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How Small Town America Covered News Of The Munich Air Disaster

munich air disaster st petersburg times How Small Town America Covered News Of The Munich Air Disaster

The Munich air disaster in 1958 devastated the soccer world after a plane carrying the Manchester United team crashed killing 23 of the 44 passengers on board, many of them United players and personnel.

While the crash sent shockwaves through Great Britain and the soccer community, the news was also covered in the United States.

To my surprise, I found that the news article was the cover story in the St. Petersburg Independent newspaper on Thursday, February 6, 1958. The paper ran the following headline on its cover, “Airliner With Soccer Champs Crashes, Sets Houses Afire.”

The choice of words for the headline, focusing on houses in flames and relegating the news about 20 being killed, was a poor decision. But it’s still impressive at least to see a small town American newspaper reporting on a soccer-related tragedy instead of banishing it to the back pages of the publication.

I found the St. Petersburg Independent newspaper by searching through the Google News Archives, which recently added newspaper stories from around the world to its archives. The St. Petersburg Independent, a Florida newspaper near Tampa, is no longer in business.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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