On This Day: Ship explosion near Halifax kills more than 1,900

On Dec. 6, 1917, more than 1,900 people died in an explosion when a Belgian ship and a French munitions vessel collided in the harbor at Halifax, Nova Scotia.
By UPI Staff  |  Dec. 6, 2017 at 3:00 AM
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Dec. 6 (UPI) -- On this date in history:

In 1768, Encyclopedia Britannica was first published.

In 1865, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, abolishing slavery in the United States.

In 1877, The Washington Post published its first edition.

In 1907, in West Virginia's Marion County, an explosion in a network of mines owned by the Fairmont Coal Co. in Monongah killed 361 coal miners. It was the worst mining disaster in U.S. history.

In 1917, more than 1,900 people died in an explosion when a Belgian relief ship and a French munitions vessel collided in the harbor at Halifax, Nova Scotia.

In 1922, the Irish Free State, forerunner of the modern Republic of Ireland, was officially proclaimed.

File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

In 1933, following the repeal of Prohibition, Americans crowded into liquor stores, bars and cafes to buy their first legal alcoholic beverages in 13 years.

In 1941, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a message to Japanese Emperor Hirohito expressing hope that gathering war clouds would be dispelled. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor the next day.

In 1973, Gerald Ford was confirmed as vice president under Richard Nixon, replacing Spiro Agnew, who had resigned in the face of income tax-evasion charges.

In 1975, the U.S. Senate authorized a $2.3 billion emergency loan to save New York City from bankruptcy.

In 1995, Michael Jackson was hospitalized after collapsing on stage while rehearsing for an HBO special. Paramedics said he had low blood pressure.

Michael Jackson rehearses with French mime Marcel Marceau on December 4 at the Beacon Theater for an upcoming HBO cable special. Jackson was rushed to a New York Hospital suffering from low blood pressure while rehearsing December 6. File Photo by Ezio Petersen/UPI

In 1997, the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East was hit by a fierce earthquake, measuring 8.5 to 9 in magnitude, but there were no reported deaths in the sparsely populated region.

In 2005, an Iranian military aircraft hit a 10-story residential building in Tehran and exploded shortly after takeoff, killing at least 128 people.

In 2006, Robert Gates was confirmed as the secretary of defense by the U.S. Senate on a 95-2 vote.

In 2010, Julian Assange, the Australian-born co-founder of WikiLeaks, the whistle-blower website that published thousands of secret U.S. government documents, was arrested in Britain on a Swedish warrant accusing him of sexual assault.

In 2012, U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., announced he would leave the Senate to head the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
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