Author John Neal Phillips, author of Running with Bonnie and Clyde : The Ten Fast Years of Ralph Fults, discusses the topic of his latest book: Sitting on a Keg of Dynamite: Father Bill, Texas City, and a Disaster Foretold.
John Neal Phillips will discuss the events leading to the Texas City Disaster, 1947, to date, the worst industrial accident in the United States, killing nearly 600 people and causing millions of dollars of damage. One of the victims, a Roman Catholic priest named Father Bill Roach, was part of a group of local citizens seeking to improve living and working conditions in Texas City. That Roach was at the explosion’s epicenter was no surprise to those who knew him –and most everyone in town knew him. Numerous contemporary photographs will support detailed information about Roach, the deadly explosion of thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate that took his life, and the related industrial fires that burned for weeks.
This event is free to the public, as part of Dallas Historical Society’s evening lecture series.