Acts of Impact

Jesus Garcia and the Train of Dynamite

June 15, 2023 Nicholas Hill
Jesus Garcia and the Train of Dynamite
Acts of Impact
More Info
Acts of Impact
Jesus Garcia and the Train of Dynamite
Jun 15, 2023
Nicholas Hill

On today's episode, we'll explore the incredible story of Jesus Garcia, a Mexican Railroad Engineer credited with saving the entire town of Nacozari, Sonora in 1907 when he sacrificed himself to drive a train of dynamite away from the town before it exploded. 

For this episode, I had the privilege of interviewing Ernesto Ibarra, president of the Nacozari de Garcia Historical Association. We'll discuss the history of Nacozari, Jesus's rise to Engineer, the events of the day leading up to the explosion, and the aftermath of Jesus's incredible decision. 

I hope you enjoy today's episode. 

To purchase Ernesto's book (Spanish language) visit:

To learn more about the Nacozari de Garcia Historical Association, visit:

To learn more about the show, view transcripts, and more visit:

Special thanks to Ernesto for his time and insight. 
Music by Alex Grohls.

Show Notes Transcript

On today's episode, we'll explore the incredible story of Jesus Garcia, a Mexican Railroad Engineer credited with saving the entire town of Nacozari, Sonora in 1907 when he sacrificed himself to drive a train of dynamite away from the town before it exploded. 

For this episode, I had the privilege of interviewing Ernesto Ibarra, president of the Nacozari de Garcia Historical Association. We'll discuss the history of Nacozari, Jesus's rise to Engineer, the events of the day leading up to the explosion, and the aftermath of Jesus's incredible decision. 

I hope you enjoy today's episode. 

To purchase Ernesto's book (Spanish language) visit:

To learn more about the Nacozari de Garcia Historical Association, visit:

To learn more about the show, view transcripts, and more visit:

Special thanks to Ernesto for his time and insight. 
Music by Alex Grohls.

Nicholas Hill  0:00  
On November 11 1977, in South Korea in a town called Iri, a security guard is watching over a parked freight train. The train is loaded with 80,000 pounds of dynamite. The guard decides to abandon his post and he heads to the local pub for a drink. One drink becomes two becomes three. You know how it goes. Stumbling back to his post, the guard crawls into the Freightcar he decides to light a few candles so that he can see but he soon passes out with the candles still lit around him. And when he wakes up, the entire freight car is ablaze. fire and smoke look at the wooden boxes of dynamite. Panicking the guard makes a break for it. He runs as far and as fast as he can from the train until three minutes later.

The explosive blast takes the lives of 59 citizens 185 others are seriously harmed and 10,000 people are instantly left homeless. As the surrounding buildings crumbled to the ground. The force of the explosion carves a crater the length of a basketball court 30 feet deep into the earth. Now in the wake of this catastrophic event, and he completely avoidable loss of life and property. One can't help but wonder How could such a disaster have been averted? The answer to that question takes us back in time 70 years to the early dawn of 1907, where a similar scene is unfolding in the small mining town of Nacozari, Mexico. a freight train loaded with dynamite catches on fire. The potential for devastation is just like that that would occur in South Korea. But in Nacozari the story unfolds differently because of one man who is confronted with an extraordinary crisis. A railway engineer who unlike the gaurd in Iri chooses to stay with the train, racing against time and fear to prevent a catastrophe. His actions in the face of imminent disaster, change the course of Nacozari history and set an inspiring example of heroism and self sacrifice. His name is Jesus Garcia, and today, we tell his story. You're listening to acts of impact. I'm your host, Nicholas Hill, let's get started.

To truly understand, Jesus, Garcia's legacy and the history of the town of Nacozari. I reached out to our nesto, a Bara president of the nonprofit organization, the Nacozari de Garcia, Historical Association. 

