Great Chicago Fire Of 1871

( 1 )

Overview

What really happened in Mrs. O'Leary's barn on that autumn night in old Chicago? Although no one knows for sure, what is certain is that someone, or something, started a fire in a load of hay, and the city of Chicago would never be the same. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 raged for more than 24 hours. It obliterated the downtown and sparked an exodus of residents to the prairies and the lake. The flames grew so hot that they melted iron and marble, and the twisting winds tore the roofs off houses. The individual ...

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Overview

What really happened in Mrs. O'Leary's barn on that autumn night in old Chicago? Although no one knows for sure, what is certain is that someone, or something, started a fire in a load of hay, and the city of Chicago would never be the same. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 raged for more than 24 hours. It obliterated the downtown and sparked an exodus of residents to the prairies and the lake. The flames grew so hot that they melted iron and marble, and the twisting winds tore the roofs off houses. The individual stories of courage and tragedy recounted by survivors captivated a nation and elicited an outpouring of aid. The stricken city rose again, but the story of its encounter with near extinction remains one of America's defining sagas.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Julia Beiker
Everyone has heard the tale of how the Great Chicago fire was started by a cow that kicked over a lantern in Mrs. O'Leary's barn. Is this a myth or fact? According to the book "The Great Chicago Fire of 1871," the answer would be fact and myth. The fire did start in Mrs. O'Leary's barn, but the O'Leary family was fast asleep. A neighbor saw the flames bursting out of the structure and called for help. One newspaper reporter wrote the story wrong, and the rest became history. This book also gives a brief history of Chicago and how random fires had plagued Chicago before the big one that destroyed parts of the city. The effects of the fire not only spread through the city, they also sparked a national trend of fire safety improvements to fire stations and their equipment throughout the United States. Not a city in America could have done any more than Chicago's volunteer department did at the time, so changes had to be made. The author, Paul Bennie, gives a well-researched account of what was happening in the United States at the time of the Chicago fire from personal testimonies to newspaper articles depicting the event that changed more than the lives of the O'Leary family. The chronology chart and timeline at the back of the book give a quick review of what happened that would be helpful for research papers. Photographs add authenticity to the book. This library must is part of the "Great Historic Disasters" series. Reviewer: Julia Beiker
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791096383
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/2008
  • Series: Great Historic Disasters Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,178,029
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents


Introduction: A National Event     7
City in a Hurry     11
Drought and Blaze     24
"Everything Went Wrong!"     36
South Side Inferno     49
"It Takes All Sorts"     63
North Side Holocaust     76
City in a Hurry Again     90
Nowhere to Go but Up     102
Chronology and Timeline     113
Glossary     116
Bibliography     117
Further Reading     119
Picture Credits     120
Index     121
About the Author     128
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    Excellent.

    Very thorough and compelling account.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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