New Book on Standard Oil Fire Now Available
It was one of the most spectacular industrial disasters in American history when it occurred. In the hours after the August 27, 1955 explosion and fire at the Standard Oil Refinery people around the world became familiar with Whiting, Indiana. It was front page news. Those who lived here at that time never forgot the ear-shattering explosion and the fires which shot up to the heavens as millions of gallons of oil burned. Now, for the first time, the story of that event is being told in a book. One Minute After Sunrise: The Story of the Standard Oil Refinery Fire of 1955 is now available for purchase at the cost of $13.99. All proceeds from the sale of the book will go to support the work of the Whiting-Robertsdale Historical Society.
The book is the final part of a project started by the Historical Society in the summer of 2014. Volunteers John Hmurovic, Frank Vargo, Gayle Faulker-Kosalko and Chuck Kosalko interviewed 82 people who were willing to share their memories of what happened at the Whiting Refinery and how it affected Northwest Indiana in late August of 1955. The main aim of the project was to preserve those memories from six decades ago before they completely faded away. On August 27, 2015, on the 60th anniversary of the explosion, a video about the disaster, produced by the Historical Society, premiered at the Whiting High School Auditorium to a packed house. Later that year the Indiana Historical Society awarded its annual Indiana History Outstanding Project Award to the Whiting-Robertsdale Historical Society for its work on this project.
“The book is about the explosion, fire and the impact it had on Whiting,” said John Hmurovic, who authored the book, “but it also sets the scene by telling the story of how Whiting started. So its first few chapters go into detail about the arrival of the first railroads and the first non-native settlers, the decision of Standard Oil to build a refinery here, and what it was like to live in Whiting in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I think it also goes into more detail than anything I’ve ever seen about the life of “Pop” Whiting, the man the city was named after, and about the history of Stieglitz Park, the neighborhood in Whiting that was basically wiped off the map because of the explosion.”
The $13.99 book is available by contacting Frank Vargo at the Whiting-Robertsdale Historical Society at 219-659-2190. To have the book mailed to you, please send a check for $18.99 (includes shipping) to the WR Historical Society, 1610-119th Street with your address and phone number.
Copies of the Historical Society’s 30-minute video on the Standard Oil explosion and fire are available $12. To have one mailed to you, again send a check to the Historical Society for $15 to cover shipping.
And now the Historical Society is offering a combination of both the new book and the video at a special price of only $20. To have one mailed to you, please send a check for $25 to cover mailing costs.
The book can also be purchased online by going to www.bookstore.iuniverse.com. John Hmurovic will be at the Studio 659 on Sunday, June 25th, 2017 at 2 pm, located at 1413 119th Street, Whiting, Indiana.
Whiting, Indiana –
Whiting, Indiana –