a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Donora smog video set to air

Jim and June Beveridge, originally uploaded by Scott Beveridge.

The Weather Channel is set to air its new documentary about the Donora smog on Sunday, Nov. 2, around the time of the 60th anniversary of the disaster in southwestern Pennsylvania that killed more than 20 people.

I’m expected to make my small-screen debut in the television show, “Killer Smog,” which is part of the network's series, “When Weather Changed History.” My mom, June Hart Beveridge, is a smog survivor who also will tell her story in the show about the nation’s deadliest air pollution event.

“The show looks great,” said Nara Walker, producer of the show for Towers Production in Chicago.

While in Donora to shoot the video in June, Walker recreated a football game between Donora and Monongahela that went on as schedule during the smog even though no one could see the action from the stands because of the thick smoke in the air.

The smog hovered over the borough for three days during a Halloween weekend in 1948, trapping deadly fumes from Donora’s steel and zinc mills in the Monongahela River valley. As many as 1,000 people were sickened and many of them filled the beds at two local hospitals before the fog lifted.

Check local TV listings for the time the show will be broadcast.

Click here for information on the upcoming Donora smog commemoration.

(Caption: June Beveridge is shown with her husband, Jim, posing for this photo about 1950 outside her home in Webster, Pa., where hillsides were stripped of their vegetation by air pollution from the nearby Donora mills.)


John Beisel said...

My mother, Phyllis Oxley, was born in Donora and lived across from the high school. Dad was born in Charleroi but worked in Donora for Columbia Gas. They were living in Kentucky when the tragedy struck but dad would tell stories about wearing a wet handkerchief while reading meters. I was born in 1951 in Kentucky so I did not experience the heyday of Donora, but have many fond memories of my ancestral roots. I grieve for the loss of life, morn the loss of the industry that provided a good life style and cherish the sacrifice of those who helped build this country.

Anonymous said...

can you buy a cd of the program that the weather channel showed of the smog over donora

Scott Beveridge said...

I don't see DVDs of "When Weather Changed History" for sale on The Weather Channel's Web site. You might want to drop them an e-mail with your question.