PDF The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 (Great Historic Disasters)

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The quick spread of this story came from the fact that she was an Irish immigrant and anti-Irish sentiment was strong at the time. Even though the reporter who first floated the rumor about O'Leary's cow retracted the story, hatred of the Irish kept it alive.

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The O'Learys were exonerated over a century later in , and other theories arose, such as gamblers on her property who may have knocked over the offending lantern. Regardless of its true cause, the fire quickly spread. Firefighters were alerted to the fire by a city watchman, but they received the wrong directions. By the end of its first hour, the fire destroyed a number of homes in the area before it moved to the business district, then across the river to hit the gas works on the South Side and then the city courthouse.

Chicago Fire of 1871

The blaze jumped the Chicago River, spreading to the north side of the city. The fire hit Chicago's waterworks building and destroyed it as well, eliminating the city's access to its water supply. Rain finally came at night on Monday, helping to put out the waning blaze. In the immediate aftermath of the fire, crime skyrocketed in the form of riots and looting.

Furthermore, , residents were left homeless, and people sought to take advantage of the disaster through price-gouging for necessities. The period following the fire would have been a prosperous time for a Chicago personal injury lawyer or property law attorney. Martial law was declared to rein in the crime, and the city began to set price controls. Flames were seen coming from a small farm behind a house located near De Koven and Jefferson Streets Tyler The fire spread quickly o another building. People were not aware that the fire going to be the most destructive and the biggest fire tragedy in America history.

She had a milk business behind hare barn next to her house.

Curious City: What if the Great Chicago Fire Never Happened?

On that fateful night, after he had finished to milk, she carelessly left a kerosene lamp in the barn. Unfortunately a cow kicked the lamp over and it lit the hay spread on the floor. Though, this story was not proved, it was told around Chicago and to the rest of the world.


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Natural light flooded the tall structure. The partitions between offices were made of brick and terra cotta. Built in , the Home Insurance Building is considered to be the world's first skyscraper.

Unitarian Faith "We have not lost, first, our geography. Robert Collyer, speaking to his congregation after the Chicago Fire of destroyed their church. Who Started the Fire?

The Chicago Fire of 1871 and the 'Great Rebuilding'

There are many theories about how Chicago's Great Fire of started. It began in a barn belonging to Patrick and Catherine O'Leary. Some people believe a thief knocked over a lantern while stealing milk from the barn. Years later, a man named Louis M. Cohn confessed to starting the fire by accidentally knocking over a lantern when running away from an illegal card game.

The Chicago Fire of 1871: Disaster & Destruction in the Windy City - History

Recently, scientists have suggested that a meteor shower ignited hay in the O'Leary barn. In , Fire Prevention Week became a national observance. The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

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Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. You cannot download interactives. The development of human civilizations was supported by large numbers of people who lived in sparsely-populated rural areas defined by agriculture, fishing, and trade. Over time, as these rural populations grew, cities began to develop. Urban areas are defined by dense populations, the construction of multiple and often large buildings, monuments and other structures, and greater economic dependence on trade rather than agriculture or fishing.

Even the ancient Incan, Egyptian, or Chinese civilizations, changed their environment in order to urbanize.

Modern urban cities like New York City, Beijing, Dubai, and Paris are bustling centers of business, entertainment, and trade. However, the modifications humans make to their surroundings in order to urbanize such places can impact the environment in negative ways: pollution, disruption of water flow, deforestation, and desertification.

Explore the effects of urbanization on the environment and help students explore how human cities impact the world around us with this curated collection of resources. Skip to content Donate Account. Article Vocabulary. Photograph courtesy the New York Times. Chicago School. Great Chicago Fire. John M. Van Osdel. Louis Sullivan.