On This Day

April 18, 1906



“like the roar of 10,000 lions”

Monster earthquake strikes San Francisco

On This Day

What Happened:

  • Shortly after 5 a.m. a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck San Francisco; one of the most powerful earthquakes on record.
  • An est. 3,000 people died.
  • The shaking reportedly lasted upwards of a minute.
  • While the earthquake caused immeasurable damage, a fire added insult to injury, burning the city for 4 days.
On This Day

Something To Consider:

  • Although history remembers the 1906 earthquake as a San Francisco event, the earthquake shook the California coast from Los Angeles to southern Oregon & inland to Nevada.
  • The USGS estimates this type of devastating earthquake will happen every 200 years. But warns smaller earthquakes can still do incredible damage.
On This Day

Dozens of unique & rarely seen photos of San Francisco in the aftermath of the earthquake are up for auction today on the 113th anniversary of what the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) still calls "one of the most significant earthquakes of all time." View them on our source page.

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