Lecture: "The 1904 General Slocum Disaster: New York’s Deadliest Day before 9/11"

06/08/2022 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM ET


"The 1904 General Slocum Disaster: New York’s Deadliest Day before 9/11"

Wednesday, June 8, 2022 | 7:00 PM

Virtual Via Zoom

$7/person | HRMM Members FREE

This talk details the extraordinary story of the burning of the steamboat General Slocum, the deadliest day in New York City history before September 11. More than 1,000 New Yorkers perished on June 15, 1904 when their steamboat burst into flames on the East River.  A panicked and untrained crew, coupled with rotten life preservers and inaccessible life boats, turned a small storage room fire into a human tragedy of immense proportions. News of the horror made headlines around the world and elicited an enormous outpouring of sympathy and donations. Later, as evidence of negligence and corruption on the part of the steamer's owners mounted, sympathy turned to outrage and demands for justice that were never fully met.  This talk brings to life this gripping tragedy and the wider, compelling story of innocents lost, heroes made, and a city and people that overcame.

Speaker Bio:

Edward T. O’Donnell is a history professor at Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA. He is the author of several books, including Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality: Progress and Poverty in the Gilded Age (Columbia, 2015) and Ship Ablaze: The Tragedy of the Steamboat General Slocum (Random House, 2003). O’Donnell also hosted (2016-2020) a popular U.S. history podcast, In The Past Lane (www.InThePastlane.com) and he has written history-themed feature and opinion pieces for the Huffington Post, Newsweek, and the New York Times. O’Donnell has also created courses for the Great Courses Company, including “Turning Points in American History.”

Program information:

This program is being presented  virtually via Zoom. You will receive the link to the Zoom meeting in your registration confirmation email. Please save that email to access the virtual lecture.

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