What exactly happened on the fateful day in Jonestown? Rick Paulus at Pacific Standard investigates:
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November 18th will mark the 37th anniversary of what has become known as “Jonestown,” where 918 members of the Peoples Temple—a religious cult that originally formed in 1950’s Indiana, before moving to California, and ultimately to Guyana, South America—were left dead, most through willfully drinking cyanide-laced, grape-flavored Flavor Aid. It was the final act of notorious leader Jim Jones, who attempted to create his visions of a “socialist paradise” in that small nation.*
Seeing as nearly everyone who belonged to the Peoples Temple died that day, most of what is known about the event is by virtue of Jones’ meticulous archiving. Archive.org is chock-full of Peoples Temple ephemera, including an audio recording of Jones preaching to his followers before and during the mass suicide on that final, fateful day.