A Coast Guard historian is retelling the story of how America’s port security was launched after an explosion in New York that was “30 times bigger than 2001,” according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The disaster during World War I “focused public attention on the dangers posed by explosive cargoes to American port cities,” says the new report by Coast Guard Atlantic Area Historian William. H. Thiesen.
The attention led to the Espionage Act of 1917, which “became one of the most important legislative acts to empower the Coast Guard in its port security mission.”
The story on the Coast Guard blog recalls the explosion was so big that it rocked New York City.
A munitions terminal on Black Tom Island, New Jersey, just across the Hudson from Manhattan, was blown up by German saboteurs.
“The blast shattered windows as far away as New York City, killed several persons, and caused property damage amounting to approximately $1 billion in current currency,” the report said.
“The explosion was 30 times more powerful than the 2001 World Trade Center collapse and ranks as the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil prior to 9/11,” the report said.
It was at a location where explosives were being stockpiled for shipment overseas for war effort.
The report said the disaster “quickly focused attention on the dangers of storing, loading and trans-shipping volatile explosives near major population centers.”