Friday, April 27, 2012

This Day in History April 27, 1965

I will admit that I have never heard of this disaster that I am featuring today.  Interestingly enough, it was on this day in 1965 that the worst maritime disaster in U.S.  history occurred--the sinking of the S.S. Sultana.  It was more costly than the sinking of the Titanic.  Comparatively, 1517 people died in the sinking of Titanic compared with 1700 on the Sultana.  Interestingly enough, the sinking of the Sultana disaster is an event that is forgotten today.

Steamboat Sultana was carrying Union POW's back to their families.  In addition to these, there were some relatives aboard--including women.  About 2300 people were on board this ill-fated steamer, and before it left, its boiler sprung a leak.  Instead of properly fixing the problem, the captain took the quick way out and essentially applied a bandaid to the problem.

As it went along the Mississippi, it was known that it was overcrowded, but no one really cared.  It was on this date at 2 A.M. that the repaired boiler exploded.  And two more boilers exploded as well.  Many were killed instantly from falling debris amongst other things.  Many drowned, but there were some survivors.  The ship did sink, and still today it lies at the bottom of the muddy river.

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  1. Thanks for sharing this! Now I know better. That's such a sad story. I can only imagine the pain their families had to go through.

  2. Interesting. I am surprised we don't know more about this. As it's bigger in deaths and it was with Union POWs. SO sad. I do think the Titanic was more on the news because they said "Even GOD can't sink this ship" making BIG claims to a ship made big news headlines.

    Thanks for the little bit of history. I do enjoy learning more history. One of my favorite subjects. :)

    1. Indeed my favorite subject is history, too. This has become some kind of niche with my blog!


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