Displaced homeless people and refugees gather in grassy area near a railroad station, following explosion of the World War I shell loading facility. The T. A. Gillespie Company Shell Loading Plant explosion, sometimes called the Morgan Depot Explosion, occurred in October 4, 1918. The plant was one of the largest munitions facilities in the world at the time. Damage was extensive in the South Amboy and Sayreville area. Clip shows a refugee family posing together, sitting in the grass. Many billboard signs are on nearby fences and a grass and sidewalk area beside railroad tracks. The Perth Amboy Railroad Depot (train station) building on Smith Street is seen behind them (this building has since been moved to Lewis Street). With Martial Law imposed, the next scene shows a Coast Guard or Navy sailor on patrol to keep law and order and prevent looting in front of destroyed shopping area stores on Smith Street in Perth Amboy, including the Reynolds Brothers store (Reynolds Bros), at 134 Smith Street (also 136 Smith Street and 138 Smith Street), where the windows are blown out and debris are seen inside the store. The explosion of the Gillespie plant was one of three similar events in the New York-New Jersey area during World War 1: The Black Tom Explosion in 1916, the Kingsland Explosion in 1917, and then the Morgan Depot Explosion in 1918.
Scenes in Lyndhurst, New Jersey after explosion in the Canadian Car and Foundry Company in Kingsland (in Meadowlands of New Jersey) during World War 1. The company built shells for shipment to Russia in World War I. Over 500,000 shells were destroyed in the blast and fire, bombarding the surrounding areas in Kingsland - Lyndhurst. Black smoke rising in the distance, at night, seen from the coast. Close views of industrial buildings and homes on fire. Night views of homes and buildings engulfed in flames. People walk through smoking wreckage afterwards and pick through debris. Devastation covers area flattened by explosion and fire. Twisted railroad tracks covered by debris. A pile of munitions shells in a heap in the burned out shell of a building. View of the D.L.&W (Delaware, Lackawanna & Western) Railroad Shops building at Kingsland (now Lyndhurst), with DL&W train car 605 parked in front. Railroad Shops building is pitted with holes and broken glass from 3-inch shell bombardment. Two men inspect a damaged railroad car with broken glass and a 3-inch shell embedded in the side of the car. A heavily damaged residential house with holes and blown-out windows, and a shell embedded in the front door. Citizens pick through wreckage in front of a building where only cement pilings remain. Scene shifts to Perth Amboy area, October 1918. View of displaced families made homeless by the T.A. Gillespie Shell Loading Plant explosion (Morgan Depot Explosion; largest munitions factory in the world). Refugees sit in a town square. Men, women, and children among the refugees. An Army soldier and Navy sailor seen near refugees as they eat and drink. View of Smith Street in Perth Amboy with shops damaged by the blast. Under Martial Law, U.S. Army troops patrol with rifles to prevent looting. Pedestrians and a streetcar pass. Sign along sidewalk for entrance to Michaels & Co. at 178 Smith Street. (Suspected cause of incidents: Gillespie - worker error; Kingsland - sabotage as in the 1916 Black Tom explosion.)
A ticker tape parade in honor of American astronauts in New York. A large crowd of civilians greet and welcome the astronauts. Astronauts Donald Kent Slayton, Virgil Ivan Grissom, Malcolm Scott Carpenter and John Herschel Glenn Jr. wave as they move in a motorcade. The astronauts arrive at the City Hall for a ceremony. Lord Mayor of Perth attends the ceremony to salute John H.Glenn. American astronaut John H.Glenn Jr. signs the Gold Book. He receives the New York City's Gold Medal of Honor.
United States ship George Washington leaves the harbor in Hoboken, New Jersey. Men on a building at the port look on as the ship pulls away from the port. A sign on the building reads ' U.S. Army transport service '. Boats along the side the George Washington. A view of the harbor with boats and ships anchored. Smoke being emitted by the vessels and buildings in the background. President Woodrow Wilson talks to men aboard the ship as he heads to Europe on December 4th, 1918, for the Paris Peace Conference, following the armistice ending World War I.
The French line ship, SS Lorraine, in camouflage paint, seen backing into port at Bordeaux, France, on June 24, 1918. Belgian troops of the ACM Corps (Autos-Canons-Mitrailleuses, Belgian armored unit) disembark. (Note: Soldiers of This Belgian armored unit fought with the White Russians during World War I. They left Vladivostok for the USA on the SS Sheridan, and docked at San Francisco on May 12, 1918. They were warmly greeted as they proceeded across the U.S. to New York city, where they participated in the Memorial Day Parade. After leaving New York City, aboard the SS La Lorraine, they reached Bordeaux on June 24 1918.)
Launching of U.S. freighter "Liberty" at shipyard in Kearny,New Jersey. Large crowd gather at Federal Shipbuilding Company shipyard, in Kearny, New Jersey, for launching of the freighter USS Liberty. Charles Michael Schwab, Director General of the Emergency Fleet Corporation and Edward N. Hurley, Chairman of the U.S. Shipping Board, launch the freighter USS Liberty. People hold American flags. Freighter is launched and it leaves dock.