http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oaRr6A -gkA •December 6, 1917 dawned clear and sunny in Halifax. •Before darkness fell, more than a thousand people would die, with another thousand to follow. •Nine thousand more would be injured and maimed in the biggest human-made explosion the world had ever seen. •Halifax was booming. It was a military town in 1917 and World War 1 had been going on for 3 years. •Halifax has one natural asset – one of the world’s natural harbours. It is one of the world's best, deepest and largest natural harbours. •Its main harbour is relatively easy to protect from intruders. It has plenty of room for docks and ships. •It had never been so busy because ships were carrying troops, supplies and munitions. By 1917, three years of war in Europe had made Halifax a boom town. With a population of about 50,000, it was the largest in Atlantic Canada. •The Belgian relief vessel Imo was leaving Halifax Harbour on its way to New York and the French munitions ship Mont Blanc was on its way to wait for a convoy when the two ships collided •The munitions ship was carrying picric acid, gun cotton and TNT. •The Mont Blanc exploded, flattening everything within 800 metres (2600 feet), and causing damage for 1.6 km (1 mile). The explosion was said to have been heard as far away as Prince Edward Island. THE MONT BLANC • The freight manifest for Mont-Blanc is a recipe for a giant bomb. • Explosives Quantity Value in 1917 US$ TNT Wet picric acid Dry picric acid Guncotton Benzol 226,797 kg 1,602,519 kg 544,311 kg 56,301 kg 223,188 kg Totals 2653,115 kg $240,750 $2,230,999 $960,000 $65,165 $104,376 $3,601,290 Imo had no cargo on board. It was heading to New York to collect emergency supplies for civilians in war-torn Belgium. It carried a large sign on its side: "BELGIAN RELIEF." The sign was supposed to discourage German submarines, or U-boats, from sinking it as a military target. More damage and devastation • More than 1500 people were killed outright; hundreds more would die in the hours and days to come. • Nine thousand people, many of whom might have been safe if they hadn't come to watch the fire, were injured by the blast, falling buildings and flying shards of glass. • Brought the experience of the war close to home Essential Questions: • What is the IMB and what did they do? • What effect did inflation have on Canadians? Was it the same effect for all? • What did the food controller do? • Describe income tax, did it vary amongst household? Businesses? Describe. • Who is Elaine Nelson? Describe her experience • Describe women’s efforts in the war. How did this influence societal ideals?