While World War I raged in Europe, America scrambled to supply the Allies with ammunition, and several munitions plants were constructed near the Jersey Shore.
The hastily built plants hummed with hardly a mishap until the fateful night of October 4, 1918, when a series of explosions killed one hundred people.
Firemen and other volunteers were powerless to stop the destruction as it devastated the Morgan–South Amboy area and terrified the surrounding region.
Strangely, though, this woeful disaster has been forgotten by history.
New Jersey historian Randall Gabrielan re-creates this terrifying night and its aftermath in the context of Middlesex County’s role in the Great War.