidated Natural Gas. It is also home to many sources of high-tech expertise, including the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, the Tissue Engineering Institute, and Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute.
The 18th Congressional District is home to a number of highly respected colleges and universities. The University of Pittsburgh,Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, Carlow University, Point Park University, Chatham College, Robert Morris University, LaRoche College, and the Community College of Allegheny County are all located in the 18th District.
With its diverse economy, its beautiful mountains and rivers, its many unique communities, its prestigious colleges and universities, its highly respected cultural institutions, and its many different recreational opportunities, the 18th Congressional District of Pennsylvania offers the promise of a high quality of life for its residents and visitors.
Not sure if you are in the 18th District? The U.S. House of Representatives provides a service that lets you determine who your representative is. Click on the highlighted text at the beginning of this paragraph to access the web site for this service.