February 27, 2009

The Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906

The other day, I noticed that we had added some editions of the The San Francisco Chronicle to the site that were pretty close to the time of the 1906 earthquake. I wondered how the local papers reported the quake, or if they were even still able to publish.

Here's the headline from Thursday April 19,1906.
"San Francisco in Ruins"
It's not clear where they were publishing from since, as the paper says, "Newspaper Row Is Gutted" (page 2) and the fire threatened to leave the city "Without a Newspaper" (page 3), but this appears to be a special, combined edition of three San Francisco Papers, The Call, The Chronicle and The Examiner. It's just 4 pages long, down from a normal of about 16 for The Chronicle.

The Chronicle skipped April 20th, but by the 21st they were back:
Page 1; San Francisco Chronicle
And they published every day for the rest of the month, though it did take them a week or so to get back to the full length.

Of course, other major papers around the nation covered the story. Here's The Atlanta Constitution from April 19, 1906:
"Frisco in Ruins"

And The Chicago Tribune for the same day:
"Details of the San Francisco Horror"

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