Tsunami Japan

      On December 21, 1946 an 8.1-.4 magnitude undersea earthquake initiated a powerful tsunami in the Nankai Trough off Japan's largest island Honshū. When 20-foot waves hit shore, buildings were obliterated and ~2,000 ships were capsized. 60,000 square miles were...

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Hawaiian Tsunami

In April 1946 two large undersea earthquakes occurred off the Alaskan coast and a tidal wave, nearly 100 feet high, crashed onto the shore at Unimak Island, Alaska. A lighthouse located 30 feet above sea level, was smashed to pieces, killing five people. Five hours...

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Hiroshima

In April-July 1945 Japanese forces inflicted Allied casualties totaling nearly half those suffered in three full years of war in the Pacific.  In late July, Japan’s militarist government rejected the Potsdam Declaration demanding unconditional surrender or total...

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B-25 Strikes Empire State

A U.S. Army Air Force  B-25 Mitchell bomber crashed into the Empire State Building on Saturday July 28, 1945.  Fourteen people were killed. Flying from New Bedford, Massachusetts, to LaGuardia Airport in New York City, with two pilots and a passenger aboard, the B-25...

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Port Chicago Disaster

In 1944, segregated African-American Navy units were assigned dangerous loading operations. Most of these men were not trained in munitions handling, and safety standards were apparently often overlooked under heavy pressure to complete loading schedules. In July...

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Tottori Earthquake

    The 7.2 Richter scale Tottori earthquake had an epicenter offshore from Ketaka District (now part of Tottori). Tottori city, with many antiquated buildings was the hardest hit with ~80% of its structures damaged or destroyed. As the earthquake struck in the...

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Operation Gomorrah

On July 25 1943, following a 5-month air campaign against Germany’s industrial Ruhr district, the RAF began a 10-day series of air raids on Hamburg known as Operation Gomorrah. Due to unusually hot and dry weather, the July 27 raid on the city’s working class...

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Leningrad 7th Symphony

In the summer of 1941, shortly after the German army began the long siege of his city Leningrad, the Soviet Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich began work on his Seventh Symphony. After composing several movements, Shostakovich and his family, along with the...

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Cocoanut Grove Fire

The Boston Cocoanut Grove club, thriving during Prohibition in the late 1920's, faded in popularity during the 1930's. But with the onset of WWII, it became very popular once again. The club's basement contained the Melody Lounge, while the first floor had a large...

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Dieppe Raid

In the summer of 1942, with Russia suffering the brunt of the European war, there was immense pressure on Great Britain to mount an offensive operation on the Western front.  A plan (Operation Jubilee) was developed to raid the German held French port of Dieppe on the...

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Galloping Gertie Tacoma

The Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge, crossing the Puget Sound to the Kitsap peninsula, opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and collapsed due to wind-induced flutter on November 7. The only fatality was Tubby, a cocker spaniel who tumbled into the Tacoma Narrows along...

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Hindenburg Disaster

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F54rqDh2mWA The 30-year era of sublime optimism and confidence regarding passenger zeppelins came to an abrupt and tragic end in May 1937 with the fiery crash of the German airship Hindenburg. 13 passengers, 22 crew members and one...

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Typhoon Hits Japan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uC7D_TICOeA Typhoon Muroto , followed by a tsunami, left 2,702 dead, 334 missing, and 14,994 injured.

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Dust Bowl

During severe droughts from 1930-1936, approximately 100 million acres of soil in the Southwestern USA,  blew away in large dust clouds. Hundreds of thousands of people ("Okies") left their homes and migrated west during the Great Depression....

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Great Kanto Earthquake

Following the Great Kantō earthquake with over 100,000 deaths, vigilante mobs hunted down and killed ethnic minority Koreans rumored to have committed arson, looting and poisoning of drinking water. The Home Ministry stated that 231 Koreans were killed, but much...

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