Saturday, May 31, 2008

Johnstown Flood

This picture shows the devastating scene of the flood at Johnstown, Pennsylvania. It was on this day, May 31, in the year 1889 that the South Fork Dam failed, and unleashed some 20 million tons of water. The water devastated the community of Johnstown, which was about 14 miles downstream. The flood killed 2,200 people. Disaster relief was coordinated by Clara Barton, and her newly formed organization . . . the American Red Cross.

1 comment:

  1. A fascinating book was written about this event by David McCullough, tracing out the events leading up to and after the flood. What is shocking to our modern sensibilities, this privately owned dam was responsible for the flood, but no one was held liable for the thousands of deaths. Today, if a privately owned dam burst, you can guarantee the wealthy owner(s) would be sued from here to next Sunday.

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