disaster

The Currier & Ives lithograph showing people fleeing the Great Chicago Fire of 1871

Great Chicago Fire

The Great Chicago Fire burned October 8 to 10, 1871, in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago, with its frequent high winds and countless wooden structures, was prone to fires even before the “Great Fire” tore through the city. However, none was so destructive as this one. It ultimately killed 300 people and destroyed more than 17,000 buildings. …Read More

Chernobyl Disaster newspaper headline (The Morning Call via Newspapers.com)

Chernobyl Disaster

On April 26, 1986, a Soviet nuclear power plant near Chernobyl, Ukraine, became the site of the most disastrous nuclear accident in history, when it experienced explosions at one of its reactors. Disaster In the early hours of April 26, a planned simulation of an electrical power outage resulted in an uncontrolled nuclear reaction at …Read More

Ruins of San Francisco near Post and Grant Avenue

San Francisco Earthquake of 1906

On April 18, 1906, at 5:12 a.m., San Francisco and the surrounding area was struck by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake with an epicenter just two miles west of the city. Massive fires followed, burning a large portion of the city over the course of three days. Three thousand people were killed in the disaster, and half …Read More

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, 1911

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City caught fire and in about half an hour killed 146 people, the majority of them young women. Background The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory was a sweatshop housed in the top three floors of a 10-story brick building in New York City. It employed hundreds …Read More

Wreckage from the Galveston, Texas, Hurricane in 1900

1900 Galveston Hurricane

Summary On September 8, 1900, Galveston, Texas, was struck by a category 4 hurricane that decimated the island and killed thousands of people, making it the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history. Great Galveston Hurricane The day before the hurricane struck, heavy swells were noticed in the Gulf, and by the early morning of the …Read More

Crew members of the Space Shuttle Challenger's final mission

Challenger Disaster

On January 28, 1986, the NASA shuttle orbiter mission STS-51-L and the tenth flight of Space Shuttle Challenger (OV-99) broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members, which consisted of five NASA astronauts and two payload specialists. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, …Read More