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Someplace Like AmericaTales from the New Great Depression$
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Dale Maharidge

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520262478

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520262478.001.0001

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2 Necropolis
Someplace Like America

Dale Maharidge

University of California Press

This chapter talks about a contractor hired by the U.S. Steel Corporation who dynamited four blast furnaces at the Ohio Works in Youngstown. This clip was often played on television news to illustrate America's declining heavy industry. Free trade would boom. New jobs were coming, and the old simply had to be allowed to die. Eleven months later, Joe Marshall Sr. stood at the edge of what was left of the Ohio Works—twisted steel, bricks, and office desks. A mile-long meadow was being created on the banks of the Mahoning River. On Black Monday, September 19, 1977, the Campbell Works became the first mill to close shop in Youngstown. In the next few years, other steel mills shut down, leading to the loss of some 50,000 jobs, directly or indirectly tied to steel, in the Mahoning Valley. The numbers told some of the story of misery. Official figures showed a peak of 21 percent unemployment. Decay, rust, and death pervaded all aspects of life in the city.

Keywords:   U.S. Steel Corporation, blast furnaces, Ohio Works, Youngstown, America, free trade, Joe Marshall Sr., Mahoning River, unemployment, steel mills

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