Port Chicago Exhibit, TV Coverage
The Port Chicago disaster and trial led to one of the earliest steps forward toward civil rights, part of which took place on Naval Station Treasure Island. 75 years ago, during World War II, a massive explosion at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine near Concord killed 320 people, most of them African-American sailors ordered to load explosives with no training and inadequate equipment and safety precautions.
Weeks later, 50 sailors refused to resume that work. Their ensuing mutiny convictions, in a trial held on Naval Station Treasure Island, shone a spotlight on racism in the military, leading 16 months later to the desegregation of the Navy, and two years later all the armed services.