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Learn more about the multicultural history of the city and the province of Nova Scotia in these titles:. This book presents their unique culture and way of life through the remarkable and sometime complex lives of individuals, as depicted in artwork or photography. Through 94 compelling pieces of art and photography, chosen from more than a thousand extant portraits in different media, the book provides an entry point to deeply personal history, a small moment or single person transformed into vivid immediacy for the reader.

Drawing on various sources, Ruth Holmes Whitehead retells the tales in a voice close to that of the original storytellers. This new edition includes an updated design and the original collection of twenty-nine stories. This work examines how Africville went from a slum to a problem to be solved. In the mid s the city of Halifax decided to relocate the inhabitants of Africville—a black community that had been transformed by civil neglect, mismanagement, and poor planning into one of the worst city slums in Canadian history.

This is a sociological account of the relocation that reveals how lack of resources and inadequate planning led to devastating consequences for Africville relocatees. The children of Africville lived in a special community where everyone knew their neighbours, and all helped and cared for each other. Full of photographs and stories from Africville people, this book is an important celebration of Nova Scotia black history, its vibrant community, and the children who lived there. On the shores of Bedford Basin in Halifax, year-old Selina Palmer is growing up in the community of Africville in the s.

Struggling with what it means to be the only black student in her Grade 6 class, Selina takes comfort in the fact that every day she goes home to a loving and vibrant neighbourhood, where friends and family accept her as she is. But ugly rumours are starting to surface about the fate of Africville…. Want to learn more about Halifax, Nova Scotia? Listen Shop Insiders.


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  4. The Halifax Explosion in Non-fiction.
  5. The Town That Died: A Chronicle of the Halifax Explosion by Michael J. Bird.

The Halifax Explosion in Non-fiction. Thank you for signing up! Keep an eye on your inbox. Go here to enter. Firefighters were among the first to respond to the disaster, rushing to Mont-Blanc to attempt to extinguish the blaze before the explosion even occurred. In the final moments before the explosion, hoses were being unrolled as the fire spread to the docks. Nine members of the Halifax Fire Department lost their lives performing their duty that day. Royal Navy cruisers in port sent some of the first organized rescue parties ashore.

Tacoma was rocked so severely by the blast wave that her crew went to general quarters. Von Steuben arrived a half-hour later. Dazed survivors immediately feared that the explosion was the result of a bomb dropped from a German plane. All available troops were called in from harbour fortifications and barracks to the North End to rescue survivors and provide transport to the city's hospitals, including the two army hospitals in the city. Adding to the chaos were fears of a potential second explosion.

A cloud of steam shot out of ventilators at the ammunition magazine at Wellington Barracks as naval personnel extinguished a fire by the magazine. The fire was quickly put out; the cloud was seen from blocks away and quickly led to rumours that another explosion was imminent. The confusion hampered efforts for over two hours until fears were dispelled by about noon.

Surviving railway workers in the railyards at the heart of the disaster carried out rescue work, pulling people from the harbour and from under debris. The overnight train from Saint John was just approaching the city when hit by the blast but was only slightly damaged. It continued into Richmond until the track was blocked by wreckage. Passengers and soldiers aboard used the emergency tools from the train to dig people out of houses and bandaged them with sheets from the sleeping cars.

The train was loaded with injured and left the city at with a doctor aboard, to evacuate the wounded to Truro. The committee organized members in charge of organizing medical relief for both Halifax and Dartmouth, supplying transportation, food and shelter, and covering medical and funeral costs for victims.

Halifax Explosion

Rescue trains were dispatched from across Atlantic Canada, as well as the northeastern United States. The track had become impassable after Rockingham, on the western edge of Bedford Basin. To reach the wounded, rescue personnel had to walk through parts of the devastated city until they reached a point where the military had begun to clear the streets. Trains en route from other parts of Canada and from the United States were stalled in snowdrifts, and telegraph lines that had been hastily repaired following the explosion were again knocked down.

Halifax was isolated by the storm, and rescue committees were forced to suspend the search for survivors; the storm aided efforts to put out fires throughout the city. The exact number killed by the disaster is unknown. The last body, a caretaker killed at the Exhibition Grounds, was not recovered until the summer of A mortuary committee chaired by Alderman R. Coldwell was quickly formed at Halifax City Hall on the morning of the disaster.

Trucks and wagons soon began to arrive with bodies. Barnstead took over from Coldwell as the morgue went into operation and implemented a system to carefully number and describe bodies; [] it was based on the system developed by his father, John Henry Barnstead, to identify Titanic victims in Many of the wounds inflicted by the blast were permanently debilitating, such as those caused by flying glass or by the flash of the explosion. Thousands of people had stopped to watch the ship burning in the harbour, many from inside buildings, leaving them directly in the path of glass fragments from shattered windows.

