Terrorism's 100th anniversaryBreaking News
tags: terrorism, Black Tom explosion
This week marks the 100th anniversary of an interesting but little known event in American history; a devastating catastrophe that was arguably the first major act of foreign terrorism in our nation. On the assumption you’re probably sick of 2016 presidential politics already, let me take you back to 1916 and tell you the story of the Black Tom Explosion.
Black Tom Island, named either for an early African-American resident or because the island’s profile vaguely resembled a black cat with an arched back, was a small mound of earth jutting out of New York Harbor, a stone’s throw from Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
By 1916, it had been connected to the Jersey City coast by a landfilled causeway, and was used as a pier by the Lehigh Valley Railroad. Most notably, munitions, dynamite and gun powder often passed through Black Tom Island on the way to the warzone in Europe. Though the U.S. was still officially neutral in the Great War, it was no great secret that we supplied the Allies, especially Great Britain, with materiel to carry on the fight.
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