Today in History: January 6th

1839: The ‘Night of the Big Wind’ in Ireland — a severe windstorm (the worst in 300 years) sweeps across the country. Around 300 are killed, Connacht, Ulster and Leinster suffer varying degrees of property damage, and 42 ships are wrecked.

1941: President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers his ‘Four Freedoms’ State of the Union address.

1950: The United Kingdom recognizes the People’s Republic of China, prompting Taiwan to sever diplomatic relations with the UK.

1995: An apartment complex chemical fire in Manila, Philippines, leads to the discovery of plans for the Bojinka terrorist plot, a plan to blow up 12 planes and approximately 4000 passengers on their way from Asia to the USA.

2005: A collision involving two trains in Graniteville, South Carolina, USA releases about 60 tons of chlorine gas. Nine people die and at least 250 require treatment for chlorine exposure. 5400 residents living within a mile of the crash are forced to evacuate for 2 weeks while decontamination occurs.

See also Leadership in Canada, Learning from Past Disasters, A Ticket to Ride (Planning for Security and Safety), 9/11, the Resurgence of Russia

Today in History: December 3rd

2007:  A winter storms cause the Chehalis River to flood many cities in Washington state. At least eight deaths and billions of dollars in damages are blamed on the floods.

2005: Allan Waters dies in Toronto. He was born in 1921 and was the founder of CHUM radio and other media properties.

1984: In Bhopal, India, a Union Carbide plant leaks methyl isocyanate, which descends on the nearby town. The official immediate death toll was 2,259, with another confirmed 3,787 dying later as a direct result of the gas leak. Around 550,000 are estimated to have been injured with around 4,000 of those considered severe and permanently disabling. The long-term fallout of the disaster include criminal charges against several Union Carbide personnel in both India and the US, including the CEO at the time, Warren Anderson.

An Ounce of Prevention – Bhopal