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“The Great Halifax Explosion” – Al Kresta interviews John U. Bacon

On December 1,1917 the French freighter Mont-Blanc set sail from Brooklyn laden with American troops and munitions en route to the trenches of France. It carried 3,000 tons of explosives, prompting its captain to take unprecedented safety measures. All went well until it slipped into Halifax Harbor, Nova Scotia. A collision with another ship started a fire, and at 9:04 am the ship erupted, instantly killing 2,000 people and turning more than two square miles into rubble. It was history’s largest manmade blast until the A-bomb. From this tragedy emerged an incredible story of heroism and sacrifice. John U. Bacon joins us with the tale.


John U Bacon is the author of The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy and Heroism. He’s also written the New York Times bestsellers “Three and Out” and “Fourth and Long.” He appears often on NPR and national TV. He teaches at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and at the University of Michigan.

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Click here to buy “The Great Halifax Explosion”

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