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The Roundtable

'The Port Chicago 50' By Steve Sheinkin

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  On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors who were at the docks, critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks, and shattering windows up to a mile away.

On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. When the dust settled, fifty were charged with mutiny, facing decades in jail and even execution.

Steve Sheinkin’s new book on the subject is The Port Chicago 50. Sheinkin is the award-winning author of several books on American history for young adults. Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon, was awarded a Newbery Honor, won the Sibert Medal and was a finalist for the National Book Award.

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