?

Log in

No account? Create an account
atom

General Slocum Disaster 100th Anniversary

Today is the 100th anniversary of the General Slocum fire, the worst one-day disaster in New York City before 9/11. For some reason, not many people learn about it when they study history, but many of us are trying to rectify that. (On a personal note, it's also the central event of my novella "Time Ablaze.")

Historian Ed O'Donnell, author of the book SHIP ABLAZE, has a webpage about the Slocum, and I'll quote from it here:

"Ask any New Yorker to name the city’s greatest disaster before September 11, 2001 and invariably they offer the same answer: the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire of 1911.  That tragic event garnered international headlines as 146 young immigrant women lost their lives in an unsafe garment factory.  Yet even though it is certainly Gotham’s most famous disaster, it runs a distant second to a much larger catastrophe which occurred only seven years earlier.  On June 15, 1904, more than 1,000 people died when their steamship, the General Slocum, burst into flames while moving up the East River.  It was the second-most deadly fire (after the Peshtigo fire of 1871) and most deadly peacetime maritime disaster in American history."

For more information about the tragedy, see O'Donnell's excellent webpage about the tragedy, http://www.general-slocum.com

Comments

And my reaction to reading that quote was to be impressed somebody outside Wisconsin is familiar with Peshtigo.
O'Donnell is very knowledgable.

I think people don't remember Peshtigo because of the Great Chicago Fire. Same way that the Slocum was forgotten in the wake of Triangle Shirtwaist.
There's a William Powell/Myrna Loy movie that features that disaster (or perhaps a thinly disguised fictional version of it) as a starting point. Wish I could remember the name of it for you.
I've heard of this film. If I recall correctly, the Slocum is a very small part of it, just a kicker to explain the main character's background.
Sounds like my grandparents' film of the Morro Castle fire - a famous ocean liner that burned near Asbury Park, NJ, in the '30s. The movie is Dickie & Jonny playing in the sand, more Dickie and Jonny playing in the sand, 5 seconds of the ship burning in the distance, and more Dickie and Jonny playing in the sand.
Sounds like my grandparents' film of the Morro Castle fire - a famous ocean liner that burned near Asbury Park, NJ, in the '30s. The movie is Dickie & Jonny playing in the sand, more Dickie and Jonny playing in the sand, 5 seconds of the ship burning in the distance, and more Dickie and Jonny playing in the sand.

Slocum film

Found it. The film is Manhattan Melodrama (1935)

Re: Slocum film

Um, that is, 1934. Not 1935.
atom

December 2016

S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
Powered by LiveJournal.com