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Library hosts New London school explosion book author

May 19, 2013-- The author of Gone at 3:17: The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster in American History, David M. Brown, will discuss his book at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 29, at the Longview Public Library, 222 W. Cotton St.

Brown will be in the Library’s Moeschle Room to discuss how the book came to be, highlights of the extensive research that made it possible, and the need to preserve the story of the New London school explosion as a part of East Texas history. He will also discuss how the catastrophe resulted in safer schools and buildings throughout the world.

The 1937 natural gas explosion at a high school in New London, Texas, shocked the entire world because of the enormity of the disaster, with some 300 students and teachers killed because of a natural gas leak that should have been avoided. As a result of the tragedy, communities in the United States and around the globe have adopted regulations that require an additive in odorless natural gas of an ingredient causing the rotten-egg smell that people now identify as a warning of danger.

Brown started research on the New London School explosion while living in East Texas in the late 1980s and early 1990s, where he was a correspondent for the Longview News-Journal. He conducted numerous interviews with survivors including students and teachers, rescue workers, and others to gain extensive insights about the disaster, the people who lived through it, and those lost. The result of his hard work was the book, Gone at 3:17: The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster in American History.

“The publication of Gone at 3:17 and other books about the explosion helped increase modern awareness of this horrible disaster, but the great majority of Americans living today still have no idea it ever happened,” said Brown.

For more  information about the Longview Public Library, please contact 903-237-1350

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