natural 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

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

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

"An Irish Peasant Family Discovering the Blight of their Store," by Daniel MacDonald, c. 1847

Irish Potato Famine

The Great Famine (Irish: an Gorta Mór) or the Great Hunger was a period of mass starvation, disease, and emigration in Ireland between 1845 and 1849. With the greatest impacted areas to the west and south of Ireland. During the famine, about one million people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland, causing the …Read More