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disaster, explosions, geography, narratives, nursing history, racial identification, social boundaries



  1. Wall, Barbra Mann PhD


This historical study analyzes 2 disasters in Texas in the early 20th century: the 1937 school explosion in New London and the 1947 Texas City ship explosion. Disaster narratives and commemoration activities are examined as means of healing and restoration after a catastrophic event. Specifically, this article discusses contextual factors of time and place, Coastal and East Texas between 1937 and 1947, and shows how these factors shaped the ways in which people made sense of their disaster experiences. This included not only the influence of geography but also economics, social position, racial characterizations, and religious beliefs. The article also considers conflicting and biased factors that can occur regarding time and place and how these factors influenced narrative constructions.