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Timelines of Historic Disasters & Epidemics

Natural and man-made disasters, from earthquakes to flu pandemics, have affected the lives of our ancestors and altered the course of history. Check these timelines to see if a major disaster or disease outbreak may have affected your ancestors.
  1. Historic Earthquakes
  2. September 11 (7)

Influenza Epidemic of 1918
Learn about the history and devastation of the great influenza pandemic of 1918, cited by mnast as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. The flu outbreak ultimately cost more lives than WWI.

Deadliest U.S. Natural Disasters
Every now and then a deadly natural disaster comes along and wipes out a large population within days. These ten deadliest U.S. disasters cost the lives of 100s and 1000s of people, wiped out many important historical and genealogical records, and changed many families forever.

Archives of September 11
Archivists, historians, and thousands of generous volunteers rose to the challenge of archiving and preserving the events and emotions of September 11, 2001. Explore the photos, stories, and mementoes of that tragic day through these permanent exhibitions and digital archives of September 11.

San Francisco Earthquake of 1906
Often referred to as the "Great Quake," the San Francisco Earthquake of April 18, 1906 was one of the largest natural disasters in U.S. history. Over 3,000 people were killed, 250,000 were left homeless, and more than 28,000 buildings were destroyed.

The America Experience | Influenza 1918
The year 1918 saw the United States ravaged by a flu epidemic that killed 675,000 Americans -- more than in all the wars of this century combined.

Isaac's Storm - The Galveston, TX Hurricane of 1900
Considered by many to be the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, the hurricane that wasn't supposed to be able to happen slammed into the port city of Galveston, TX on September 8, 1900. The death toll was estimated between 6,000 and 12,000, and the city was destroyed.

Epidemics in the U.S. - 1628 - 1918
Find locations and dates for major American epidemics and outbreaks of influenza, scarlet fever, small pox, measles, yellow fever, typhoid fever and other medical disasters.

InfoPlease - Disasters
Timelines of major disasters, including epidemics, major storms, floods, terrorist attacks, railroad accidents, droughts, and other disasters. Includes disasters from around the world, but focuses primarily on U.S. disasters.

Significant Floods in the U.S. During the Twentieth Century
Descriptions of 32 of the most significant floods of the 20th century from the U.S. Geological Survey.

World Disasters of the 21st Century
Timeline of major disasters across the globe includes links to news articles for major disasters of the 21st century, including transportation accidents, landslides, earthquakes, fires, explosions, tsunamis and hurricanes.

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