Shattered lives, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake

sanf1KQED’s documentary series TrulyCa examines the great earthquake and fire which devastated San Francisco in 1906 and left the city, then known as the Paris of the Pacific, in ruins. A period of rapid growth prior to the quake, spurred on by the gold rush and the expansion of the railroad, had made San Francisco the richest city per capita in the US. It was a city of dreams, and it all came crushing down in just 3 days.

Watch the 1 hour KQED documentary which chronicles the events through the eyewitness account of opera legend Enrice Caruso.

The tragedy became the subject of the disaster movie San Francisco (1936) starring Clark Gable, a musical drama and the highest grossing film of that year.

Watch the 1936 disaster movie (copyright status uncertain)

British author Simon Winchester, who has also written a book on the Krakatoa vulcano eruption, published A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906 in 2005.

He was featured on Big Ideas “Simon Winchester talks about the 1906 earthquake”

and gave  a C-span video lecture “Simon Winchester on the 1906 earthquake”

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