Ernesto Ibarra  3:13  
I was born in the town of Nacozari. And ever since I was a kid, the start to to knew about local history. And that's how I first learned about his who's got to see when I was in elementary school. After that, I took it upon myself to learn more when I grew up. So I got involved by myself doing research. And I begin posting stuff on social media about the history of our town, I created a Facebook account, where I could share all this information because it was getting a lot of attention. A lot of comments, people were liking it. So after a while I decided, You know what, let's create this into a nonprofit organization dedicated to doing research, and doing all kinds of information, getting grants from the government, if possible. So a friend of mine and myself, we decided to create this organization eight years ago. And what we do is we help people that want to learn more about the history of our town by sharing with them information, sharing articles, and trying to get all those pieces of information that are aren't unknown to people. So that's the history of how I came into contact with the hustlers got to see it in this organization.

Nicholas Hill  4:24  
Now, since this episode is about a Mexican hero, naturally, I want to make it all about the United States. So let's talk about the United States for a second. In the late 1800s. The US economy is booming. Railroads are being built across the country. Steel is growing like crazy. Oil is flowing. People jobs and cities are prospering. And all of this prosperity means that more people have more money to buy more things. So what do they buy? They buy electricity. They buy cars, they buy this newfangled technology called the telephone. And do you know what all Have those things have in common? They all require a ton of copper. Demand for copper explodes. Now the US has a lot of copper specifically in Arizona, but we needed a lot of copper. So we turned to the Moctezuma copper company, a major mining corporation that operated in Mexico at the time. And as it turned out, one Mexican town that had a lot of copper was the town of Naka Zari, in the Mexican state of Sonora. The Phelps dodge Corporation recognize this, so that developed the Moctezuma copper company, and toward the end of the 19th century, this demand for copper turned NACA czar in Mexico, from a tiny agrarian town into a bustling industrial center. This was the birth of the copper town,

Ernesto Ibarra  5:53  
if you visited Nacozari starting in the late 1800s. So you would see like a typical American town, you had all these technological advances, you have running water, you had electricity when lots of the States did not have electricity. You have these incredible buildings, you have a huge Modern Library. You have the telegraph, you have telephones, you had huge hotels, houses for the for the working force for all the employees for the company. So it was a it was a pretty big town. And if you compare that to all the small towns in the area, this was completely different.

Nicholas Hill  6:27  
Now in 1907, Nacozari is a typical frontier town. About 5000 people live there and houses of Adobe wood and stone. Like most of Mexico, corn is a dietary staple, and walking through the neighborhoods of na Kuzari. You're never far away from the smell of Chile, or a freshly made gordita. Knock Azhari is a peaceful pleasant town. And why wouldn't they be? They're a world leader in copper, and everyone needed copper. There was lots of money to go around. The mine workers were making $2 a day, which was about 10 times the Mexican national average at the time. The people just trusted one another. The men were rough but honest, they were strong and they got the most out of life. They would work all week in the mines and rest on Sundays. The names of the stores in this place were kind of funny. The pawn shop was called the mountain of pity. The general store was called fixed price. If you were happy, you could go to the saloon called I am laughing. And if you were sad, there was a saloon called such as life. Miners would congregate to drink and talk about politics, horse races and romance. And these miners like to drink. You may find this hard to believe. But working conditions in mines are not that great. Some areas of the mind were so stifled and hot that a miner is quoted as saying the sweat came out of the tops of your shoes. Now, nobody knows what that means, but it's provocative. Also, the fact that everyone wanted to work in the mines meant the workers didn't have great bargaining power. Once a mine operator was asked to buy more timbers to prevent the roof of the mind from collapsing on the workers, and he replied why it's cheaper to replace dead men than it is to buy more timbers. Now in order to get materials to and from the mind, knock Azaria was hauling in caravans of wagons powered by one guy and 20 meals. This guy would take the meals 90 miles back and forth from Arizona. But eventually they realized that packs of traveling meals are not a sustainable way to run a mind. They needed railroads. So they built them. The first one they built was powered by well meals, but in 1904 They got a real train. And if ever there was a town that loved trains, it was this one, which makes sense. Not everyone could afford a horse and cart. There weren't any trolleys in the town, so hitching a ride on the train was your best way of getting around. And best of all, anyone could ride for free. Everyone frickin use this train. Miners coming back from town women visiting relatives children sightseeing and doing nothing at all. One of the thrills was crossing a timber trestle across a gorge more than 100 feet deep. Once a politician was giving a speech in the town square, and when the train whistle sounded his entire crowd left to go see it, leaving him to forever refer to knock Azhari as a bunch of train loving sons of bitches. But these new rail yards weren't only being seen as a means of transportation. For one citizen 17 year old Jesus Garcia, the railroads were an opportunity. Jesus came to knock Azaria in 1898 with his mom Rosa, his dad Francisco and his seven brothers and sisters. For their family NACA Zary represented a path to break free from the generational debt that plagued almost all of Mexico Citizens at the time, their governor had basically turned them into indentured servants. But that's a story for another podcast. Hey, Zeus Garcia was courteous, studious, quick witted, friendly and popular. When he was young, his dad would give him an allowance, which he always spent on his friends. He lived by the Mexican adage, a gift has no end. Unfortunately, Jesus, his dad wouldn't make it to knock Azhari he would die on the journey, most likely have appendicitis, which is a nice reminder that there are pros to living in the 21st century. Hey, Zeus, his brothers went to work in the mines, and his mom opened a restaurant. Jesus was young, but he looked for any opportunity to help gathering wood cooking and cleaning around the restaurant. And when the restaurant wasn't making enough profit, Jesus would get part time work around town, sweeping taking up the trash doing any errands he could find. But Jesus was ambitious. And when the railroads came to town, he knew he wanted to work for them.

