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1928 West Plains, Missouri dance hall explosion...



Item # 572466

April 16, 1928

ALBANY EVENING NEWS, New York, April 16, 1928 

* West Plains, Missouri 
* Bond Dance Hall explosion
 

This 24 page newspaper has one column headlines on the front page: "DANCE HALL BLAST SEEN DELIBERATE" "Garage Man Suspected of Causing Explosion That Killed 40"

Tells of the West Plain, Missouri Bond Dance Hall explosion disaster.

Other news of the day. Little margin wear, otherwise good.

wikipedia notes: West Plains was the site of a disaster later remembered in folksong. On Friday, April 13, 1928, about sixty young people had gathered in the Bond Dance Hall, on the second floor of an East Main Street building (the first floor was occupied by Wiser Motors). At 11:05 pm, as the orchestra played "At Sundown," a violent explosion occurred. Thirty-seven people were killed and 22 more were injured. Twenty of the dead were never identified, but buried in the Oak Lawn Cemetery, where they are memorialized by the Rock of Ages monument, erected October 6, 1929. No cause was ascertained, though leaking gasoline from the garage below was suspected. Windows were shattered throughout the Halstead block, and the heat, combined with subsequent explosions, twisted cars on the street out of shape.

Robert Neathery, a lifelong resident of West Plains who died at the age of 96 in 2003, wrote in West Plains as I Knew It about a truck full of dynamite parked in the garage below as a possible cause for the explosion.

A memorial for the unidentified currently lies at Oak Lawn Cemetery.

Category: The 20th Century

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