The Asbury Park Historical Society will hold a ceremony Sunday to commemorate the 79th anniversary of the S.S. Morro Castle disaster.
The ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. in front of the Morro Castle monument just south of the entrance to the Paramount Theater, according to a press release from the Asbury Park Historical Society. The public is invited to attend.
After the ceremony, the historical society will present two screenings of the documentary film, Tales of The Jersey Shore: Morro Castle, about the Morro Castle disaster. Showtimes begin at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. A donation of $5 is requested to help support the society’s fundraising efforts to purchase and restore the Stephen Crane House, boyhood home of the author of The Red Badge of Courage, the release said.
“I urge people to attend the showing of this latest Morro Castle documentary,” said Don Stine, president of the Asbury Park Historical Society. “It is extremely educational and focuses on many of the mysteries still unsolved regarding this famous disaster.”
On Sept. 8, 1934, 137 people, mostly passengers returning from a cruise to Havana, Cuba, died either as a result of a fire that tore through the Morro Castle during a storm, or drowned in an attempt to escape the floating inferno, the release said.
By the morning, the ship washed up on the shore of Asbury Park just north of Convention Hall, where it stayed for months until it was eventually towed away.
American maritime law and ship design were forever in the wake of the Morro Castle tragedy, the release said.
In the event of rain, the commemoration ceremony will be cancelled. Any rain cancellations will be announced on the historical society’s website prior to the event.
The Stephen Crane House is located at 508 Fourth Ave. Tickets to the screenings will be available at the door; seating is limited.
For more information contact Don Stine at 732.774.4590 or email [email protected]
[Photo of the S.S. Morro Castle, beached on the shore of Asbury Park, is courtesy of the Asbury Park Historical Society.]