Ernesto Ibarra  11:02  
He saw the railroad and these big machines and the engines, so he wanted to work there. But he couldn't at first because he was too young. He was not 18 yet. And they said he At first he lied about his age, to get into the company. And he was offered a job as a waterboy. And it didn't like it, he wanted to work on the railroad. But for the most part, it was American people who were in charge with all these high paying or high level jobs, like managers and engineers, or conductors, but at the same time that they were instructed to teach the Mexican labor force to try to show them and train them. That's how this was gonna see I was able to learn how to operate the machines and how to work on the railroad. Eventually, he got other jobs until he finally made it to to the railroad and eventually was recognized as one of the best employees so much that in 1904, the company paid everything for him and other workers, full paid trip to St. Louis, Missouri to to the international law fair. So he was rewarded in some way for his performance at work.

Nicholas Hill  12:07  
So at 17 years of age, Jesus is hired by the railroad company as a waterboy. And he does a great job as a waterboy. So they give him a shovel. He does a great job with the shovel, so they give him some track to maintain. He does a great job maintaining track, so they make him a brakeman and then a fireman. And then at the age of 20, just three years after starting as a waterboy. Hey, Jesus becomes a locomotive engineer. He's able to buy his family a new upgraded home in the nice part of town. He receives an all expense paid trip to the World's Fair in St. Louis, a huge deal at the time. And he's next in line for promotion to chief engineer of the narrow gauge railroad. Soon enough, hey, Zeus even gets engaged. See, Mexican men were unrivaled when it came to romance, and Jesus was the biggest romantic there was. He would always wear a white shirt coat and tie with a cowboy hat tilted back. He was an expert horseman, who never hid his intention. And usually his intentions were to impress the women of Nacozari. The second Jesus got a little money he would hire the most famous local musician in town, so very Rodriguez to sing endearing sentiments beneath the windows of the most beautiful women in town. Now, I'm not sure how many times he's struck out doing this, but eventually he wins the heart of haisa, Sita souci. And by the autumn of 1907. When Jesus Garcia is nearly 24 He and Jesusita are engaged.

Ernesto Ibarra  13:42  
He was about to get married with his fiancee because Sita last name was so key. She was not for macrocytic either, but they met in our society and they were about to get married soon.

Nicholas Hill  13:52  
But before Jesus could marry his fiancee fate would intervene for the town of Nacozari November 7 1907. Started like any other day. I've always wanted to use that cliche. Work began at 7am and Jesus had been out partying all night the night before, so his mom makes him a quick breakfast of tripe soup. To help him clear the cobwebs of alcohol from his brain. She also greets him with a warning. See, according to the story, Mrs. Garcia was a superstitious woman, and all through the night the roosters of Nacozari had been crowing, a sign that someone in the town will die. She asks her son Jesus, not to go to work that day. But hey, Zeus is not one to shirk responsibility. He had three trips to take that day, taking his train back and forth to the pilaris mine. He kisses his mother goodbye and joins the crew and his train locomotive number two. Jesus had painted the ornamentation of the train himself. He had polished the copper and brass He had a special place for a photo of his fiancee. But when he gets to the train, he sees that something is wrong. The conductor of the train Albert is sick.

