On March 18, 1937, a gas leak at The Consolidated School of New London, Texas, led to an explosion that claimed the lives of nearly 300 students and teachers.
It remains one of the worst school disasters in US history.
Kenneth Honeycutt was playing near the school when the explosion happened. At StoryCorps, he shared memories of the tragedy with his wife, Gaye.
Click here for the transcript.
It happened at 3:10 in the afternoon, about 20 minutes before school would've been dismissed. As a matter of fact all of the school buses were already lined up to take the kids home.
I had a lot of relatives going to school then. My cousin Forrest was in the sixth grade, my Aunt Elson in the tenth grade.
Forrest was killed. My Aunt Elson had back injuries, but the major effect on her was emotional. She lived a very anxiety-filled life from then on.
This event seared my brain for life. I can remember almost every detail of it.
And I had led a life of crime up to that point. I had snitched a few things from a grocery store across from us. And I felt that God had punished me by causing this school to blow up.
And that remained as something that I truly believed, almost until I was an adult. But the effect I still feel today.