Goatview Farm - The Saint Report www.goatview.com


April 18

San Francisco Earthquake

At 5:13 a.m. on this day in 1906, San Franciscans were awoken by the roar and rumble of the worst earthquake to ever hit the United States. Before the quake and subsequent fire were over four days later, over 3,000 people would die. If you have ever experienced a good earthquake, the length of this one, 48 seconds, is impressive; ten seconds of shaking is enough to reduce most people to near-tears.

Just in case you thought that taking advantage of a tragic situation is a new phenomenon, here's some proof that it isn't.

When I was living in San Francisco (I wrote about this a little somewhere--wearing Indian bedspread dresses, etc.) in 1969, Mayor Alioto had an earthquake party at 5 a.m. on April 18. Someone has had the good sense to put a copy of the program for that event online:

Earthquake Party 1969

I didn't attend. I am kicking myself now, but as I recall, I woke up and then went back to sleep.

A scene from the movie "San Francisco" was projected onto a building during part of the ceremony. I like that movie even though Jeanette MacDonald sings "open your golden gate" a full ten years before construction on it began.*

Knowing San Francisco as I do, someone, many someones, are right now planning a real spectacular for April 18, 2006, and I am not going to miss this one.

*Alright. I don't know everything about San Francisco.

I just received the following:

When Jeanette McDonald sang bout the "golden gate" she referred to the narrow opening to San Francisco Bay. The Golden Gate bridge is named after the "Golden Gate" which it spans.

Colleen Sutherland




1906 San Francisco Earthquake Links:

Some good individual stories here
USGS site about the quake

Saints celebrating feast days today include Saint Apolonius the Apologist, Saint Laserian, Laisren or Molaisse, Saint Idesbald, and Saint Galdinus.

Celebrating birthdays today: James Woods (1947), Haley Mills (1946), Rick Moranis (1954).

Clarence Darrow was born on this day in 1857 and died May 13, 1938.

Born today in 1949 was Addie Mae Collins, one of the four girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.




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Marilyn Jones 2000-2008