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A screen shot from 'San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, April 18, 1906'

A scene from "San Francisco Earthquake and Fire" filmed on April 18, 1906

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The Great San Francisco Earthquake
April 18, 1906

Fires that started as a result of the quake raged through San Francisco for three days. Closely-built wooden homes and broken water mains made it difficult to fight the fires. More than 3,000 people are estimated to have died.

For a few weeks, survivors slept in tents and parks. They cooked outdoors to avoid the chance that any more buildings would be burned. Then they got busy rebuilding their city and homes and hoped never to be awakened by a devastating earthquake again.

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VIDEO CREDIT: "San Francisco earthquake and fire, April 18, 1906," 1906(?). Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound, Library of Congress. Call Number FEA 8316.