The Port Chicago Mutiny (1944)

The Port Chicago disaster was a deadly explosion that occurred on July 17, 1944, at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in California. At the time, Black enlisted men were being used as laborers to load ammunition ships bound for the Pacific front of World War II. The explosion, one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in U.S. history, killed 320 sailors, injured hundreds more, and devastated the surrounding area. The tragedy is considered a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement as it led to widespread protests and a successful mutiny by Black sailors demanding better working conditions. This incident remains one of the worst home-front disasters during World War II. 


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