Melanie R.

Summerside, Prince Edward Island

Vista Regional Heritage Fair

The Halifax Explosion

In the morning of December 6th, 1917 two ships collided in the Halifax harbour. The crash caused a fire leading many people to come down to the harbour to watch what was going on. Little did they know that soon one of those ships would explode leading to the biggest man made explosion in the world before the atomic bomb.


What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

There was a lot of interesting facts about the Halifax explosion. One of them was that there were windows that were shattered from the explosion in Truro. Truro is an hour away from Halifax in a car! Another fact I found interesting was that lots of people (199) went blind from the explosion because a lot of people were looking out the window watching the fire in the harbour. When the explosion occurred, the glass went in their eyes causing them to be blind.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

The important lesson I learned doing my heritage fair project was that no matter what happens in life you have to stay strong and fight through it. During my research I bought a book about children that survived the Halifax explosion. The stories in that book were very touching and every child in that book lost at least one family member. They stayed strong and kept on living their lives. I remember one of the children lost every one in her family. Of course she would have been sad but she was strong and never gave up in life.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

Life in 1917 was a lot different than it is now. For example, in 1917 they didn’t even use Kleenex because it wasn’t invented until the 1920s. This means they would have used handkerchiefs. Cars were invented but very few owned one. Today almost everyone has a car. Clothing was a lot different too. Girls wore dresses every day. The dresses during that time started to get shorter (stopped at the knees) because there was less fabric available due to the War that was going on (WW1). Also all buttons would have been made of pearls, because plastic buttons were not invented until the 1920s.