Alice Eastwood , the curator of botany at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, is credited with saving nearly 1, specimens, including the entire type specimen collection for a newly discovered and extremely rare species, before the remainder of the largest botanical collection in the western United States was destroyed in the fire. Jacobs , a biochemist who was researching the nutrition of everyday foods, were destroyed. Sullivan, was gravely injured when the earthquake first struck and later died from his injuries.
General Frederick Funston had already decided that the situation required the use of troops. Telephoning a policeman, he sent word to Mayor Eugene Schmitz of his decision to assist, and then ordered army troops from nearby Angel Island to mobilize and come into the city. Explosives were ferried across the bay from the California Powder Works in what is now Hercules. During the first few days, soldiers provided valuable services like patrolling streets to discourage looting and guarding buildings such as the U.
Mint , post office, and county jail. They aided the fire department in dynamiting to demolish buildings in the path of the fires. The army also became responsible for feeding, sheltering, and clothing the tens of thousands of displaced residents of the city. On July 1, , civil authorities assumed responsibility for relief efforts, and the army withdrew from the city. On April 18, in response to riots among evacuees and looting, Mayor Schmitz issued and ordered posted a proclamation that "The Federal Troops, the members of the Regular Police Force and all Special Police Officers have been authorized by me to kill any and all persons found engaged in Looting or in the Commission of Any Other Crime".
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Ord later wrote a long letter  to his mother on the April 20 regarding Schmitz' "Shoot-to-Kill" Order and some "despicable" behavior of certain soldiers of the 22nd Infantry who were looting. He also made it clear that the majority of soldiers served the community well. Political and business leaders strongly downplayed the effects of the earthquake, fearing loss of outside investment in the city which was badly needed to rebuild. Fatality and monetary damage estimates were manipulated.
Almost immediately after the quake and even during the disaster , planning and reconstruction plans were hatched to quickly rebuild the city. Rebuilding funds were immediately tied up by the fact that virtually all the major banks had been sites of the conflagration, requiring a lengthy wait of seven-to-ten days before their fire-proof vaults could cool sufficiently to be safely opened. The Bank of Italy had evacuated its funds and was able to provide liquidity in the immediate aftermath.
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Its president also immediately chartered and financed the sending of two ships to return with shiploads of lumber from Washington and Oregon mills which provided the initial reconstruction materials and surge. William James , the pioneering American psychologist, was teaching at Stanford at the time of the earthquake and traveled into San Francisco to observe first-hand its aftermath.
He was most impressed by the positive attitude of the survivors and the speed with which they improvised services and created order out of chaos. Wells had just arrived in New York on his first visit to America when he learned, at lunch, of the San Francisco earthquake. What struck him about the reaction of those around him was that "it does not seem to have affected any one with a sense of final destruction, with any foreboding of irreparable disaster. Every one is talking of it this afternoon, and no one is in the least degree dismayed.
I have talked and listened in two clubs, watched people in cars and in the street, and one man is glad that Chinatown will be cleared out for good; another's chief solicitude is for Millet 's 'Man with the Hoe. Just as there would be none at all if all this New York that has so obsessed me with its limitless bigness was itself a blazing ruin.
I believe these people would more than half like the situation. The earthquake was crucial in the development of the University of California, San Francisco and its medical facilities. Following the San Francisco earthquake, more than 40, people were relocated to a makeshift tent city in Golden Gate Park and were treated by the faculty of the Affiliated Colleges. This brought the school, which until then was located on the western outskirts of the city, in contact with significant population and fueled the commitment of the school towards civic responsibility and health care, increasing the momentum towards the construction of its own health facilities.
Finally, in April , one of the buildings was renovated for outpatient care with 75 beds. This created the need to train nursing students, and, in , the UC Training School for Nurses was established, adding a fourth professional school to the Affiliated Colleges. The grandeur of citywide reconstruction schemes required investment from Eastern monetary sources, hence the spin and de-emphasis of the earthquake, the promulgation of the tough new building codes, and subsequent reputation sensitive actions such as the official low death toll.
One of the more famous and ambitious plans came from famed urban planner Daniel Burnham. His bold plan called for, among other proposals, Haussmann -style avenues, boulevards, arterial thoroughfares that radiated across the city, a massive civic center complex with classical structures, and what would have been the largest urban park in the world, stretching from Twin Peaks to Lake Merced with a large atheneum at its peak. But this plan was dismissed during the aftermath of the earthquake.
