Harriet Tubman escapes slavery, the capstone is set on the Washington Monument, the TV special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" debuts, and Roy Orbison passes away, all on this day.
1917: The SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship fully loaded with wartime explosives, explodes after colliding with another ship in Halifax Harbor, destroying part of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. About 2,000 people were killed by debris, fires and collapsed buildings, with another 9,000 injured. Until the Trinity test explosions of atomic bombs, this was the largest man-made explosion in recorded history.
Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons
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U.S. Department of Defense
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Kevin Winter/Getty Images
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