Roughly 5, eye injuries were reported, and 41 people lost their sight permanently. Dartmouth was not as densely populated as Halifax and was separated from the blast by the width of the harbour, but still suffered heavy damage.

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Almost people were estimated to have died on the Dartmouth side. Windows were shattered and many buildings were damaged or destroyed, including the Oland Brewery and parts of the Starr Manufacturing Company. There were small enclaves of Mi'kmaq in and around the coves of Bedford Basin on the Dartmouth shore. The settlement, dating back to the 18th century, had been a subject of controversy because white settler landowners wanted to remove the Mi'kmaq residents. In the years and months preceding the explosion, the Department of Indian Affairs had been actively trying to force the Mi'kmaq to give up their land, but this had not occurred by the time of the explosion.

The black community of Africville , on the southern shores of Bedford Basin adjacent to the Halifax Peninsula , was spared the direct force of the blast by the shadow effect of the raised ground to the south. Many people in Halifax at first believed the explosion to be the result of a German attack. Johansen was arrested on suspicions of being a German spy when a search turned up a letter on his person, supposedly written in German. A judicial inquiry known as the Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry was formed to investigate the causes of the collision.

Evan Wyatt, the Royal Canadian Navy's chief examining officer in charge of the harbour, gates and anti-submarine defences, for causing the collision. Demers' opinion that "it was the Mont-Blanc ' s responsibility alone to ensure that she avoided a collision at all costs" given her cargo; [] he was likely influenced by local opinion, which was strongly anti-French, as well as by the "street fighter" style of argumentation used by Imo lawyer Charles Burchell.

21 Books About The Halifax Explosion On Its 100 Year Anniversary

Henry, this was "a great surprise to most people", who had expected the Imo to be blamed for being on the wrong side of the channel. McLeod, and bound over for trial. Mackey was discharged on a writ of habeas corpus and the charges dropped. This left only Wyatt to face a grand jury hearing. On 17 April , a jury acquitted him in a trial that lasted less than a day. Drysdale also oversaw the first civil litigation trial, in which the owners of the two ships sought damages from each other. His decision 27 April found Mont-Blanc entirely at fault.

Efforts began shortly after the explosion to clear debris, repair buildings, and establish temporary housing for survivors left homeless by the explosion. By late January , around 5, were still without shelter. Partial train service resumed from a temporary rail terminal in the city's South End on 7 December. Full service resumed on 9 December when tracks were cleared and the North Street Station reopened.

The Canadian Government Railways created a special unit to clear and repair railway yards as well as rebuild railway piers and the Naval Dockyard.

Most piers returned to operation by late December and were repaired by January. After the explosion, the Halifax Relief Commission approached the reconstruction of Richmond as an opportunity to improve and modernize the city's North End. English town planner Thomas Adams and Montreal architectural firm Ross and Macdonald were recruited to design a new housing plan for Richmond. Adams, inspired by the Victorian garden city movement , aimed to provide public access to green spaces and to create a low-rise, low-density and multifunctional urban neighbourhood.

It has now become an upscale neighbourhood and shopping district. Every building in the Halifax dockyard required some degree of rebuilding, as did HMCS Niobe and the docks themselves; all of the Royal Canadian Navy's minesweepers and patrol boats were undamaged. The Halifax Explosion was one of the largest artificial non-nuclear explosions.

An extensive comparison of major explosions by Halifax historian Jay White in concluded that "Halifax Harbour remains unchallenged in overall magnitude as long as five criteria are considered together: number of casualties, force of blast, radius of devastation, quantity of explosive material, and total value of property destroyed.

For instance, in its report on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima , Time wrote that the explosive power of the Little Boy bomb was seven times that of the Halifax Explosion. The many eye injuries resulting from the disaster led to better understanding on the part of physicians of how to care for damaged eyes, and "with the recently formed Canadian National Institute for the Blind , Halifax became internationally known as a centre for care for the blind", according to Dalhousie University professor Victoria Allen.

His insights from the explosion are generally credited with inspiring him to pioneer the specialty of pediatric surgery in North America.

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Having affected virtually every family and working collective in Halifax, the event was incredibly traumatic for the whole surviving community, so the memory was largely suppressed. After the first anniversary, the city stopped commemorating the explosion for decades. The second official commemoration did not take place before the 50th anniversary in , and even after that, the activities stopped again.

The library entrance featured the first monument built to mark the explosion, the Halifax Explosion Memorial Sculpture , created by artist Jordi Bonet. The Bell Tower is the location of an annual civic ceremony every 6 December. A memorial at the Halifax Fire Station on Lady Hammond Road honours the firefighters killed while responding to the explosion.

Simple monuments mark the mass graves of explosion victims at the Fairview Lawn Cemetery and the Bayers Road Cemetery.