For example, real estate investors and other land owners were against the idea due to the large amount of land the city would have to purchase to realize such proposals. Chinatown was rebuilt in the newer, modern, Western form that exists today. The destruction of City Hall and the Hall of Records enabled thousands of Chinese immigrants to claim residency and citizenship, creating a backdoor to the Chinese Exclusion Act , and bring in their relatives from China. While the original street grid was restored, many of Burnham's proposals inadvertently saw the light of day, such as a neoclassical civic center complex, wider streets, a preference of arterial thoroughfares, a subway under Market Street , a more people-friendly Fisherman's Wharf , and a monument to the city on Telegraph Hill , Coit Tower.
The earthquake was also responsible for the development of the Pacific Heights neighborhood. The immense power of the earthquake had destroyed almost all of the mansions on Nob Hill except for the James C. Flood Mansion. Others that hadn't been destroyed were dynamited by the Army forces aiding the firefighting efforts in attempts to create firebreaks. As one indirect result, the wealthy looked westward where the land was cheap and relatively undeveloped, and where there were better views and a consistently warmer climate. Constructing new mansions without reclaiming and clearing old rubble simply sped attaining new homes in the tent city during the reconstruction.
Reconstruction was swift, and largely completed by , in time for the Panama—Pacific International Exposition which celebrated the reconstruction of the city and its "rise from the ashes". Since , the city has officially commemorated the disaster each year by gathering the remaining survivors at Lotta's Fountain , a fountain in the city's financial district that served as a meeting point during the disaster for people to look for loved ones and exchange information.
The army built 5, redwood and fir "relief houses" to accommodate 20, displaced people. The houses were designed by John McLaren , and were grouped in eleven camps, packed close to each other and rented to people for two dollars per month until rebuilding was completed.
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They were painted navy blue, partly to blend in with the site, and partly because the military had large quantities of navy blue paint on hand. The camps had a peak population of 16, people, but by most people had moved out. The camps were then re-used as garages, storage spaces or shops. Most of the shacks have been destroyed, but a small number survived. A study found that the fire had the effect of increasing the share of land used for nonresidential purposes: "Overall, relative to unburned blocks, residential land shares on burned blocks fell while nonresidential land shares rose by The study also provides insight into what held the city back from making these changes before the presence of old residential buildings.
In reconstruction, developers built relatively fewer of these buildings, and the majority of the reduction came through single-family houses.
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Also, aside from merely expanding nonresidential uses in many neighborhoods, the fire created economic opportunities in new areas, resulting in clusters of business activity that emerged only in the wake of the disaster. These effects of the fire still remain today, and thus large shocks can be sufficient catalysts for permanently reshaping urban settings. All residents were eligible for daily meals served from a number of communal soup kitchens and citizens as far away as Idaho and Utah were known to send daily loaves of bread to San Francisco as relief supplies were coordinated by the railroads.
After the earthquake, global discussion arose concerning a legally flawless exclusion of the earthquake hazard from fire insurance contracts. It was pressed ahead mainly by re-insurers. Their aim; a uniform solution to insurance payouts resulting from fires caused by earthquakes. Until , a few countries, especially in Europe, followed the call for an exclusion of the earthquake hazard from all fire insurance contracts.
In the U. But the traumatized public reacted with fierce opposition. Thus the state decided that insurers would have to pay again if another earthquake was followed by fires. Other earthquake-endangered countries followed the California example. Gold transfers from European insurance companies to policyholders in San Francisco led to a rise in interest rates, subsequently to a lack of available loans and finally to the Knickerbocker Trust Company crisis of October which led to the Panic of A paper found that cities that were more severely affected by the earthquake "experienced lower population increases relative to less affected cities until the late 20th century.
The Centennial Alliance  was set up as a clearing-house for various centennial events commemorating the earthquake. Award presentations, religious services, a National Geographic TV movie,  a projection of fire onto the Coit Tower ,  memorials, and lectures were part of the commemorations. Eleven survivors of the earthquake attended the centennial commemorations in , including Irma Mae Weule May 11, — August 8, ,  who was the oldest survivor of the quake at the time of her death in August , aged Another survivor, Libera Armstrong September 28, — November 27, , attended the anniversary, but died in , aged Shortly after Hamrol's death, two additional survivors were discovered.
William Del Monte, then , and Jeanette Scola Trapani April 21, — December 28, ,  , stated that they stopped attending events commemorating the earthquake when it became too much trouble for them. Nancy Stoner Sage February 19, — April 15, died, aged , in Colorado just three days short of the th anniversary of the earthquake on April 18, Del Monte attended the event at Lotta's Fountain on April 18, and the dinner at John's Restaurant the night before. In the National Film Registry added San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, April 18, , a newsreel documentary made soon after the earthquake, to its list of American films worthy of preservation.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the earthquake, see Loma Prieta earthquake.