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See, Hear and Sing Disasters, Devastation and Destruction

A screen shot from 'San Francisco earthquake and fire, April 18, 1906.'

A scene of San Francisco after the earthquake and fire, on April 18, 1906

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San Francisco Earthquake
Imagine being awakened early in the morning by the ground shaking so hard that you're thrown out of bed and across the room--if you're even lucky enough to be alive. On April 18, 1906, at 5:12 a.m., an earthquake of 8.3 magnitude hit San Francisco, devastating much of the city. By this time, San Francisco was already a booming city with many closely spaced wooden homes and unreinforced brick buildings. The moment the earthquake started, buildings collapsed, water mains broke, and a huge fire broke out that spread rapidly across the city. In this film, you can see how the city looked after the earthquake and fire.
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VIDEO CREDIT: "San Francisco earthquake and fire, April 18, 1906 [Production company unknown]. Part 1 of 4" April 18, 1906. Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916, Library of Congress.