Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States of America had once said, “The more you know about the past, the better ready you are for the future.”

The only problem here is that history is narrated from the victor’s point of view in war and it deems to be people’s victories over people. 

The world has had so many horrific events that some are not spoken of, some are chosen to be forgotten and some merely exist as a phantom of a memory. 

Bringing to you, few of the incidents from world history that the world has chosen to forget.

Mass Suicide In Jonestown

November 18th, 1978 saw some of the worst turns of events that humanity can come across. Reverend Jim Jones, a religious cult leader and civil rights activist, took his followers to a remote forest in Guyana to promote his cult and set up a town called “Jonestown”. 

Congressman Leo Ryan decided to visit this town and investigate the allegations of poor living conditions and abuse. As Ryan and his crew were about to leave with the truth about the place, their plane was shot down making him the only Congressman to die in the line of fire. 

Seeing the hopelessness of the situation, Jones told his people, “It’s over, it’s all over, they’re coming for us, this is it, it’s time to transition to the other side”.

This “other side” referred to suicide under gunpoint. He made the children and babies have cyanide-laced potion to “transition to the other side”. Those who did not were either shot or injected with poison.

The final death toll for this massacre was 918, mostly children and babies.

Also Read: Why Do Indian Cities Keep Getting Flooded No Matter How Developed They Are?

The Sinking Of SS Sultana

While travelling up the Mississippi on 27th April 1865, steamboat Sultana exploded and sank, killing almost 1800 people. This is the worst disaster in US maritime history and this incident was mostly overshadowed by the sinking of the Titanic. 

“It was just weeks after the Civil War ended and the vessel was packed with Union soldiers who had been released from Confederate prison camp,” said Jerry Potters, lawyer and author of The Sultana Tragedy. 

The boat had a carrying capacity of 376 people but had over 2500 at the time because the government had agreed to pay $5 dollar for each enlisted man and $10 for each officer on board.

At 2 in the morning, 3 out of 4 boilers gave up and exploded, making a huge explosive sound and equally drastic blast radius. 

The Hillsborough Disaster

Taking place on 15th April 1989, during a FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, this is probably one of the worst disasters in British footballing history. 

The two standing-only central pens in the Leppings Lane stand came crashing down, killing 96 and injuring 766. A combination of poor crowd management and blatant ignorance of safety protocols led to the disaster. 

The police had let in more people than recommended, and most of them to the Leppings Lane stand. It became very apparent that overcrowding was being a menace along with the huge number of supporters still streaming in.

People were victims of asphyxiation and were trying to get out of the stand. Referee Ray Lewis stopped the match when he saw people desperately trying to escape the stand and were climbing the fence to avoid the crash.

The Sun and the British Police laid the blame onto the victims and the fans and even claimed them to be drunk, urinating on corpses and robbing dead bodies. However, what really caused the disaster was negligence in safety protocols, poor crowd management and lastly a huge cover-up of the incident.

Image Sources: Google Images

Sources: Goal, NPR, History

Connect With The Blogger: Shouvonik Bose

This post was tagged under: liverpool, nottingham forest, man made disasters, forgotten disasters, sinking of titanic, jonestown massacre

Also Recommended: 

Why Video Games Should Be Given Their Due Respect As An Art Form, Much Like Cinema


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here