Smithsonian Magazine: A Spectacle of Horror
This is an event many do not know about. On June 15, 1904, a Lutheran church outing from Manhattan to Long Island went horribly wrong.
1,300 passengers boarded the General Slocum (mostly German immigrant families). A fire broke out on the steam ship (likely from a discarded cigarette). Even though the ship passed safety inspections and was supposedly in good working order, apparently the fire hoses were not tested. They failed.
The ship burned rapidly and sank. Over 1,000 persons perished, mostly women and children. All within sight of land in the East River. It was the deadliest ship disaster until the Titanic and the deadliest New York City disaster till September 11th.
The lesson is, nothing is guaranteed. Even with more stringent safety regulations, things can still go badly very quickly. Be situationally aware and get in the habit of having an emergency exit plan.
TOM: In The Mailbox 06.18.19
AoSHQ: Morning Report 06.17.19
Maggie Blanck: General Slocum Disaster
The Art of Manliness: Learning From Disasters