Port Arthur-Museum


A-WEB1

A-CALL1

409-982-7000

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

DID YOU KNOW???
45 years ago – Karen Silkwood died in a car crash under unclear circumstances.
Karen Gay Silkwood was raised in Nederland Texas.
After being hired at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron Fuel Fabrication Site plant near Crescent, Oklahoma, in 1972, Silkwood joined the local Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers Union and took part in a strike at the plant. After the strike ended, she was elected to the union's bargaining committee, the first woman to achieve that position at the Kerr-McGee plant. She was assigned to investigate health and safety issues. She discovered what she believed to be numerous violations of health regulations, including exposure of workers to contamination, faulty respiratory equipment and improper storage of samples. She believed the lack of sufficient shower facilities could increase the risk of employee contamination.
On November 5, 1974, Silkwood performed a routine self-check and found that her body contained almost 400 times the legal limit for plutonium contamination. She was decontaminated at the plant and sent home with a testing kit to collect urine and feces for further analysis. Although there was plutonium on the inner portions of the gloves which she had been using, the gloves did not have any holes. This suggests the contamination had come not from inside the glovebox, but from some other source.
The next morning, as she headed to a union negotiation meeting, Silkwood again tested positive for plutonium, although she had performed only paperwork duties that morning. She was given a more intensive decontamination. On November 7, as she entered the plant, she was found to be dangerously contaminated, even expelling contaminated air from her lungs. A health physics team accompanied her back to her home and found plutonium traces on several surfaces, especially in the bathroom and the refrigerator. When the house was later stripped and decontaminated, some of her property had to be destroyed
Silkwood said she had assembled documentation for her claims, including company papers. She decided to go public with this evidence, and contacted David Burnham, a New York Times journalist, who was interested in her story. On November 13, 1974, Silkwood left a union meeting at the Hub cafe in Crescent. Another attendee of that meeting later testified that Silkwood had a binder and a packet of documents with her at the cafe. Silkwood got into her car and headed alone for Oklahoma City to meet with Burnham, the New York Times reporter, and Steve Wodka, an official of her union's national office. Later that evening, Silkwood's body was found in her car, which had run off the road and struck a culvert on the east side of State Highway 74 The car contained none of the documents she held in the union meeting at the Hub cafe. She was pronounced dead at the scene in what was believed to be an accident.
... See MoreSee Less

DID YOU KNOW???
45 years ago – Karen Silkwood died in a car crash under unclear circumstances.
Karen Gay Silkwood was raised in Nederland Texas. 
After being hired at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron Fuel Fabrication Site plant near Crescent, Oklahoma, in 1972, Silkwood joined the local Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers Union and took part in a strike at the plant. After the strike ended, she was elected to the unions bargaining committee, the first woman to achieve that position at the Kerr-McGee plant. She was assigned to investigate health and safety issues. She discovered what she believed to be numerous violations of health regulations, including exposure of workers to contamination, faulty respiratory equipment and improper storage of samples. She believed the lack of sufficient shower facilities could increase the risk of employee contamination. 
On November 5, 1974, Silkwood performed a routine self-check and found that her body contained almost 400 times the legal limit for plutonium contamination. She was decontaminated at the plant and sent home with a testing kit to collect urine and feces for further analysis. Although there was plutonium on the inner portions of the gloves which she had been using, the gloves did not have any holes. This suggests the contamination had come not from inside the glovebox, but from some other source. 
The next morning, as she headed to a union negotiation meeting, Silkwood again tested positive for plutonium, although she had performed only paperwork duties that morning. She was given a more intensive decontamination. On November 7, as she entered the plant, she was found to be dangerously contaminated, even expelling contaminated air from her lungs. A health physics team accompanied her back to her home and found plutonium traces on several surfaces, especially in the bathroom and the refrigerator. When the house was later stripped and decontaminated, some of her property had to be destroyed
Silkwood said she had assembled documentation for her claims, including company papers. She decided to go public with this evidence, and contacted David Burnham, a New York Times journalist, who was interested in her story. On November 13, 1974, Silkwood left a union meeting at the Hub cafe in Crescent. Another attendee of that meeting later testified that Silkwood had a binder and a packet of documents with her at the cafe. Silkwood got into her car and headed alone for Oklahoma City to meet with Burnham, the New York Times reporter, and Steve Wodka, an official of her unions national office.  Later that evening, Silkwoods body was found in her car, which had run off the road and struck a culvert on the east side of State Highway 74 The car contained none of the documents she held in the union meeting at the Hub cafe. She was pronounced dead at the scene in what was believed to be an accident.Image attachment

Comment on Facebook

She died so tragedy! It is a shame what companies will do to suppress the truth!

I loved that movie Silkwood. The whole situation was tragic!!!

I think of her every time we drive by that place

Tragic story. I remember

So sad ..

She was a very smart and strong young lady! I’ve seen her life story. So sad that to think this could happen in the USA.

She was my classmate in Nederland

There was a movie about her with Kurt Russell and Mel Streep

wow so sad

Thank you.

Very smart and fearless woman.

Very sad end to a smart talent woman. Clearly she was murdered.

Tragic

Remember this.

Yes!!! We worry about other countries...but the corruption here is mind blowing!!!

I'm going to pull out my 1962 Nederland High School Year Book and look her up, I just can't picture her, but maybe her pic will help.

Meryl Streep played Silkwood...Cher played another role (Dolly)

So sad I love that movie

I think Julia Roberts played her in the movie.

Karen was the cousin of one of my best friends, Roilene Jordan!

Makes you say...hmmm!

No I think Cher played SilkwoodπŸ€“

It was a cover up. We’re the Clinton’s involved?

She was murdered!

Movie

View more comments

The Museum of the Gulf Coast loves our volunteers. ❀️❀️❀️These are just a few of our volunteers helping with Sabine Pass and Bob Hope 3rd grade tours. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please call Brittany Delagarza at 999-6281 ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

My pawpaw painted this and it always makes my heart so happy to visit and see it. πŸ’›

Thanks volunteers!!!

We had such a great time today! Thank you!

I'm happy to help!

My sister Anna Beth Christian. Good to volunter ..

Thank you volunteers. My 3rd grader enjoyed his trip there today! He was only disappointed that his pop (my dad)who was the first professional athlete from port acres and played for the Detroit lions wasn’t featured there. 🀣. He said he looked all over the sports exhibit for him 🀣

View more comments

Thank you Volunteer Mickey Breaux for showing your friends our Museum on this chilly day. Peter Goldblum is all the way from San Francisco and Rita Davis is from Groves. Peter even joined as a Member of our Museum! Great friends making great memories! ... See MoreSee Less

Thank you Volunteer Mickey Breaux for showing your friends our Museum on this chilly day. Peter Goldblum is all the way from San Francisco and Rita Davis is from Groves. Peter even joined as a Member of our Museum! Great friends making great memories!

Comment on Facebook

A great time with old friends

Is this Dr. Goldblum’s son?

Great group! Love Mickey Breaux and Rita Davis

Thank you

Way to go Mickey Breaux! Good ole Port Arthur, Texas people!

Rita Davis is just a wonderful person! She really worked hard and long hours making us residents feel like home at Oak Grove Nursing Home She and Berry Davis is one of my precious friends! 😍😍😍😍😍😍😜😜😜😜😎😎😎

View more comments

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Kate Campbell
Bill Worsham
Mickey Breaux
Snake Education Experience