On December 7, 1917, two war ships collided in the harbor at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Following the collision and subsequent fire, a massive explosion occurred, killing about 2,000 people and wounding countless more. At the time, it was the largest man-made explosion in history. With the city devastated, help was needed. Boston is still remembered for responding quickly and sending up a train with supplies and people the following day. They are still celebrating this day with a Christmas tree that is sent from Halifax to Boston each year.
However, Maine also played a role in the relief effort. Mainers joined the Boston relief train and we sent up supplies and a National Guard troop of our own. This talk will discuss the overall history of the event and the relief effort, but will also aim to focus more on Maine’s role in the relief effort.
The speaker, Sam Howes, is an archivist at the Maine State Archives, where he has been for three years developing exhibits and preserving the state’s historical records. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in History with a mix of American Labor, Canadian History, and Medieval Studies at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. While living in Nova Scotia, he became very interested in the relationship between the Maritime Provinces and the New England States. That interest is what led him to research the Halifax Explosion and the response from New England, and Maine in particular.
The Kennebec Historical Society December Presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted) and will take place on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, at 6:30 p.m., at the Maine State Library, located at 230 State Street, in Augusta.
- Historic presence of alewives in China Lake’s Outlet Stream reconfirmed
- Save the Mill fundraiser reaches preliminary goal
- China Days Local History Quiz 2017
- With bicentennial nearing, China remembers Sybil Jones
- KHS presents Forts Along the Kennebec
- The tragic story of Father Rasle at Kennebec Historical Society
- The Town Line: 30 years of serving area towns
- A look at the top stories in The Town Line in 2017
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Top Five Tips To Stay Fit This Holiday Season
- Give Us Your Best Shot!, Week of December 21, 2017