The Port Chicago disaster pertains to a huge explosion, or explosions, that took place during World War II about 50 miles northeast of San Francisco, California on July 17 , 1944.
The tragedy resulted in the deaths of many including 320 sailors, most of whom were black, and it also exposed the racism that was commonplace in the United States military during World War II, and also helped set the stage for the modern Civil Rights Movement.
Possible causes of the explosions include careless handling of explosives, and even the chance that a nuclear weapon was on site and was accidentally detonated. Apparently, competitions of some sort were used to motivate the men loading the munitions onto the two ships at the port, which might have contributed to the carelessness and the ultimate explosions.
Controversy exists, even today, as to whether there was actually nuclear material present at Port Chicago, but the presence of a camera to film the explosion and the aftermath raises much suspicio