gone at 3 17 the untold story of the worst school disaster in american history

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Gone At 3 17 The Untold Story Of The Worst School Disaster In American History

Author : David M. Brown
ISBN : 9781612341545
Genre : History
File Size : 49. 13 MB
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At 3:17 p.m. on March 18, 1937, a natural gas leak beneath the London Junior-Senior High School in the oil boomtown of New London, Texas, created a lethal mixture of gas and oxygen in the school's basement. The odorless, colorless gas went undetected until the flip of an electrical switch triggered a colossal blast. The two-story school, one of the nation's most modern, disintegrated, burying everyone under a vast pile of rubble and debris. More than 300 students and teachers were killed, and hundreds more were injured. As the seventy-fifth anniversary of the catastrophe approaches, it remains the deadliest school disaster in U.S. history. Few, however, know of this historic tragedy, and no book, until now, has chronicled the explosion, its cause, its victims, and the aftermath. Gone at 3:17 is a true story of what can happen when school officials make bad decisions. To save money on heating the school building, the trustees had authorized workers to tap into a pipeline carrying "waste" natural gas produced by a gasoline refinery. The explosion led to laws that now require gas companies to add the familiar pungent odor. The knowledge that the tragedy could have been prevented added immeasurably to the heartbreak experienced by the survivors and the victims' families. The town would never be the same. Using interviews, testimony from survivors, and archival newspaper files, Gone at 3:17 puts readers inside the shop class to witness the spark that ignited the gas. Many of those interviewed during twenty years of research are no longer living, but their acts of heroism and stories of survival live on in this meticulously documented and extensively illustrated book.

Gone At 3 17

Author : David M. Brown
ISBN : 9781612341538
Genre : Nature
File Size : 82. 22 MB
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At 3:17 p.m. on March 18, 1937, a natural gas leak beneath the London Junior-Senior High School in the oil boomtown of New London, Texas, created a lethal mixture of gas and oxygen in the school’s basement. The odorless, colorless gas went undetected until the flip of an electrical switch triggered a colossal blast. The two-story school, one of the nation’s most modern, disintegrated, burying everyone under a vast pile of rubble and debris. More than 300 students and teachers were killed, and hundreds more were injured. As the seventy-fifth anniversary of the catastrophe approaches, it remains the deadliest school disaster in U.S. history. Few, however, know of this historic tragedy, and no book, until now, has chronicled the explosion, its cause, its victims, and the aftermath. Gone at 3:17 is a true story of what can happen when school officials make bad decisions. To save money on heating the school building, the trustees had authorized workers to tap into a pipeline carrying “waste” natural gas produced by a gasoline refinery. The explosion led to laws that now require gas companies to add the familiar pungent odor. The knowledge that the tragedy could have been prevented added immeasurably to the heartbreak experienced by the survivors and the victims’ families. The town would never be the same. Using interviews, testimony from survivors, and archival newspaper files, Gone at 3:17 puts readers inside the shop class to witness the spark that ignited the gas. Many of those interviewed during twenty years of research are no longer living, but their acts of heroism and stories of survival live on in this meticulously documented and extensively illustrated book.

A Texas Tragedy

Author : Bobby H. Johnson
ISBN : 193620567X
Genre : Drama
File Size : 22. 32 MB
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Seventy-five years after the New London, Texas, school explosion instantaneously ended life for three hundred students, haunted memories of all who knew them, and hushed a community's discussion of an unspeakable event, the detailed story is now told. On March 18, 1937, Bobby H. Johnson was an infant in New London destined to become the scribe, oral historian, and dramatist for the tragedy. His first-grade brother became a member of the exclusive circle of "survivors" by fluke: Forgetting that his mother had given him permission to stay after school and play with a friend, he took an early bus home to safety. But his mind never erased the image of a cloud of dust in the direction of the school that he saw from his bus window a mile away. Dr. Johnson's parents found their rock-solid faith threatened by the questions raised on March 18, 1937, comforted somewhat by the preacher who comforted them with the wisdom of Tennyson's "There lives more faith in honest doubt . . . than in half the creeds" and in the scriptural promise that "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.". For the past forty years, Dr. Johnson has recorded hundreds of oral history interviews with New Londoners and East Texans and filed mental notes as he heard conversations about things that happened on that that day when infancy protected his awareness of the horror in New London. I was in first grade in Leonard, Texas, 125 miles away, never conscious of the tragedy, probably because my parents wanted to shelter me. It was not until six years later when I was in elementary school in Hooks, Texas, that one of my teachers told my class the harrowing story of New London. After her dramatic tale, we unnerved students cautiously walked the hallways sniffing the air for scents of odorized gas. As an insider, Dr. Johnson was prepared for his role as the future New London dramatist by studies in history and journalism leading to a Ph.D. degree at the University of Oklahoma and the beginning of his career teaching history at Stephen F. Austin University, where he retired as a Regents Professor of History. He enrolled in a playwriting course taught at SFA by Jack Heffner, a Corsicana native and author of "Vanities," the most frequently performed American play of the 1970s. From the course on crafting a play, Dr. Johnson mastered the final elements he needed to complete "A Texas Tragedy": characterization, themes, and staging. From his appreciation of American literature, he understood how the stage manager in Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" orchestrated the themes and how poet Edgar Lee Masters handled ordinary people struggling with life in Spoon River Anthology. With a stage set of several acting areas anchored by a porch reminiscent of his parents' home, the acting area also accommodates a circle of truth platform where the preacher holds forth and witnesses enact a variety of personal encounters with the disaster. Hymn-singing groups set the tone for a grief-stricken community whose strong faith seeks resilience.

