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For more than 150 years, East Tennesseans have experienced disasters of historic proportions. The 1902 Fraterville Mine explosion took the lives of 216 men and boys. A 1904 head-on passenger train wreck in New Market claimed the lives of 64. In 1906, Jellico was practically destroyed by the explosion of a train car loaded with dynamite. Floodwaters near Rockwood in 1929 took the lives of 7 Boy Scouts and their Scoutmaster. An explosion in 1960 at Kingsport's Eastman plant killed 16 workers and injured 400. In 2016, a fire in the Great Smoky Mountains claimed the lives of 14 while destroying 2,460 buildings. Knoxville author Dewaine Speaks chronicles these and other historic tragedies in East Tennessee.
About the Author
Dewaine Speaks earned a BA degree with a major in economics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he was an outfielder on the Volunteers baseball team. He retired in 2001 following a career in the marketing of industrial equipment, both domestically and internationally. Previously published work by Dewaine Speaks are "Wild About Mary," a short story; Preparing for International Travel, an informative travel guide; Weston Fulton Changed the World, a biography of Tennessee's most prolific inventor; and East Tennessee in World War II, the story of the area's important contributions to the nation's war effort during World War II. He has also written various newspaper articles.