Saturday, October 08, 2011

140 years ago today

The Great Chicago Fire destroyed most of the city and killed several hundred people.  A popular legend attributed the fire to a lantern being kicked over by the cow of Mrs. Catherine O'Leary.  However this account was later retracted by the news reporter who first published the story, when he admitted to fabricating the whole thing in the 1890's.  To this day the exact cause of the fire remains a subject of historical debate.  The chaos of the disaster was portrayed with remarkable (for the period) realism in the 1937 film "Old Chicago." (Click here to watch scenes of the fire from the movie.)

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