My Boys And Girls Are In There

Author : Ron Rozelle
ISBN : 1603447806
Genre : History
File Size : 62. 12 MB
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On March 18, 1937, a spark ignited a vast pool of natural gas that had collected beneath the school building in New London, a tiny community in East Texas. The resulting explosion leveled the four-year-old structure and resulted in a death toll of more than three hundred—most of them children. To this day, it is the worst school disaster in the history of the United States. The tragedy and its aftermath were the first big stories covered by Walter Cronkite, then a young wire service reporter stationed in Dallas. He would later say that no war story he ever covered—during World War II or Vietnam—was as heart-wrenching. In the weeks following the tragedy, a fact-finding committee sought to determine who was to blame. It soon became apparent that the New London school district had, along with almost all local businesses and residents, tapped into pipelines carrying unrefined gas from the plentiful oil fields of the area. It was technically illegal, but natural gas was in abundance in the “Oil Patch.” The jerry-rigged conduits leaked the odorless “green” gas that would destroy the school. A long-term effect of the disaster was the shared guilt experienced—for the rest of their lives—by most of the survivors. There is, perhaps, no better example than Bill Thompson, who was in his fifth grade English class and “in the mood to flirt” with Billie Sue Hall, who was sitting two seats away. Thompson asked another girl to trade seats with him. She agreed—and was killed in the explosion, while Thompson and Hall both survived and lived long lives, never quite coming to terms with their good fortune. My Boys and Girls Are in There: The 1937 New London School Explosion is a meticulous, candid account by veteran educator and experienced author Ron Rozelle. Unfolding with the narrative pace of a novel, the story woven by Rozelle—beginning with the title—combines the anguished words of eyewitnesses with telling details from the historical and legal record. Released to coincide with the seventy-fifth anniversary of the New London School disaster, My Boys and Girls Are in There paints an intensely human portrait of this horrific event.

Bath Massacre

Author : Arnie Bernstein
ISBN : 9780472033461
Genre : History
File Size : 72. 3 MB
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A gripping account of America's first—and largest—school mass murder

Chicago Death Trap

Author : Nat Brandt
ISBN : 9780809327218
Genre : History
File Size : 33. 81 MB
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A blow-by-blow account of the deadliest fire in American history retraces the final days of the Iroquois Theatre in Chicago, a supposedly indestructible building that burned killing more than six hundred people.

The Worst Hard Time

Author : Timothy Egan
ISBN : 0547347774
Genre : History
File Size : 33. 16 MB
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In a tour de force of historical reportage, Timothy Egan’s National Book Award–winning story rescues an iconic chapter of American history from the shadows. The dust storms that terrorized the High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since. Following a dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, Timothy Egan tells of their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black dust blizzards, crop failure, and the death of loved ones. Brilliantly capturing the terrifying drama of catastrophe, he does equal justice to the human characters who become his heroes, “the stoic, long-suffering men and women whose lives he opens up with urgency and respect” (New York Times). In an era that promises ever-greater natural disasters, The Worst Hard Time is “arguably the best nonfiction book yet” (Austin Statesman Journal) on the greatest environmental disaster ever to be visited upon our land and a powerful reminder about the dangers of trifling with nature. This e-book includes a sample chapter of THE IMMORTAL IRISHMAN.

The Cocoanut Grove Fire

Author : Stephanie Schorow
ISBN : 9781889833880
Genre : History
File Size : 80. 36 MB
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A gripping narrative of the worst nightclub fire in American history, which killed 492 people in World War II Boston.

To Sleep With The Angels

Author : John Kuenster
ISBN : 9781615780211
Genre : History
File Size : 62. 79 MB
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The story of one of the deadliest fires in American history that took the lives of ninety-two children and three nuns at a Catholic elementary school in Chicago. An absorbing account...a tale of terror. —New York Times Book Review

Remembrances Of The Angels

Author : John Kuenster
ISBN : 1566638003
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 67. 55 MB
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A fiftieth anniversary tribute to the December 1958 fire that took the lives of more than ninety children and nuns in a Chicago school includes coverage of the unsolved mystery surrounding the fire and the ways in which the tragedy served to overhaul safety standards for American schools.

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