The first drive-in movie theater in the world opened in Camden, New Jersey, just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, in 1933.
Butler County, located in western Pennsylvania, has a rich history that dates back to Native American settlements. In the early 1700s, the region was inhabited by the Lenape and Seneca tribes. European settlers arrived in the mid-1700s, primarily of Scottish and Irish descent. The area was part of Westmoreland County until 1800 when Butler County was established as a separate entity.

During the American Revolution, the county played a vital role as a strategic location for military operations. Butler County's own General Richard Butler fought alongside George Washington, earning the county's name in his honor. In the 19th century, the region experienced significant growth with the introduction of industries like iron and oil.

The discovery of oil in the late 1800s led to an oil boom, transforming the county's economy. Towns such as Butler, Oil City, and Parker became thriving oil refining centers. The oil industry brought prosperity and infrastructure development to the county.

In the early 20th century, Butler County went through various economic shifts, transitioning from oil to manufacturing. The county became home to several industrial companies, and factories were built in towns like Butler and Mars. The manufacturing sector remained the backbone of the local economy for many decades.

Presently, Butler County continues to evolve, with a diverse economy that includes healthcare, education, technology, and agriculture. It retains its historic charm with several landmarks, including the Butler County Courthouse and the Preston Park Museum, which provides a glimpse into the county's rich history.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Butler County, Pennsylvania.

  • 1800: Butler County is established on March 12, named after General Richard Butler.
  • 1803: The first courthouse is built in Butler, the county seat.
  • 1810: The population of Butler County reaches 7,102.
  • 1848: The borough of Butler is incorporated.
  • 1854: The Butler County Fair begins.
  • 1860: The population of Butler County reaches 30,839.
  • 1862: Oil is discovered in Butler County, leading to an oil boom in the region.
  • 1873: The Butler County Courthouse is destroyed by fire but later rebuilt.
  • 1889: The Pennsylvania Railroad establishes a depot in Butler.
  • 1902: The Butler Normal School (now Butler County Community College) is founded.
  • 1918: Butler County contributes to the war effort during World War I.
  • 1939: The Butler Eagle newspaper is established.
  • 1941-1945: Butler County supports the war effort during World War II.
  • 1970: The population of Butler County reaches 141,891.
  • 1994: The Saxonburg Museum is established to preserve local history.
  • 2010: The county celebrates its bicentennial.