On March 8,two battalions of about 3, Marines waded ashore on Red Beach 2 — becoming the first American combat troops deployed to Vietnam. In the ensuing months they were followed by thousands more combat forces, making the year the United States transformed the Vietnam conflict into an American war. In a Gallup poll found that 63 percent of the American public was paying no attention to Vietnam, which President Lyndon B. The landing at Red Beach 2, complicated by bad weather and occasional sniper fire, climaxed years of soul-searching, frustration and policy battles largely hidden from the American people.
Background[ edit ] Our Lady of the Angels was an elementary school comprising kindergarten through eighth grades. The area was also home to several other first- second- and third-generation immigrant groups, including Polish AmericansGerman Americansand Slavic Americans. Most of the families in the immediate neighborhood were Roman Catholic.
The school was one of several buildings associated with the large Roman Catholic parish; others included a church, a rectory, which was adjacent to the church, a convent of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Marywhich was across Iowa Street from the school, and two buildings one block east on Hamlin Avenue referred to by the parish as Joseph Hall and Mary Hall respectively, which housed kindergarten and first-grade classes.
The Hamlin Avenue buildings were not involved in the fire, and aside from some minor smoke inhalation problems no deaths or serious injuriesneither were the first floor of the north wing, the entire south wing, or the annex.
The north wing was part of a two-story structure built inbut remodeled several times over the years.
That wing originally consisted of a first-floor church and a second-floor school. The entire building became a school when a new, much larger church was opened in The two original buildings and the annex formed a U-shape, with a narrow fenced courtyard between.
Allowing for a grandfather clause that did not require schools to retrofit to a new standard if they already met previous regulations, the school legally complied with the state of Illinois and city of Chicago fire codes of and was generally clean and well-maintained; nonetheless, several fire hazards existed.
Each classroom door had a glass transom above it, which provided ventilation into the corridor but also permitted flames and smoke to enter once heat broke the glass.
The school had one fire escape. The building had no automatic fire alarmno rate-of-rise heat detectorsno direct alarm connection to the fire departmentno fire-resistant stairwells, and no heavy-duty fire doors from the stairwells to the second floor corridor.
At the time, fire sprinklers were primarily found in factories or in new school construction, and the modern smoke detector did not become commercially available until In keeping with city fire codes, the building had a brick exterior to prevent fires from spreading from building-to-building as in the Great Chicago Fire of However, its interior was made almost entirely of combustible wooden materials—stairs, walls, floors, doors, roof, and cellulose fiber ceiling tiles.
Moreover, the floors had been coated many times with both flammable varnish and petroleum-based waxes. There were only two unmarked fire alarm switches in the entire school, and they were both in the south wing. There were four fire extinguishers in the north wing, each mounted 7 feet 2.
The single fire escape was near one end of the north wing, but to reach it required passing through the main corridor, which in this case rapidly became filled with suffocating smoke and superheated gases. Students hung their flammable winter coats on hooks in the hallway there were no lockers.
There were no limits to the number of students in a single classroom, and because of the post- World War II baby boom this number sometimes reached as many as 64 students. The school did not have a fire alarm box outside on the sidewalk, the nearest one being a block and a half away.
With its foot 3. The fire[ edit ] Outbreak and reaction[ edit ] The fire began in the basement of the older north wing between about 2: Classes were due to be dismissed at 3: Ignition took place in a cardboard trash barrel located a few feet from the northeast stairwell.
The fire smoldered undetected for approximately 20 minutes, gradually heating the stairwell and filling it with a light grey smoke that later would become thick and black, as other types of combustibles became involved. At the same time, it began sending superheated air and gasses into an open pipe chase very near the source of the fire.
The pipe chase made an uninterrupted conduit up to the cockloft above the second floor classrooms see "Evacuation" below. The smoke began to fill the second-floor corridor, but remained unnoticed for a few minutes.
The girls encountered thick grayish smoke, making them cough loudly. O'Neill got up from her desk and began lining up her students to evacuate the building. When she opened the front door of the classroom moments later to enter the hallway, the intensity of the smoke caused O'Neill to deem it too dangerous to attempt escape down the stairs leading to Avers Avenue on the west side of the building.
She remained inside the classroom with her students to await rescue. The fire continued to strengthen, and several more minutes elapsed before the school's fire alarm rang. About this same time, a window at the foot of the stairwell shattered due to the intense heat, giving the smoldering fire a new oxygen supply.
The wooden staircase burst into flames and, acting like a chimney, sent hot gases, fire, and very thick, black smoke swirling up the stairwell.
At approximately the same time, the school janitor, James Raymond, saw a red glow through a window while walking by the building. After running to the basement furnace room, he viewed the fire through a door that led into the stairwell.Mar 07, · By Kim Olver for leslutinsduphoenix.com With around 50 percent of marriages in the U.S.
ending in divorce, it's important to take a look at the marriage mistakes that can lead to divorce. 5. Markets tumble A panic in the world's foreign exchange market led the U.S. dollar to plunge in value after a poor English translation of an article by Guan Xiangdong of the China News Service.
Writer and speaker Scott Berkun's new essay collection, Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds, examines, among other things, how to learn from your mistakes. In this excerpt, Berkun discusses four. Mar 10, · No big deal, right? Unfortunately, tiny mistakes can go a long way in making history happen.
We can only guess how different things would be right now, were it not for a few choices that affected the whole world. Anything with a big roll arm is a waste of space.
An overstuffed sofa with a heavy roll arm may waste inches just on the arm, where you aren’t even sitting.
While they feel comfortable in a large family room, they’ll eat up valuable space in a small living room. Consider a sofa like our Cameron, Manchester, or Hartwell sofas instead. Apr 09, · Let’s just point this out upfront: By most accounts, Johnson was trying to accomplish the seemingly impossible with a radical reinvention of the JC Penney brand.
Many thought that if anyone could do it, it was Johnson, the retail superstar credited for .
This is the most famous of Christopher Columbus’s misconceptions, but perfectly understandable given his faulty knowledge of geography. At the time Columbus sailed, most Europeans imagined the world as one giant landmass, comprised of Europe, Africa and Asia, floating in a vast ocean. Mar 07, · By Kim Olver for leslutinsduphoenix.com With around 50 percent of marriages in the U.S. ending in divorce, it's important to take a look at the marriage mistakes that can lead to divorce. Although Our Lady of the Angels School had passed a routine fire department safety inspection weeks before the disaster, the school was not legally bound to comply with all fire safety codes due to a grandfather clause in the standards.