Major Earthquake Strikes San Francisco: April 18, 1906



>Major Earthquake Strikes San Francisco: April 18, 1906″ style=”font-size: 20px;font-weight: bold;”></p>
<p>On April 18, 1906, at 5:12 a.m., <a href=San Francisco and the surrounding area was struck by a destructive 7.8-magnitude earthquake,
whose epicenter lay just 2 miles west of the city. The earthquake was quickly followed by massive fires that, over the course of three days, burned a large
portion of the city. Three thousand people would be killed, and half of San Francisco’s population would become refugees.

Images of San Francisco before the 1906 earthquake and firesWhen
the earthquake struck not long after 5 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18, most people were still in bed. A brief initial shock was followed by the main quake,
which lasted 45 to 60 seconds. In that minute, buildings throughout the city crumbled or sank into the ground, roads cracked, water and gas mains broke,
and thousands of people were killed, trapped, or injured.

It wasn’t just San Francisco that was affected; nearby cities such as Santa Rosa and San Jose were equally decimated by the earthquake, and tremors were felt as far north as Oregon and as far south as Los Angeles. A strong aftershock around 8 a.m. sent further buildings toppling.

The destruction caused by the earthquake was devastating enough, but within half an hour more than 50 fires had been reported in San Francisco. Despite the response of local firemen, some of the fires grew into massive conflagrations that burned through well-known neighborhoods, including the city’s downtown,
Chinatown, and Nob Hill. By the time the fires were finally put out on Saturday, 4.7 square miles, 500 city blocks, and 28,000 buildings had burned.

As a result of the earthquake and fires, more than 200,000 San Franciscans (out of a population of 400,000) became homeless. Initially, many camped in
parks or other open spaces, but soon many fled the city altogether—some
temporarily, others permanently. Organized relief efforts distributed food, water, and shelter to the refugees, and millions of dollars in aid and donations were given to the city.

The clean-up from the disaster would take two years, and rebuilding the city would take even longer. By 1915 San Francisco had recovered enough to host
the Panama—Pacific International Exposition. In some respects, however, the city never fully recovered from the earthquake: before the disaster, San
Francisco had been the leading city on the West Coast, but following it, Los Angeles took its place.

Do you have family members who lived through the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fires? Tell us about them! Or learn more about the disaster on
Newspapers.com.

The Boxer and the Bear

Here’s a bizarre news story for you today: in 1897 a man named Bob Fitzsimmons found himself in an unexpected boxing match against his (not so docile) pet bear.

Boxing the Bear

Fortunately for the sake of not being mauled alive by a bear, “Fitz” had some experience in the realm of boxing. Just months earlier he had risen to fame with a well-publicized win against Gentleman Jim Corbett. He’d also go on make history as boxing’s first world champion in three weight divisions, and would later be added to The Guinness Book of World Records as the lightest heavyweight champion.

But before all of that came his ill-advised bare-knuckle boxing match (pun intended). The article below gives the details.

The Bear Boxing Match
Exhausting fight
Fitzsimmons after the fight

In the end there were no fatalities, not even for the animals involved. Still, it seems there’s a concrete lesson to be learned through this crazy story: it’s probably best not to keep bears as pets, no matter how much you like ’em.

Find more stories like these with a search or browse through the pages of Newspapers.com.

Quad-City Times

If you have ancestors from southeastern Iowa or northwestern Illinois—or if you’re interested in the history of these two regions—come explore the Quad-City Times on Newspapers.com.

Newspapers.com also has a host of papers from the Quad-City Times family tree, including the Daily Leader, the Davenport Weekly Leader, the Davenport Weekly Democrat and Leader, Weekly Davenport Democrat, the Democrat and Times, the Daily Times, the Davenport Weekly Gazette, and the Democratic Banner. Some of these papers go all the way back to the 1850s, giving you more than 160 years of Iowa and Illinois history!

The Quad-City Times has existed under that name since 1975, but it was previously called the Times-Democrat because in 1964 the paper was formed by the merger of two papers: the Daily Times and the Morning Democrat (found on Newspapers.com under the Quad-City Times). The Daily Times‘ history was fairly straightforward, starting out as the Blue Ribbon News in 1878, before becoming the Northwestern News in 1879 and then finally the Davenport Daily Times in 1886.

The Morning Democrat, in contrast, had more than two dozen titles in its family tree, starting with a paper called the Democratic Banner, founded in 1848. The various papers competed, merged, and changed names over a 100-year period, until the Morning Democrat emerged as the sole surviving paper out of the bunch (at least until the Morning Democrat’s own merger with the Daily Times in 1964).

