On June 15th, 1904 the PS General Slocum was chartered by St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of New York City for $350. 1,360 people showed up that Wednesday for the 17th annual Sunday School picnic. It was a calm and beautiful morning… anyone who has visited Manhattan in the summer can envision this morning. The sun warming away cool breezes, the river waves slapping the dock, and building excitement as people arrived for a fun day.
Even by today’s standards… a church event with 1,360 people is a really, really big deal.