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Lessons Learned

The world moved on and the Halifax Explosion faded from the public memory outside Nova Scotia…but the influences of December 6 remain, and not just in Halifax.

The tragedy was a spur to many of the international maritime standards and treaties we have today. Marine law in Canada and around the world includes detailed reporting systems, strict regulations on dangerous goods, and professional harbour traffic management.

Halifax's military background served it well in crisis, in a time when civic disaster and emergency plans were nonexistent. The experience informed other cities as Emergency Measures Organizations, or EMO's, evolved throughout North America and beyond.

The lessons learned in a true trial by fire pushed progress in science and various medical areas: emergency medicine, psychology and psychiatry, ophthalmology, anaesthesia, orthopedics, reconstructive surgery and prosthetics.

Other sciences have also grown since--and learned from--the Explosion.

The struggle to come to terms with unimaginable disaster, and the grief that followed, coloured Canadian literature, art and culture.

Finally, memorials large and small pay their respects to those who died, and those who survived, on December 6, 1917. Continue>

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View Halifax map in 1917 Captain Power
Captain Power
CBC's Mr. Nova Scotia Know-It-All, Bruce Nunn, meets Capt. Power.

Black silhouette of a man Did you know

The Latest Rules: A more recent tragedy has had extensive effects on marine law too. Before the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001, port authorities required 48 hours' notice of ships arriving with potentially dangerous cargo. That requirement has been doubled since Sept. 11. Other regulations have been made more strict as well.

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