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Topic: Calamities

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Seattle's Great Fire

On June 6, 1889, a fire started from an upset glue pot in a carpentry shop located in the basement of a downtown Seattle building and spread to consume Seattle's entire business district. The Great Fi...

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Smallpox Epidemic of 1862 among Northwest Coast and Puget Sound Indians

This file describes the 1862 smallpox epidemic among Northwest Coast tribes. It was carried from San Francisco on the steamship Brother Jonathan and arrived at Victoria, British Columbia, on March 12,...

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Speakeasy Fire: An Eyewitness Account of the fire on May 18, 2001

Two members of HistoryLink's staff, Alyssa Burrows and Chris Goodman, happened to be at the Speakeasy Cafe the night it burned down. This is Alyssa'a first-hand account of the confused scene as the bu...

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Spokane's Great Fire

Most of downtown Spokane (then known as Spokane Falls) was destroyed by fire on August 4, 1889. The conflagration broke out in an area of flimsy wooden structures and quickly spread to engulf the subs...

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The 1918 "Spanish Flu" Pandemic in Washington

The misnamed "Spanish Flu" pandemic peaked in late 1918 and remains the most widespread and lethal outbreak of disease to afflict humankind worldwide in recorded history. Small mutations in a flu viru...

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The Spanish Flu in Spokane

Kenneth Knoll was 12 years old when the influenza epidemic came to Spokane. This catastrophic event so impressed him that he felt compelled to describe it 70 years later. His essay is based mainly on ...

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Valencia, SS, the Wreck of (1906)

On Monday, January 22, 1906, the coastal passenger liner SS Valencia, en route from San Francisco to Seattle with 108 passengers and 65 crew aboard, passed the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca i...

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Washington Forest Fires: A Tour

This is a tour of major forest fires in Washington state history. Written and curated by David Wilma. Map by Marie McCaffrey.

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