Slang of the First World War
The "Halifax Explosion"

“View of the column of smoke raised by the Halifax Explosion”
Credit: Library and Archives Canada / PA-166585.

Did you know after the events of 6 December 1917, the “Halifax Explosion” became the common reference point against which later explosions were compared? The severity – and popularity – of the disaster ensured that anything likened in strength to the “Halifax Explosion” could be easily understood by the average citizen. In fact, J. Robert Oppenheimer later used the numbers gathered from the Halifax Explosion to determine the potential effects of a nuclear explosion (Mac Donald, Curse of The Narrows – The Halifax Explosion 1917, p. 288).