On this day: an Ammunition Plant Explosion

GillespieExplosion Man standing in a large crater from T. A. Gillespie Company Shell Loading Plant explosion in Sayreville, New Jersey. October 1918. World War One.

A man stands in the crater left by the explosion. October 1918.

Disaster struck New Jersey, USA on the 4th of October, 1918, when an explosion hit the T. A. Gillespie Company Shell Loading Plant. The First World War munitions plant, one of the largest in the world, was hit by a large explosion that started a fire and went on to trigger more explosions over the next two days.

The plant itself, as well as some three-hundred other buildings, were destroyed.

Because employment records were destroyed in the explosion the exact death toll is unclear, however it is believed to be around a hundred. Hundreds of other people were injured.

Residents of Morgan NJ in flight along the road to Perth Amboy and safety from the series of great explosions which destroyed the Shell-loading Plant of T. A. Gillespie & Company. Octobe

Residents being evacuated.

The disaster is generally believed to be an accident.

About a century later, the area is still affected by explosive substances.

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On this day: a parade in London

The partially built County Hall is in the background.

Victory march of the Allied troops in London. July 19th, 1919.

Victory march of the Allied troops in London. July 19th, 1919. The procession crossing Westminster Bridge. Saturday 19th July 1919 and contingents of Military units are taking part in th

On this day: Peace Day in Britain

Soon after the end of the First World War, the 19th of July was designated as Peace Day in Britain.

The image below was taken on that day in 1919, during celebrations outside the Guildhall in Winchester in Hampshire.

Peace_day_in_Winchester Photograph of a crowd of people celebrating the end of the First World War. 19th July 1919 was designated Peace Day and was marked in different ways across the co

The Canary Girls

The so-called “Canary girls” were British women who worked through the First World War to make trinitrotoluene (TNT) shells. The nickname was given to them as repeated exposure to the substances they used turned their skin the colour of a canary.

Hundreds of the women became ill from the conditions they worked in, with one hundred fatalities reported.

The image below is of women in Nottinghamshire in July, 1917.

Female munitions workers guide 6 inch howitzer shells being lowered to the floor at the Chilwell ammunition factory in Nottinghamshire, UK. July 1917.

On this day: a Peace Treaty is Signed

The Treaty of Versailles, the most important of the peace treaties to end the First World War, was signed in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles on the 28th of June, 1919.

The war also began on the 28th of June, when Serbian assassin Gavrilo Princip murdered Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie five years before.

The Signing of Peace in the Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, 28th June 1919.

Painted by Irish artist William Orpen

The Signing of Peace in the Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, 28th June 1919.