December 06, 2004

On this day in Canadian history

87 years ago, in 1917, the Norwegian cargo ship Imo collided with the French munitions ship Mont Blanc, carrying more than 2000 tons of TNT, picric acid, and other explosives. The result was the Great Halifax Explosion. The largest man-made explosion prior to Hiroshima obliterated two square kilometers of Halifax, killed 2000 people where they stood, and injured 9000 more. The official inquiry into the disaster originally assigned sole responsibility to the Mont Blanc, but it was later concluded that both ships were equally to blame.

The CBC Web site has a good documentary on the Halifax Explosion, with pictures and even movies.

15 years go, in 1989, Marc Lépine, a mentally ill misogynist from an extremely dysfunctional family gunned down 14 female engineering students at L'École Polytechnique de Montréal. Every December 6 since, feminists politicize this aberration as an archetype of all men everywhere. As always, I refuse to be guilted into admitting to attitudes I do not share.