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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.
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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.