” No story since that awful days equaled it.” Walter Cronkite 79 years ago.

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“I did nothing in my studies nor in my life to prepare me for a story of the magnitude of that New London tragedy, nor has any story since that awful day equaled it.” Walter Cronkite

The New London Schoolhouse Explosion was one of the first news stories that a young Walter Cronkite covered.

Propane is odorless in its natural state. But if there is a leak, you smell a nasty odor.

Ever wonder why?

It would have been fortuitous if the odor had been added as more and more buildings began to use propane and gas for heating. But no one thought of doing it until they realized they had to.

Lessons learned that save lives later, often come at high cost.

On March 18, 1937, a gas leak was sparked, causing an explosion that killed approximately 293 students and teachers at the New London School in New London, Texas. It is still the deadliest school disaster in U.S. History.

Ultimately, one of the biggest factors in this disaster was a desire to cut costs.

Warnings signs, such as students having headaches were also ignored. Instead, windows were opened.

All the contributing factors are listed in Shit Doesn’t Just Happen: The Gift of Failure. My goal in these books is to show how we have learned and can continue to learn from the sacrifices of those who went before. Those people, most schoolchildren, who dies in this disaster led to a change, adding odor to propane, that has saved many lives since then.

If only it didn’t take a disaster!

Originally published at writeitforward.wordpress.com on March 18, 2016.

West Point grad; Special Ops Vet; NY Times bestseller of over 80 books; for free books and over 200 free downloadable slideshows go to www.bobmayer.com

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