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President Taft Pardons William H. Van Schaick Options
Daemon
Posted: Friday, December 19, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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President Taft Pardons William H. Van Schaick

More than 1,000 people died when the General Slocum, a passenger steamship, caught fire in New York's East River in 1904. It was the city's worst loss-of-life disaster until the attacks of September 11, 2001. Van Schaick, the ship's captain, was convicted of negligence and failure to maintain fire safety equipment and received a 10-year sentence. He was paroled after serving 3½ years in prison and later pardoned by President Taft. Why were most of the passengers unable to escape the fire? More...
monamagda
Posted: Friday, December 19, 2014 10:38:09 AM

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What a terrible day in history!!

President Theodore Roosevelt formed a special commission to investigate the disaster; there was also a New York coroner's inquest and a federal grand jury investigation. In the end it was found that the General Slocum's life preservers and fire-fighting equipment were not only inadequate but old and worn out, though they had recently been approved by government inspection. But it is doubtful than many lives would have been saved even if they had been new, since the fire spread through the old wooden hull so rapidly that few would have had time to outfit themselves before leaping into the water. The investigations did, however, lead to more stringent rules governing the inspection of passenger vessels.

The burning of the Slocum proved to be one of the worst disasters on water in American history; 1,021 people — mostly women and children — were killed.
One error after another contributed to the day's tragedy. The ship's captain had not trained his crew to handle a fire. Lifeboats, tied to the ship with wire, could not be launched. Aging fire hoses burst when the water was turned on, and rotted life preservers sank like weights. Many people jumped overboard to escape the spreading flames and drowned.



http://www.maggieblanck.com/Goehle/GeneralSlocum.html
striker
Posted: Friday, December 19, 2014 12:09:20 PM
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tragic
Fredric-frank Myers
Posted: Friday, December 19, 2014 2:03:50 PM

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Very sad event...
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