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A Memorial Book listing the names of all the known victims is displayed at the Halifax North Memorial Library and at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, which has a large permanent exhibit about the Halifax Explosion. Hugh MacLennan 's novel Barometer Rising is set in Halifax at the time of the explosion and includes a carefully researched description of its impact on the city. This work follows the love affair of a young woman and an injured soldier.

In , Halifax sent a Christmas tree to the City of Boston in thanks and remembrance for the help that the Boston Red Cross and the Massachusetts Public Safety Committee provided immediately after the disaster. The gift was later taken over by the Nova Scotia Government to continue the goodwill gesture as well as to promote trade and tourism. In deference to its symbolic importance for both cities, the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources has specific guidelines for selecting the tree. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This article is about the disaster. For other uses, see Halifax Explosion disambiguation. A view of the pyrocumulus cloud. Part of a series on the. Halifax former city — Dartmouth — Bedford — Halifax County — Halifax amalgamated —present. List of mayors Timeline of history Historic places Oldest buildings and structures. See also: Halifax Explosion in popular culture. Canada portal History portal. In court they tried to blame him with the cause of the blast. In my mind it was the captain of the other ship, The Imo,who was at fault.

They all died, so no one was left to tell that side of the story. Later the first captain was left off, and he could go back to work. The pilot was also free to work again. Interesting story. This a vivid description of the collision of two ships in Halifax harbor in Story listed as the greatest man-made explosion before Hiroshima. The book gives detailed description of the events leading up to the explosion and personal descriptions of the events following as they worked to help the thousands injured and all the dead.

It is not a read for the faint at heart. The book ends with a full description of the commission looking for why it happened and who was at fault. Interesting to This a vivid description of the collision of two ships in Halifax harbor in Interesting to read how biased the judge was against the Mont Blanc that carried the munitions and in favor of the Imo that really caused the collision by being in the wrong side of the channel.

Also how the public blamed the Germans since the started the war and if not for that there would have been no need for the munitions on the Mont Blanc. Most interesting to read of the heroes and people who took advantage of the situation for their greed. Interesting history. View 1 comment. A French ship carrying explosives arriving from New York and a Norwegian ship leaving the Halifax harbour have their date with destiny.

Thousands of people were killed, maimed and displaced while heroes and villains appeared in the chaos. This book threads the story of many involved while using letters and reports made at the time. It gives an interesting taste of our early Canadian The story of the greatest man made explosion before Hiroshima, occurring in Halifax harbour Dec 6, during WWI.

It gives an interesting taste of our early Canadian ancestors who were anti French since Quebecers were resisting the conscriptions and also felt anyone with a German name must be a spy working for the Germans in WWI. The emotions and stressors are palpable. A very good book I read the version.

This book is an account of the Halifx explosion in December when a ship loaded with WW1 explosives collided with another ship in the Halifax harbour. The resulting explosion decimated the city and killed thousands. Certainly an interesting historical event but I had a hard time getting into the many eye witness accounts and the lists of all the boats in the harbour, what damage they sustained and where they ended up.

The book begins with the background of the events that lead to the Halifax Explosion in 19, The author does a good job of introducing characters that lived in Halifax on that fateful day, then after the explosion, he relates what happened to each of those individuals. We get a glimpse of how life was on that fateful day and during the first few days following the explosion. At the end, he describes the investigation into the terrible tragedy. My fascination with the Halifax Explosion of and research for my novel "Emma's Ghost" caused me to order this book.

It was fascinating.

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Halifax Explosion - Wikipedia

I learned so much more about the terrible outcome of this tragic event. The facts were presented in an engaging way. Anyone who loves history and Nova Scotia should read this. Aug 04, Chris Seals rated it really liked it. I enjoyed the story. It was a bit hard to follow in parts, as it had the feel of the author writing an incident report to the Navy department. In other areas, the book had great imagery and was simply a wonderful story being told, about a horrible disaster.

Interesting history, especially with an upcoming trip to Nova Scotia. I was completely unaware of the Halifax Explosion. Very interesting story. Wish they hadn't jumped around so much in the chronology, but I really enjoyed it. May 26, Susan rated it really liked it. A really interesting and detailed account of the explosion in Halifax harbor in that destroyed a large part of the city and killed and injured thousands of the inhabitants.

Karin rated it liked it Jul 23, Robyn rated it really liked it Nov 16, Sarah Hunt rated it really liked it Jun 24, Judith rated it it was amazing Jun 01, Gilles Joanisse rated it really liked it Jun 05, Courtney rated it really liked it Sep 03, Sarah rated it liked it Oct 08, Gisellessf rated it it was amazing Jul 18, Donald Allan rated it liked it May 13, Keith rated it liked it Jul 24, David rated it really liked it Jun 05,