As its name implies, the Quad-City Times serves the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois (Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline), as well as the surrounding counties. The Quad-City Times, along with the earlier papers it grew out of, has documented more than a century and a half of goings on in the region. From big events (like the 1901 fire that burned 8 blocks of Davenport) to smaller occasions (like weddings and school excursions), these newspapers were there to capture local happenings, making the papers a great resource for finding stories about your ancestors or learning more about area history.

Get started searching or browsing the Quad-City Times on Newspapers.com!

Recipes for St. Patrick’s

Pull out your green clothes and shine your shamrocks, for St. Patrick’s Day is here again. If you’re in need of a few solid recipes for your St. Patrick’s Day feast, look no further: Newspapers throughout the years are here to provide.

First up, a festive side for your dinner table: Shamrock rolls (1941):

Shamrock Rolls, 1941And from 1950, a subtly festive drink with just a hint of green:

Something to drink, St. Patrick's Day, 1950

Here’s something easy enough for the kiddos to make, from the Boys and Girls Newspaper in The Gazette and Daily (1950):

Junior Recipes: Cabbage-and-Pineapple Salad, 1950

If you’re a bit more adventurous but like easy prep, you might try this salad or this casserole, which together fulfill the corned beef and cabbage requirements of a St. Patrick’s Day meal (1979):

St. Patrick's Day Recipes

That Emerald Salad doesn’t seem particularly appealing, but who knows? Perhaps it’s a hidden treasure.

For your show-stopping entree, this Pot of Gold Cabbage seems like an excellent thematic choice (2001):

Pot of Gold Cabbage, 2001

And of course, what is a St. Patrick’s Day dinner party without the party? Here’s some surefire advice from domestic expert Lucy Lincoln to craft the perfect social event (1921):

St. Patrick's Party tips from Lucy Lincoln, 1921

(Though that last party game clue seems a little on the nose, wouldn’t you say?)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Hope your parties are safe, fun, and full of delicious food. Let us know if any of these dishes make an appearance at your holiday table. There are more recipes to be found from years gone by with a search on Newspapers.com.

Find: Bigfoot Sightings in History

News, Finds, Tips of the Month

Frame from famous 1967 Bigfoot filmIf you think reports of Bigfoot sightings are relatively recent phenomenon, guess again. Accounts of creatures similar to Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, have been showing up in American newspapers for at least 200 years!

Take a look at these newspaper stories from the distant (and not-so-distant) past and decide for yourself whether you think Bigfoot is real!

  • Long-Island Star, 1818: “He is described as bending forward when running, hairy—and the heel of the foot narrow, spreading at the toes.”
  • Weekly Arkansas Gazette, 1851: “They were followed by an animal bearing the unmistakable likeness of humanity. He was of gigantic stature, the body being covered with hair.”
  • Southern Shield, 1852: “He is described by them as being about 7 feet 2 inches high, and covered completely with black hair, interspersed now and then with gray.”
  • Cincinnati Enquirer, 1895: “She was suddenly confronted by a naked giant, who sprang into the road in front of her horse, making savages gestures and yelling.”
  • Boston Post, 1895: [https://www.newspapers.com/clip/17486340/wild_man_account_1895/] “…that this being had a hirsute growth on its face […]; that it uttered a loud howl or yell, and with amazing swiftness leaped into the recesses of the forest.”
  • Florida Today, 1979: “…[saw] over 1,000 footprints ascribed to a crippled Bigfoot.”
  • Town Talk, 1995: “He saw three of the creatures staring back [at] him. The creatures appeared to be large stumps, but Bryant could discern heads and shoulders.”
  • Daily Record, 2012: “He looked like a human being with an ape head and had jet-black hair all over him.”
  • Detroit Free Press, 2016: “[The creature was] standing on two legs and looking back at him from the woods with glowing eyes. […] And it just casually turned to the left, walked into the woods and it met up with […] three others.”

And don’t miss these images!

  • Image of a frame from the famous 1967 Bigfoot film (from the Press and Sun-Bulletin, 1999), as well as a description of the creature in the film (from the Star Press, 1967)
  • Photo of casts of Bigfoot footprints (Decatur Herald, 1967)
  • Another photo of a Bigfoot footprint cast (Great Falls Tribune, 1967)
  • A map of 50 years of Bigfoot sightings in New Jersey (Daily Record, 2012)

Want to read more? To find further installments of the stories above, try checking the next day’s issue of the paper the story was featured in (e.g., if it was in Monday’s paper, check Tuesday’s). If it’s not in that issue, try checking the next issue that falls on the same day of the week (e.g., if it was published on Sunday, check the next Sunday’s issue).

Got any Bigfoot stories? Share them with us! Or find more articles about Bigfoot sightings on Newspapers.com.

The Great Blizzard of 1888 Hits the Northeast:
March 11–14, 1888

Memorable Moments in Winter Olympics History

During the night of March 11–12, 1888, heavy rain falling across the northeastern United States turned into snow, heralding the start of a blizzard that would kill hundreds of people and cut off major hubs like New York City from the rest of the country for days.4.

