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?
- Also in Season 7 Manhattan Project Patent Was this drawing part of America's secret plans to fuel the atomic bomb?
- Also with Gwen Wright N.E.A.R Device Was this device invented to help Americans believe they could survive a Soviet nuclear attack?
- Related Investigation China Marine Jacket Can the symbols on this jacket identify a marine who may have witnessed paradise tumbling into disaster?
- Related Investigation John Brown Pike How did this metal blade spark violent tension between the North and the South?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Navajo Rug Why would a weaver depart from tradition to make this rug?
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