In December 1917, one of the greatest natural harbours in the world was humming with excitement. Halifax Harbour was filled with naval convoys and merchant vessels while factories worked overtime in support of the Allied war effort in Europe. But on December 6, Canada’s worst disaster struck, as two ships–one carrying high explosives–collided. The explosion killed and injured thousands, razing the city’s North End and destroying nearly everything in its path.
The story of the worst human-made explosion before Hiroshima is the account of tremendous human suffering and devastation, yet also of human bravery and survival against all odds. Chaos and confusion reigned that day in Halifax and Dartmouth but what followed was a massive relief effort involving charitable assistance from all over the globe–especially Massachusetts.
Explosion in Halifax Harbour, 1917 includes a detailed account of the event, chronicling many remarkable human tragedies, rescue and relief efforts, attempts to place blame for the collision, and the reconstruction program that created Canada’s first government-assisted housing program. The newest Stories of Our Past title includes 60 full-colour images as well as sidebars on many monuments and commemorations that pay tribute to this catastrophic event that took place 100 years ago.