Saturday May 18 at noon
On June 15, 1904 the excursion boat General Slocum caught fire in the East River. The blaze resulted in the deaths of over 1000 passengers, mostly women and children, making it New York City’s worst disaster until the 9/11 attacks of 2001.
A strong headwind fanned the fire out of control. The Slocum’s life preservers and hoses were rotted. Most victims who did not burn to death drowned when they jumped into the river to escape the flames. Almost all of the passengers lived in a German-American enclave in the East Village known as Kleindeutchland. The grief-stricken neighborhood never recovered from the tragedy, and many survivors resettled to Yorkville, a growing new German-American community on the Upper East Side.
Join NYC H2O as we sail aboard the historic tugboat Pegasus, retracing and recounting the ill fated last voyage of the Slocum. Michael Miscione, the Manhattan Borough Historian, will be our tour guide.
Further reading can be found on the following websites:
The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
Maggie Blanck’s website