Ernesto Ibarra  15:11  
The conductor was at the hospital. So on that particular day his was missing. He was in charge of conducting the engine on the train.

Nicholas Hill  15:17  
This is not great. Albert veal is a German railroader with a lot of experience. As conductor Albert serves as boss of the train and its crew. He carries out orders he oversees track switching, loading and unloading operations. He's the one who says when the train can go and when it must stop, and he isn't here. So Jesus, the 24 year old engineer is placed in charge of the train instead, he begins his first ride of the day, six miles on the uphill journey to the Polaris East mine perched 2000 feet above the town. The track curves and climbs through great granite mountains, and as the train begins to climb steeper, Jesusnotices that a few live senders are escaping the train smokestack. He tells Jose, his firemen to remind him to get it repaired later on. And at 745 The train reaches Polaris mine with no incident.

Coworker (Voiceover)  16:15  
Whitey you're late weapon. Shoulders you were in keeping Nacozari sorry, awake again last night.

Jesus (Voiceover)  16:21  
I hate to tell you but I was. Our original plan was to go serenaded by his Osita. But we passed a certain balcony and a gorgeous young woman asked us to sing for her. We stayed there a long, long time. It was your girlfriend?

Coworker (Voiceover)  16:34  
How whitey? You sure know how to hurt a man.

Nicholas Hill  16:37  
Jesus drops off his empty cars takes the 20 full ones from the mind and heads right back down. I was thinking about it. This was his job. He takes the train up. He takes the train down. I think I'd worry about boredom. But as it turns out, mountain railroading in 1907 is filled with surprises. Wet rails loose cross ties animals on the tracks. There were so many wild donkeys that the railroad company had a standing order to all engineers to maintain speed and collide with the donkeys rather than slow down. Hey, Zeus never had the heart to obey that one. And whenever possible, he stopped his train and would hurl lumps of coal at the donkeys until they moved. Jesus heads right back to Polaris, and the day continues as normal. At around one o'clock just When Jesus is readying his third trip, a messenger comes aboard and relays an unexpected order.

Coworker (Voiceover)  17:34  
They need supplies at the mine. Take the train to the lower level and talk with Mr. Elizondo, you will need five cars 150 boxes of dynamite totaling three and a half stones will be transferred from the powder magazine to two of their cars.

Nicholas Hill  17:49  
Let's explain this a little bit. Mines use a lot of explosives because they shatter a lot of rock to get the copper. Since this was a big mine, they had the good stuff, the most powerful dynamite in the world obtained from Oakland, California, and shipped by rail to knock Azhari. They stored it all in a building called the powder magazine. So on this day, the powder magazine building had 2000 boxes of dynamite in it. Hey, Zeus was told to go to this building, fill three and a half tonnes of the store dynamite into the train and take it up to the mine. Now the magazine is right in the middle of both of Nacozari railroads, the standard gauge railroad which led to the US and the narrow gauge Railroad, which led to the Polaris mine. So they go, the laborers start to fill the car with explosives. And Jesus and his crew take a lunch break. He eats his last meal with his mother, who had prepared a hearty chicken soup. She is crying, pointing out to Jesus, that the roosters are now crowing in the middle of the day. Jesus says Mom, everything's going perfectly well at work. Only two more trips to the mine. And my day is done. At 2pm Jesus gets back to the loaded train cars, and he notices that a mistake has been made. See, the railroad company has a rule. You never put cars with explosives near the engine car, you'll always put them at the very back of the train. But Jesus notices that the laborers have loaded the dynamite into the first two cars right behind the engine.

Ernesto Ibarra  19:25  
One of the problems here is that the attached the cars with the dynamite ride behind the engine interface. Sue's had been there when that happened he would have not allowed that, who was very experienced that logistical problem was was a rookie mistake.

Nicholas Hill  19:41  
Now if the conductor had been there, he most likely would have told the laborers to take it out and repack the dynamite in the last two cars. But remember, the conductor was out sick. And Jesus allows the train to move. And to make matters worse at the time Dynamite was loaded into open train cars which meant the top was open and the Dynamite was exposed to the elements from the

Ernesto Ibarra  20:05  
pictures that I that I've seen, they were open, they're open cards, they were easy to load.

