Matthew Kane

Halifax Explosion 100 years ago today

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In memory of 100 years now since the Halifax Explosion. My old school was on the shore of the Harbour where the Mont-Blanc blew up killing 2000 citizens and wounding 9000 people, that old building used to creek a lot which would send chills up your spine. Many have forgotten this story but it was the largest non-nuclear explosion caused be mankind for almost 80 years, the explosion was so big the ships in Boston Harbour felt the shock-wave, and it absolutely devastated the city of Halifax.

Boston was the first response sending a train loaded with supplies and people to help, Boston also took in the orphans from the disaster until the end of World War 1 and took care of the children. To this day the people of Nova Scotia have been supplying and decorating the Christmas Tree on Boston Common in a show of thanks

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2017/12/06/two-ships-collided-in-halifax-harbor-one-of-them-was-a-3000-ton-floating-bomb/?tid=sm_fb&utm_term=.2ec4e84b4fd5

https://www.boston.gov/calendar/2017-boston-common-tree-lighting

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Interesting. Haven't heard of that disaster until now. Terrible thing!

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The force of the detonation was apparently equivalent to 2.9 kilotons, which is about 20% of the explosive power of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. A very sad day indeed.

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Two very good books on the subject: "The Curse of the Narrows" and "The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy, and Extraordinary Heroism". This explosion and others are of special interest to me since my mother survived a similar incident in WWII.

 

DJ

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We hear so much about WWII we often forget the horrific devastation of the first WW. The trenches, poison gas, open charges in the face of entrenched machine guns. Casualties in the hundred thousands in a single campaign. Ironically most of the heads of Europe on all sides were related directly or by marriage. A sure example of the insanity of war.

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Found this recent interactive video. The hill at the beginning is called Richmond Hill and that is my old neighborhood in North Halifax. Everything there was destroyed so that neighborhood was rebuilt following the war and developed through to the 1970's. Halifax dates back to the late 1500's and it's history can be seen throughout the city, except for Richmond Hill were it was erased on that one day. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=26&v=OSuX9RvLq54

Also of note North Halifax is also the location of where the Titanic Dead are buried, this area is the legacy of the Halifax Explosion and the Titanic. We used to cut through the cemetery and walk right past the graves and I didn't think much of it until after that silly movie came out. One of the graves is J Dawson who was an 18 year old coal man from Belfast. When that movie came out young girls started putting flowers on his grave thinking Jack Dawson from the movie was in there. I was always uncomfortable with that fictional story told around real events, the real stories are always better. 

Halifax is full of lots of stories going back 400 years now. 

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My wife's 2Xgreat uncle, a fellow named Jack James, a stevedore, died in that explosion.

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Thank you for sharing, I wasn't familiar with the story, but have known a few folks from Nova Scotia, and always found them to be a very warm, friendly bunch.

Such a tragic story, may they all continue to rest in peace.

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Matthew, I hatted that silly Titanic movie too. Some of the older ones like "Night to Remember" were much better. Leonardo Decapio always looks like a punk to me but that's just me.

 

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1 hour ago, PATCO LCH said:

Matthew, I hatted that silly Titanic movie too. Some of the older ones like "Night to Remember" were much better. Leonardo Decapio always looks like a punk to me but that's just me.

 

I agree 100%. I remember watching a Night to Remember when I was a kid, it would capture your imagination. I am not a Leo fan either, terrible actor

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