As our organization, Discover Lehigh Valley, sets to celebrate 30 year in existence on Thursday, I figure it was a good time to reflect back on some things that has happened to the organization and the world over the last 30 years. So without further ado let’s go.

1984

Northampton County Tourism Council and Allentown / Lehigh County Tourist and Convention Bureau approved merger to form Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Springsteen releases Born in the USA to critical acclaim.

1985

The organization’s first office at ABE Terminal Building officially opened.

New coke is introduced in April and quickly replaced with original Coke

1986

Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau’s corporate mission was defined.

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on January 28, 1986

1987

Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau gave away a 1988 Plymouth Horizon as part of a promotion to make local residents and visitors aware of the many attractions and recreational opportunities available in Lehigh Valley.

The largest stock-market drop in Wall Street history occurred on "Black Monday,” October 19, 1987.

1988

The inception of partnership-driven programs, such as cooperative advertising and coordinated sales efforts with attractions and hoteliers, began.

Bobby McFerrin tells everyone "Don't worry, be happy"

1989

Lehigh Valley Covered Bridge brochure was developed and toursigns were installed by Lehigh and Northampton counties.

Pete Rose is banned from baseball for betting on games, August 24.

1990

Produced the first Lehigh Valley video used as an area image piece.

South African freedom fighter and political leader Nelson Mandela is released from prison after being kept behind bars for 27 due to his tireless work to end apartheid.

1991

Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau coordinated the first promotional brochure for the Delaware and Lehigh Navigational Canal Heritage Corridor.

A video is released of driver Rodney King being beaten by L.A. police officers following a traffic stop, igniting a national controversy

1992

Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau was instrumental in hosting the U.S. Senior Open at Saucon Valley Country Club.

Bill Clinton is elected the 42nd president of the United States.

1993

First Zenith Award, our award that is presented to a meeting, convention, or group that has made a significant economic impact on the region, was presented to Dr. William Ayers of PA Science Teachers Association.

The World Wide Web goes public.

1994

Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau created a highly successful “Industrial Heritage Familiarization Tour” to increase year-round business from the group tour market.

OJ Simpson is arrested for the murder of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her male companion Ronald Goldman

1995

Visitor kiosk unveiled at I-78 Welcome Center in Easton.

eBay, another giant of internet commerce comes into being as an online auction house.

1996

Crayola Factory opened its doors.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana complete their divorce.

1997

Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau coordinated the development of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail.

Dolly the sheep is introduced to the world as the first fully-cloned complex organism.

1998

The official Lehigh Valley Tourism website was launched with more than 100 pages of content.

Google is founded in California.

1999

Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Board of Directors voted to support a group interested in promoting

The unfortunate Columbine High School massacre in Colorado occurs.

2000

Lehigh Valley as a location for filmmaking, and the Lehigh Valley Film & Video Council was formed.

Tiger Woods becomes the youngest player to win a Grand Slam in Golf

2001

Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau hosts its first radio show.

Four passenger airliners were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists and flown into buildings including the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon in suicide attacks.

2002

Lehigh Valley Sports Commission held its first meeting at Nazareth Speedway.

George Bush creates the Department of Homeland Security on June 7th to fight threats of terrorism

2003

Historic Bethlehem partnership accepted as a Smithsonian PA Affiliate.

The last old-style Volkswagen Beetle rolls off its production line in Puebla, Puebla, Mexico

2004

Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau celebrated its 20 year anniversary.

Facebook is launched as a social networking site only open to students from Harvard. It is expanded first to other colleges in the Boston area and other Ivy League Colleges

2005

Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Board of Directors passed a resolution in support of a slots casino in Lehigh Valley.

Hurricane Katrina strikes the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coastal areas.

2006

The Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau relocated to the Butz Corporate Center in downtown Allentown.

Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants breaks the record held by Babe Ruth and hits his 715th home run.

2007

Lehigh Valley IronPigs unveiled their first logo.

A student on Virginia Tech Campus goes on a killing spree leaving over 30 students dead

2008

Lehigh Valley Wine Trail received American Viticultural Area distinction.

Fidel Castro steps down as president of Cuba after almost 50 years in power

2009

The Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Board approved a resolution supporting table games, noting the significant economic spending it could bring to the region.

Pop singer, Michael Jackson dies in strange circumstances and brings worldwide outpouring of grief

2010

Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau changed its name to Discover Lehigh Valley.

BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico occurs.

2011

Discover Lehigh Valley, through a Regional Marketing Partnership (RMP) with the state of Pennsylvania, introduced Stay & Investigate: Haunts & Historic Horrors, featuring Lehigh Valley locations said to be haunted or having a horrific story associated with them.

Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot along with twelve others while making a public appearance in Tucson. The accused gunman Jared Loughner killed six of the people who were shot; one of dead was a nine year old girl.

2012

Discover Lehigh Valley hosted the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance (MATPRA) Media Marketplace, welcoming DMOs and travel writers to the region for four days of education and fun.

The Mayan calendar reaches the end of its current cycle

2013

The oldest building on the former Bethlehem Steel site, the stock house, was transformed into a bright and vibrant Visitors Center.

Boston Marathon bombing occurs near the race’s finish line.

2014

PPL Center opened, sparking Allentown’s rebirth.

The new World Trade Center is completed

So there you have it Lehigh Valley, 30 years in the blink of an eye. Here’s to another 30 years preferably marked with great things for the region and the world as whole.

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