Disasters and Heroic Rescues of North Carolina: Twenty True Stories of Tragedy and Survival

Overview

It's only human to be fascinated by disasters - and uplifted by reports of heroic rescues in the face of such overwhelming circumstances. Disasters and Heroic Rescues of North Carolina includes eighteen stories of tragedy and triumph from two centuries of Tar Heel State history. Focusing on individuals who met their fate and historical accounts from witnesses and survivors, these incredible but true stories uncover the human drama found at the heart of every catastrophic event.
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Overview

It's only human to be fascinated by disasters - and uplifted by reports of heroic rescues in the face of such overwhelming circumstances. Disasters and Heroic Rescues of North Carolina includes eighteen stories of tragedy and triumph from two centuries of Tar Heel State history. Focusing on individuals who met their fate and historical accounts from witnesses and survivors, these incredible but true stories uncover the human drama found at the heart of every catastrophic event.
Look inside to read about:

* The Great Fire of 1831 in Fayetteville, which left "nothing but stacks of tottering chimneys"
* The Lexington-area train wreck that ended Annie Oakley's Wild West Show career in 1901
* Newlyweds from Long Beach who survived 1954's Hurricane Hazel by using their mattress as a makeshift raft
* The 1961 air force plane crash that dropped a free-falling A-bomb on an open field near Goldsboro
* The collapse of a pedestrian walkway that injured many but, miraculously, killed none during a NASCAR race in Concord in 2000

Whether the event happened long ago or within your lifetime, you'll be moved by these real-life stories-tributes to the human spirit of survival and solidarity in the face of adversity.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762737048
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2005
  • Series: Disasters Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Scotti Cohn

Scotti McAuliff Cohn is a writer and freelance editor specializing in history and young-adult fiction. Her other books include It Happened in North Carolina and More than Petticoats: Remarkable North Carolina Women. After living for more than twenty years in North Carolina, she now makes her home in Bloomington, Illinois.

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Read an Excerpt

Suddenly the train made two jumps, then jerked forward and back. Sanderlin woke up. In the first-class car, Conductor Spaugh reached for the danger cord. Before he could touch it, another jolt knocked him off his feet. Lawson, the millinery salesman, grabbed the seat in front of him. The train jolted and bumped, then plunged over the side of Bostian Bridge.

The distance from the top of the rail to the surface of the water was just over 60 feet. To the people onboard the fall seemed to last an eternity. Col. H. C. Demming of Pennsylvania wondered why they were in the air so long. He tucked his pillow more securely under his head and reviewed his entire life, regretting that he had accomplished so little in the world. Auditor Sanderlin later recalled: "I felt myself going down, down, down. . . . I could [not] tell whither. My heart well nigh stopped beating."

As the train hit the ground the sound of breaking glass and the hiss of escaping steam filled the night air. The first-class car landed on its right side, tilted at a 45-degree angle. Lawson landed on George Bowley, the rubber salesman. "That you, Louisville?" asked Bowley, who could not remember his new friend's name. "Yes," came the reply. "Is that you, Atlanta?"

The train's wheels continued to revolve noisily. Strong at first, the motor's pulse began to fade. Lawson and Bowley tried to get their bearings in the absolute darkness. All around them the cries and groans of the injured grew louder and louder. The two men climbed out a window. Lawson noticed blood flowing freely from several cuts, including a large one on the left side of his face.

The second-class car lay along the embankment atop the tender, a special car designed to carry fuel and water. Both were next to the engine, which had ploughed into the soft earth. The sleeper car lay with one end in Third Creek.

Bennehan Cameron had been asleep until the moment of impact. Now he felt timbers closing in on him in his berth. He was certain he was doomed. Water began to rise to his chest, then to his neck. The wreckage had dammed up the creek. Cameron yelled for help. No one answered. He worked desperately to free himself.

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Table of Contents

(1) Introduction (2) The Great Fire, 1831 (3) The Wreck of the Steam Packet Home, 1837 (4) The Wreck of the Metropolis, 1878 (5) The Wreck at Bostian Bridge, 1891 (6) The Hotel Zinzendorf Fire, 1892 (7) The San Ciriaco Hurricane, 1899 (8) The Wild West Show Train Wreck, 1901 (9) The July Floods, 1916 (10) The Influenza Pandemic, 1918 (11) The Coal Glen Mining Disaster, 1925 (12) The August Floods, 1940 (13) The Atlantic Coast Line Wreck, 1943 (14) The Highland Hospital Fire, 1948 (15) Hurricane Hazel, 1954 (16) The Crash of Two B-52 Bombers, 1961 (17) The Crash of Flight 1016, 1994 (18) The Speedway Disaster, 2000 (19) The February Snowstorm, 2004

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