January 16, 1919: On January 15, 1919 at approximately 12:40 pm the North End was shaken by a terrific explosion caused by the bursting of a giant tank at the Purity Distilling Co. on Commercial St. This a view of the aftermath looking north across North End Park. The great molasses tank was located in the center of this picture. Sections of the metal may be seen blown to the extreme left and right in the picture. Twenty-one people perished, including two ten-year-old children, Pasquale Iantosca and Maria Distasio, who were collecting firewood near the molasses tank while home from school for lunch.