Newspaper clipping of a photograph of the forty victims of the Donora fog of 1948 arriving in Wilmington, NC at Bluethenthal Field.
In late October of 1948, a rare weather condition caused pollution from the smokestacks at Donora Zinc Works to hover over the town of Donora, PA, instead of drifting into the upper atmosphere. Twenty people died and more than 6,000 became sick before the heavy smog dispersed. Yi LeGwin and Billy Broadfoot, Wilmington businessmen, initiated a plan to invite some of the survivors to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine at Wrightsville Beach, NC. Many people rallied together to treat forty of the sickest smog survivors from Donora to a week-long vacation at the beach. The smog incident prompted the federal government to begin regulating air quality, leading to the Clean Air Act and other regulations.
1948 November 19
Cape Fearians Digital Collection, New Hanover County Public Library
New Hanover County Public Library
Donated to New Hanover County Public Library by Bill Reaves in 1999
Copyright is owned by the New Hanover County Public Library. For commercial or other use, permission must be granted.
Clipping from the Wilmington Star News, November 19, 1948