On This Day: Natural gas explosion kills nearly 300 at Texas school

On March 18, 1937, a natural gas explosion at a public school in New London, Texas, killed almost 300 people, most of them children.
By UPI Staff  |  March 18, 2018 at 3:00 AM
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March 18 (UPI) -- On this date in history:

In 1922, Mahatma Gandhi was sentenced to six years in prison for civil disobedience against the British rulers of India.

In 1925, the worst tornado in U.S. history roared through eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and southern Indiana, killing 695 people, injuring thousands of others and causing $17 million in property damage.

In 1937, a natural gas explosion at a public school in New London, Texas, killed almost 300 people, most of them children.

In 1962, France and Algeria signed a cease-fire agreement ending a seven-year civil war and bringing independence to the North African country.

In 1965, Soviet cosmonaut Alexey Leonov became the first person to walk in space.

In 1992, hotel queen and convicted tax cheat Leona Helmsley was sentenced to four years in prison.

In 1995, "I'm back." Superstar Michael Jordan announced he was returning to professional basketball and the Chicago Bulls after a 17-month break, during which he had tried a baseball career.

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In 2002, a 13-year-old girl died two days after being struck in the head by a puck at a Columbus Blue Jackets-Calgary Flames game. The incident forced the National Hockey League to have teams install 18-foot nets behind all goals to protect spectators.

In 2003, on the eve of war with Iraq, the U.S. State Department listed 30 countries as members of a "coalition of the willing" supporting military intervention, but only the United States, Britain and Australia were known to be providing troops.

In 2005, doctors removed the feeding tube keeping Terri Schiavo alive after a wide-ranging fight over the brain-damaged Florida woman's care that involved U.S. President George Bush and Congress.

File Photo by Cathy Kapulka/UPI

In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama signed a jobs-stimulus measure into law. It provided $17.5 billion in tax cuts and other employer incentives and shifted $20 billion to boost transit programs.

In 2014, the U.S. State Department ordered Syria to close its embassy in Washington, D.C., and consulates in Michigan and Texas, and expelled all diplomats without U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residency status.

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