Several Cherry Mine Disaster authors gathered in Cherry, Illinois, on November 11, 2023, for the town's annual weekend commemoration. Via the magic of Zoom, I was fortunate to join the Authors' Forum and audience of disaster descendants and history buffs to discuss a new aspect of this historic, precedent-setting, little-known tragedy. 

Genealogical research on my paternal grandfather, John Tintori, who died before I was born, brought me various puzzle pieces about the 1909 disaster he survived. While sitting in a movie theater watching Titanic, I told myself, "You're sitting on Titanic in a coal mine. Write the book." With a trip to Cherry and Princeton, Illinois, The Cherry Library and Museum, access to the 700-page coroner's report, newspapers from the time, and other primary materials, the puzzle pieces finally fit and I dove deep to write TRAPPED: THE 1909 CHERRY MINE DISASTER.

The two disasters occurred within sixteen months -- the first in a mine declared fireproof, the second on a ship declared unsinkable. The analogies do not stop there. One after another, I discovered uncanny similarities between Titanic and Cherry, prior to, during, and in the aftermaths.

Watching my recorded Zoom presentation, I hope you find these parallels as fascinating as I do.