The Texas City Disaster of 1947

The disaster drew the first class action lawsuit against the United States government, on behalf of 8,485 victims. Introduction The 1947 Texas City disaster was an industrial accident that occurred on April 16, 1947, in the Port of Texas City, Texas, at Galveston Bay. It was the deadliest industrial accident in United States history and one of history’s largest non-nuclear[…]

German Assistance for Texas Hurricane Victims in 1900

The storm remains the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history, with around 8,000 to 12,000 dead after the hurricane destroyed Galveston. By Robert C. Greiner Introduction On September 8, 1900, a powerful hurricane made landfall directly at Galveston, Texas. The storm inundated the city, which lay on an island only eight feet above sea level,[…]

How Bubonic Plague Reshaped the Streets of Mumbai in the 19th Century

In fact, you can’t really understand Mumbai without understanding the bubonic plague. Introduction On a leafy uphill road in Mumbai’s Bandra suburb, a fire burns at a Catholic shrine. Garlands adorn a cross and idols of saints below it as pedestrians walk by wearing masks. A nondescript sign at the back of the shrine tells[…]

A 300-Year-Old Tale of One Woman’s Quest to Stop a Deadly Virus

Science and determination turned the tide against one of the worst diseases humanity has ever endured. Three hundred years ago, in 1721, England was in the grips of a smallpox epidemic. “There were people dying all over the place,” says Isobel Grundy, a professor emeritus of English at the University of Alberta in Canada. “Social life[…]