Wreck of the Old 97
September 27, 1903 - The wreck of the Old 97 happened on this day. The train was hauling mail from Monroe, Virginia to Spencer, North Carolina when it rolled off the tracks and fell 75 feet into a ravine near Danville.
The accident was blamed on the train's speed. The engineer was trying to make up lost time as he had been pressured by the railroad company to maintain the train's reputation for never being late.
As the train approached the curved trestle near Danville it was going too fast and jumped the tracks.
9 men died and 7 were injured in what became one of the most famous train wrecks in American history.
A ballad, The Wreck of the Old 97, became the first million-selling record in the US.