Nicholas Hill  20:11  
And remember the smokestack is damaged. So you've got a locomotive with a faulty smokestack, followed immediately by two open train cars filled with dynamite. What could go wrong? Jesus backs the train out of the yard onto a switchback, the brakeman throws the switch, and Jesus opens the throttle, the train starts moving uphill, the grade getting steeper and steeper. And as the engine laborers the faulty smokestack sends up smoke and ash, the train goes faster and faster, the wind being reinforced by the gathering speed, and sparks from the smokestack fly back across the engine, and directly into the boxes of dynamite.

Ernesto Ibarra  20:54  
The smoke stack was broken. And they had already notified the shop to fix it. And to have that fix it. So you have all these sparks jumping from the smokestack, and somehow the sparks ended up on the car, the open cars behind the trend the engine, so that's what started the fire.

Nicholas Hill  21:14  
Now for a second, nobody notices, but soon a passerby, a small boy shouts an alarm, and others start to shout after. Hey, look,

Passerby (Voiceover)  21:24  
it's smoke in the potter card.

Nicholas Hill  21:27  
Now there are four people facing this problem. You have Jesus, who's the engineer, you have Hippolito, who's the brakeman, Jose, who is the fireman and Fransisco who's an off duty brakeman who's covering part of the crew. They start with Plan A, Francisco points out that this stretch of track has less wind on it. So he believes if they can stop the train, he might be able to pull out the smoking dynamite box, lower it to the ground and smother it with Earth. Jesus slows the train to stop.

Ernesto Ibarra  22:01  
They did try to put up the fire. They they try to put up with dirt. They tried to lift the boxes. But once they did lift up the boxes, all the air and the oxygen just created, the fire just gotten bigger. They try to put it off with water but the river was far. So it would have been difficult to carry water from the river to put up the fire. So Plan A was not successful.

Nicholas Hill  22:23  
Now frantic Francisco and the other brakeman remove their jackets and attempt to beat out the flames. But the fire spreads and intensifies. And Jesus recognizes that this train is going to explode at any moment. And based on where they're located, an explosion here would have devastating consequences. 

Ernesto Ibarra  22:45  
There's the concentrator, and then there's the shops in the Roundhouse where the train was stationed, and you have this supply where they store everything, the powder or the dynamite what's stored near that area. And you also had all these gas tanks and chemical tanks very close to the concentrator into the shops in the town was all around this area very close to this area. So the fire originated near all these gas tanks near where the Dynamite was stored. In the if the explosion had been there, you would have seen a large chain reaction that would have killed 1000s of people around that area.

Nicholas Hill  23:26  
So Jesus makes his decision to save the citizens of Nacozari, he needs to get the train up the track away from the town and over the surrounding mountains before it explodes. If he can get over the mountains, they will take the brunt of the blast and spare the town from the worst of it. But there's a problem. In the early 1900s. Train mechanics weren't as advanced as they are today. And in order to keep the train moving up and over the mountains, someone has to stay on it.

Ernesto Ibarra  23:58  
First of all, it was uphill. So he had to be pushing the train from the engine and the firemen had to be putting coal on the burner. So that train could run and there was a curve that was very pronounced curve saw if he had churned that train and automatic mode and just jump the train there was a possibility of derailment. So someone had to be inside the train to conduct the train and set it on track. And once you reach a certain point uphill, he would have been able to just set it on auto and jump. But the beginning of someone had to be conducting the train otherwise you had this possibility of derailment or the train just coming back to the concentrator.

Nicholas Hill  24:39  
So Jesus opens the throttle and the burning train begins to move away from the lower yard and up the narrow gauge railway. Full steam ahead towards the mountains. Jesus calls for his crew to leave him.

