Black Tom Shell
A woman in Whitehouse Station, NJ has an explosive artifact in her possession: a large, intact artillery shell, along with a note in her mother's handwriting which reads “Black Tom Explosion of 1914.”
Elaine's mother's record-keeping is off; it was not 1914, but July 30, 1916 when a German spy ring carried out a well-planned set of synchronized explosions on Black Tom Island in New York's harbor, using the United States' own cache of munitions produced to aid Britain and France in World War I.
Two million pounds of exploding ammunition rocked the country as far away as Philadelphia, blew the windows out of nearly every high rise in lower Manhattan, injuring hundreds.
History Detectives determines whether this shell was involved in one of the earliest foreign terrorist attacks on American soil.
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Shippen Golf Club Was this the golf club used by John Shippen when he made sporting history in the 1896 U.S. Open?
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- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Mail Order Brides Are these images evidence of mail order brides in 1890s Chicago?
- Also in Season 6 Blueprint Special Did this record play a dramatic role in the Allied victory during the Second World War?
- Also in Season 6 GAR Photograph How did two African Americans come to be part of this photograph in Reconstructionist-era America?
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