Great Blizzard of 1888The weather had been warm and mild leading up to the blizzard, but a cold, snowy storm moving in from the Great Lakes region collided with a warm, wet storm moving up from the south, creating a blizzard that not only dumped 20–60 inches of snow but was also accompanied by hurricane-force winds and below-freezing temperatures.

The blizzard was at its worst on the 12th and 13th. The wind blew so hard that snow accumulated in drifts sometimes dozens of feet high. Trains were unable to run for days, telegraph lines were knocked down across the northeast, and hundreds of boats along the coast were sunk or beached. Due to the cold temperatures and whiteout conditions, people froze to death in the streets and livestock died in the fields.

On the 13th, while New York City was still in the grips of the blizzard, the New York Tribune described the previous day of the storm:

“The forcible if not elegant vocabulary of pugilism supplied the phrases which will, perhaps, best reveal to the popular imagination the effect of the storm that visited New York yesterday. New York was simply ‘knocked out,’ ‘paralyzed,’ and reduced to a condition of suspended animation. Traffic was practically stopped, and business abandoned. […] Chaos reigned, and the proud, boastful metropolis was reduced to the condition of a primitive settlement.”

The storm had mostly dissipated by the 14th, but the cleanup was only beginning. Mountains of snow had to be cleared from the roads and train tracks, communications lines had to be repaired, and debris blown around during the storm had to be removed. To make matters worse, when the weather warmed back up, flooding from the snowmelt occurred in some places.

The consequences of the storm made a big impression on local officials, and as a result, major cities like New York began moving their trains and communication lines underground.

Do you have any family stories about the Great Blizzard of 1888? Share them with us! Or find more articles about the storm on Newspapers.com.

Lincoln Journal Star

If you’re interested in Nebraska newspapers, come explore the Lincoln Journal Star and some related papers: the Lincoln Star, the Nebraska State Journal, the Weekly Nebraska State Journal, the Sunday Journal and Star, the Courier, and the Lincoln Evening Call. Through these papers, you can go back more than a century in Nebraska history, with some stretching as far back as 1867!

The Lincoln Journal Star was formed in 1995 by the merger of the Lincoln Journal and the Lincoln Star, each of which had its own long history. The Lincoln Journal’s history was complex, with many name changes, buy-outs, and mergers over the decades. The oldest paper in the Lincoln Journal’s family tree was the Nebraska Commonwealth, which was started in 1867. Other papers on the Journal’s family tree include the Lincoln Evening Call, the Courier, and the Nebraska State Journal—just to name a few of many.

Comparatively, the Lincoln Star’s history is straightforward: it was founded in 1902 as the Lincoln Daily Star, and only changed its name once—to the Lincoln Star in 1921. Although the Journal and Star weren’t officially combined until 1995, they had published under a joint operating agreement since 1950 and had published a combined Sunday edition (the Sunday Journal and Star) since 1931 and combined Saturday and holiday editions since 1990.

If you are interested in Nebraska history, the Lincoln Journal Star and its related papers are a treasure trove of information. For instance, you can find an essay by famous author Willa Cather in the Nebraska State Journal that was published in 1891, when she was just 17!

These Lincoln newspapers are also valuable resources for finding your Nebraska relatives. Since many of these papers, especially the earlier ones, overlap in years they published, you are even more likely to find the information you’re looking for. For example, if you were looking for information on an ancestor who lived in Lincoln in 1902, the Courier, Lincoln Evening News (included under the Lincoln Journal Star), Lincoln Star, and Nebraska State Journal were all publishing that year, increasing the likelihood of finding your ancestor.

Get started searching the Lincoln Journal Star on Newspapers.com! With a Basic subscription you can access years up through 1922, or with a Publisher Extra subscription you can access all available years.

First Valentine Memories from the Turn of the Century

This page from the Chicago Tribune, published February 11th, 1900, shares a collection of memories gathered from prominent public members of the city. Some are sweet, some sad, some entirely indifferent.

Confessions of Well Known Citizens, Their First Valentines. Chicago Tribune, Feb 1900

Here, Rev Dr. J.S. Stone shares his memories of the valentines shared in his youth:

Valentine memories, Rev J S Stone, 1900

Denis Sweenie, fire chief, had some sweet things to say about a certain significant other:

No poet's valentine compares
Librarian John Vance Cheney wishes he could remember the sweet feelings of receiving his first valentine:

The nostalgic librarian
And (this one is a personal favorite) Dr. W. A. Howard tells the absolutely adorable story of a valentine he received when he was 6 years old:

The embarrassed doctor
and his embarrassed valentine
Want to read the rest? Click through the first image on this post to get to the full page on Newspapers.com.

Happy Valentine’s Day!