We often have clients and business partners come to our home office. Usually at the start of a meeting with out of town guest we ask about where they are from and share some information about our home town of Florence, SC.
This is where we can tell some little know trivia about Florence; it is the only city in America to have an atomic bomb dropped on it. Here is the story:
Fifty three years ago today (March 11, 1958) a group of B-47 bombers were on a mock training mission to drop bombs on various targets. One of the planes had an equipment problem with the harness that held it’s bomb, a 7,000 pound Mk-6 nuclear bomb.
A crew member went to check on the problem and accidentally released the bomb. “Oops… I dropped the d*** thing” was the reported quote from the unlucky pilot. Fortunately for me (a mere toddler at the time) and the rest of the Florence residents, the nuclear warhead was stored separately from the bomb for the training mission.
Thus we avoided total annihilation.
The bomb however did cause some damage. It exploded and created a 75-by-25 foot crater, destroyed the house of the backyard in which it landed, sent the poor family to the hospital with minor injuries, and even damaged a nearby church.
Just to prove that I am not making this up, here is a 1950’s newsreel of the event.