Category Archives: Animals

“Watch Out!”: New Jersey Shark Attacks of 1916

Map of Time | A Trip Into the Past

A shark captured in Cuba in July 1916 (Courtesy Library of Congress) A shark captured in Cuba in July 1916 (Courtesy Library of Congress)

July 1916 had been a dreadfully hot time for thousands of New Englanders. Combine this with the new craze for swimming and you have busy beaches. In an effort to escape the heat New Englanders took to the sea, swarming the beaches. There was little to no fear of sharks since time and time again it had been “proven” that sharks were not man eaters.

On 1 July 1916 Charles Vansant went out for a swim in the mostly deserted waters near Engleside Hotel. He swam out a good distance with a dog frolicking in the water nearby.  On the shore a small group of people was forming to watch Vansant’s swim. In more recent times long distance swimming had become popular. At a certain distance the dog turned back for shore and Vansant turned to follow. As…

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