Local historian and author Betsy Thorpe will talk about the deadly crash at Dutchman’s Curve, located near present day Belle Meade. The Lunch & Learn will take place Thursday, July 20, beginning at 12:15 p.m. In July of 1918, two steam locomotives collided head on in a cornfield at what was then the edge of Nashville, taking the lives of more than 100 people and injuring at least 300 others.
In this presentation, titled «Wartime Casualties at Home: How Nationalization of the Railways During WWI Led to the Deadliest Train Crash in U.S. History,» Thorpe will explore the backdrop of wartime urgency and human error that helped cause this tragic disaster. Author of «The Day the Whistles Cried,» she will also focus on how the racial and societal divisions of the early 20th century helped decide who would perish and who would survive the deadly train wreck.
Our Lunch & Learn series is just what it says—a chance for participants to eat lunch while learning something about Tennessee history at the same time. Whether you bring your lunch in a brown bag or grab a sandwich from a nearby shop, bring it to the museum and enjoy an interesting talk while you eat. The event will last about 30 minutes.
All of the programs are FREE to the public and will take place on Level B of the State Museum in front of the stage.
Image: A view of the crash. Image courtesy of Tennessee State Library & Archives.