Tag Archives: Historic books


Seasoned Reporter Pens Novel on 100-Year Old Sabotage

Frank “Boss” Hague at Center of Controversy, Again!

 By Sally Deering

Some reporters seem to have ink in their veins; just the hint of a good tale propels them to find the facts, pinpoint the characters and put it in print.

Former Jersey Journal reporter Ron Semple
Ron Semple

That seems to be the case with Ron Semple, a 5th Generation Jersey Cityite who walked the Jersey City beat for the Hudson Dispatch and Jersey Journal in the 1950s and 60s, Semple wrote news and features and at 27 became the Jersey Journal’s City Editor with a crew of 50 reporters he could send out on a moment’s notice to get a story. More than 50 years later, Semple finds himself once again writing copy about his hometown.


Black Tom book cover In BLACK TOM, Terror on the Hudson (Top-Hat Books, 516 pgs.; $27.95) Semple turns back the calendar to 1916 when German saboteurs destroyed a large railroad munitions depot (Black Tom) on the Jersey City waterfront. The explosion killed and injured several night watchmen and caused extensive property damage costing millions of dollars.


Continue reading FIRE & VICE IN Old JERSEY CITY