Monday, April 14, 2014

Bill Minutaglio

From Randy Dotinga's Q & A with Bill Minutaglio, author of 2003's City on Fire: The Explosion that Devastated a Texas Town and Ignited a Historic Legal Battle, which is about the 1947 explosion in Texas City of a ship full of ammonium nitrate that killed hundreds and left thousands wounded:

Q: How is the Texas City disaster memorialized, and how has it affected that community to this day?

A: It is recognized in various ways – with a memorial area, with anniversary commemorations. The city is well aware of its history. The main library in Texas City is a wonderful repository of history, oral histories, photographs.

It's hard to say how the event affects the community now. I think, in general, people in Texas City are mindful of the giant, sprawling industrial complex that rings the city.

It is enormous, and the people in the city are very proud of the fact that large portions of America would not function as they do without the goods and services from Texas City. America would be radically different, probably malfunctioning according to some people, without the energy and petrochemical nexus of Texas City.

Q: Why do you think the Texas City disaster is largely forgotten? Does it just not fit into a wider historical narrative?

A: People remember Texas City when they want to, through the prism of the media that revives the story when...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue