On April 16, 1947, a fire aboard the SS Grandcamp turned into the deadliest industrial accident in US history when it caused the fertilizer-laden ship to explode at the docks in Texas City, killing approximately 580 people and injuring thousands more. The city's fire department was decimated by the initial blast, which leveled more than 1,000 buildings on land and knocked nearby aircraft out of the sky. What further intensified the disaster hours later?
Back in the day
In 1922, Hinterkaifeck, a small farmstead north of Munich, became the scene of one of the most puzzling unsolved crimes in German history. On the evening of March 31, the farm's six inhabitants, ranging in age from two to 72, were brutally murdered. The perpetrator likely remained at the farm for several days thereafter, but by the time the crime was discovered, he or she had disappeared without a trace. What unexplained events supposedly occurred there in the days leading up to the slaughter?
Born on a day like today
Dix left an unhappy home at age 10 to live with her grandmother in Boston. By age 14, the resourceful Dix was on her own and working as a schoolteacher. In 1841, while teaching in a Massachusetts prison, Dix saw firsthand the inhumane way that mentally ill prisoners were treated. Appalled, she became a pioneer in the movement for humane treatment of the insane. Her efforts brought about widespread reforms in both the US and Canada. What position did Dix hold during the US Civil War?