Ernesto Ibarra  24:53  
He has who's gonna see I told everyone to jump. He knew that the train could explode at any moment. He knew that his plan could fail. He knew that he could die, even if he had the opportunity to jump. But he decided to do this anyway. Someone refused to jump and was the fireman. He refused to jump and two minutes before and this guide who was only 18 years old, whose name was Jose Romero, Garcia asked him to jump. He said, There's no point of dying both of us you can save yourself, let me just died and this young man who was 18 years old, he jumped here rolled down he found refuge and a small bridge near the track. He was not injured, fortunately, and he was able to describe what happened so most of what we know from those late moments so he was able to describe all this this activity and everything that happened.

Nicholas Hill  25:44  
The train cars boys forward faster and faster, and the speed fans the flames which spread and look at the boxes of dynamite. Jesus only needs the explosion to hold off a little longer until the train reaches the other side of the bluff. Suddenly the upper yard comes into view. Jesus sees people standing outside of their houses staring at the oncoming train. He frantically starts waving at them to go get away. But they think he's simply waving hello. The train enters the upper yard, just 50 meters left to get over the hill. And Jesus can lead to safety when.

11 lives are extinguished in an instant. The engine is blown away. Nacozari shakes with the force of an erupting volcano. Despite the protection of the mountain the shockwave shatters Windows across Nacozari. Later witness statements will confirm the explosion is heard up to 10 miles away. From the center of the boiling dust shrapnel rains down onto the town, piercing roof stampeding livestock and forcing citizens to cover an eye witness to the explosion would later write this account.

Witness (Voiceover)  27:15  
I saw a train of cars wending its way, the train seemed to be on fire. I watched it with interest and with great curiosity until the last car had passed over the top of the hill. When almost immediately, there was the most incredible explosion I had ever seen. The force of the blast was so violent, that it seemed to me my head would be blown from my shoulders, and as if by instinct, I found my hands locked over the top of my head to keep it from being blown into space. After the shock was over. I went to the top of the hill to discover what happened. The site haunts me still, there was a dead man lying on his back with a warm blood from his body flowing down the hills in a small riverbed. The warehouse was so completely demolished that not one piece of evidence remained even to solid shelf of rock that the building stood on received a scar three feet deep. Off to the left had stood an employee house that had shattered several families. Not one stick of timber was in its original position.

Nicholas Hill  28:13  
The damage done to life and property is devastating. But hey Zeus this plan had worked. The train was at least half a mile from the town when the explosion occurred. The train had made it over the mountain, which had shielded the bulk of the blast and hundreds if not 1000s of lives were saved. After hearing the blast from the town, the sheriff Don Gabriel gathers his mounted deputies and heads toward the upper yard. They first run across Hippolito the brakeman and the first crew member to jump from the train. He is babbling incoherently 

Hippolito (Voiceover)  28:52  
the Father the father, everything gone. explode. It's gone. 

Nicholas Hill  28:57  
Hippolito is left with his friends who lead him to the town hospital. The sheriff's deputies continue moving. The next person they meet is the fireman Jose. 

Jose (Voiceover)  29:09  
He wanted me to jump. I wanted to stay but he wouldn't be the jump. 

Nicholas Hill  29:15  
Once the sheriff determines there's no further risk of explosion, the town of Nacozari swarms to the rescue of the 12 citizens who were injured by the blast. Many of the volunteers were copper miners who had been trained in first aid. They applied tourniquets, splinted fractures and bandage wounds. Wagons carried the injured to the hospital. Survivors marveled at the wreckage of the train. The engine was dismantled and lying off its tracks teetering on the rim of the crater created by the blast. The cars were obliterated, cabs destroyed. Jesus was identified only by his boots. His brother and brothers in law recovered the body and brought it home to his A mother. An American nurse hovers over Jose the firemen. Still shell shocked. He whispers to her. Even the heavens gray tonight, as those in the town are left wondering how such a thing could have happened, some turned to conspiracy theories, believing the explosion to have been set up on purpose.

Ernesto Ibarra  30:23  
In 1907, you have this anti American sentiment in several parts of Mexico. You had a big strike in 1906 in the mining town of Gastonia, just several miles away from Microsoft, it was also an American town, so that you had a huge mining strike. And in order to suppress this strike, the company brought the Arizona Rangers across the border to end the strike. A lot of people were killed. In 1907, you had a similar strike a violent strike in the state of Veracruz is Southern Mexico. So there was all this anti American sentiment this was building up in some people say that this burning the the Dynamite was some type of a premeditated thing that someone set it on fire to damage the company or to do some damage to the town.

