Monday, March 21, 2005

The Halifax Explosion -- how transient is history

CBC - Halifax Explosion
December 6, 1917 dawned clear and sunny in Halifax. Before darkness fell, more than a thousand people would die, with another thousand to follow. Nine thousand more would be injured and maimed in the biggest man-made explosion the world had ever seen...

...American emergency teams--most of them from Massachusetts—arrived as well. They remained for months, and became part of the rebuilding effort. Halifax was front-page news around the world. By one estimate, relief donations eventually topped $23 million.
Shades of the WTC attack including similar death toll, but this was an accident. Some quick thoughts:

1. A hundred years from now, how well well will most people remember the WTC attack?
2. Some of the terrorist scenarios that have been discussed in the past few years focus on hijacking a very explosive ship and deliberately triggering this kind of disaster.

I've been to Halifax, but I'd forgotten about this. I don't recall seeing any tourist booklets about the explosion.

(Link via Metafilter)

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