Sometimes ordinary days become days that change history. And often, it’s the ordinary people who do the changing.
On the morning of November 7, 1907, a railroad brakeman named Jesús Garcia Corona went to work, as usual. He worked on the train line that ran between Nacozari, Sonora, Mexico, and Douglas, Arizona; he had started working for the Moctezuma Copper Company as a waterboy at age 17, and worked his way up to switchman and then to brakeman.
When he reported for work that morning, the train’s operator, who would ordinarily oversee safety, had called out sick. In the operator’s absence, two cars of dynamite had been hooked up behind the engine, rather than at the back of the train. The train was departing from Nacozari when sparks from the engine began blowing out of the smokestack and onto the cars of dynamite.
Thinking quickly, Jesús slowed the car while another…
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