Nicholas Hill  31:13  
But Ernesto doesn't believe these rumors to be true, that anti American sentiment was not the reason for the crash. 

Ernesto Ibarra  31:20  
There was no anti American sentiment in macrocytic. Why? Because the company treated employees really well they had all these benefits, which they did not find any any other jobs at the time. They were well paint paid jobs. So there's no evidence of this, as I said, anti American or anti capitalist sentiment and of course it so you did not have that. So this conspiracy theory, we have not been able to prove that.

Nicholas Hill  31:47  
A second theory doesn't blame malice, but instead blames incompetence, with people saying that the railroad laborers had loaded bales of hay onto the same train car as the dynamite, which led to the explosion, Ernesto quickly dismisses this rumor as well.

Ernesto Ibarra  32:05  
There's no evidence that that happened. All these crew members knew that. Combining this hay with the Dynamite was dangerous. So even if they did include a hay they would have done it in a separate car, not with the dynamite and the official report. There's no mention of that.

Nicholas Hill  32:22  
On the night of the explosion, there is a wake held for Jesus, the entire community comes out to pay their respects. One guest Maestro Rodriguez excuses himself to go home early and write a composition for an orchestra to play at Jesus his funeral. The crowd at Nacozari cemetery on November 8, numbers in the 1000s. James Douglas has this his employer and friend delivers a touching eulogy, praising Jesus as a hero, and recalling good times spent with his friend, Jesus is recognition does not and they're

Ernesto Ibarra  33:01  
the very evening of the when this happened. He was recognized as a hero. On the next day, the company general manager, he sent a letter to the governor and the governor immediately recognizes their CSR heroes and the news went across the border and made front page of The New York Times the next day. In less than a year after in October 1908. He received the American cross of honor. So this award was given to people who saved or sacrificed their lives for other people. And he was recognized as the first Mexican national to receive this award in the United States. So this was in 1908. And after that, you had all these kinds of recognitions and dishonor in 1909. They build a beautiful monument in the town square. The company paid for most of it and the federal government also contributed a lot and they dedicated this monument. So this event gather people from Mexican from the United States. And that same year, a month later, the state legislature officially modify the name of the town. So they added they got to see he added his last name to the town so it's not Casady from there on by law. From 1909. The official name of the town is Nicolas it there Garcia in his honor. So right away, you have all these recognitions, praising him as a hero.

Nicholas Hill  34:28  
Unfortunately, Jesus's fiancee, Jesusita would pass away within a year of his death. Her doctor blames heart trouble, which Nacozari takes to mean a broken heart. Jesus is recognition doesn't stop there. Since 1944 November 7, has now been recognized in Mexico as the National Day of the railroader. On this holiday in chapels and churches all over the nation, railroad families offer prayers and Garcia's name the Mexican postal office would issue postal stamps with Jesus his picture, monuments would reach Los Angeles and Norwalk in the United States. 300 public schools would be named after Jesus, as well as a library in Honduras. Garcia's day of glory has been re consecrated every year and Nacozari. His mother would attend the annual ceremonies until her death in 1924. At age 77, to this day, Jesus, his relatives are treated as guests of honor and Nacozari de Garcia. But aside from the pomp and ceremony, the memorials and monuments the long flowing speeches, citizens of Northern Sonora award Jesus an even greater tribute every day, and their pride for his great deed.

Citizen (Voiceover)  35:48  
The people of Nacozari are the proudest in all of Mexico. Each year our entire nation looks to Nacozari because once the fate of Nacozari dependent solely upon one of its citizens, in that desperate moment, Jesus Garcia had to choose between life for himself and life or Nacozari, one other town can boast of such a history and such a hero.

Nicholas Hill  36:17  
I hope that you enjoyed today's episode. Special thanks to Ernesto Ibarra president of the Nacozari de Garcia Historical Association for his time and unique insight into Jesus Garcia's life. I truly enjoyed our conversation. Today's show was directed and produced by me with music from Alex Grohl. If you liked today's episode, please follow us wherever you listen to podcasts, and consider leaving a review, as it will help us to spread the word about the show. You can view more information about today's episode online at acts of Thank you for listening