1906 Earthquake and Fire

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Today, April 18, is 106 years since the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire in our beloved City. I was surprised to find this film footage dated sometime late April 1906, preserved in the Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.

The description in part says: “This film is made up of five panoramas, four wide and one close-up, of the ruins of downtown San Francisco shortly after the 1906 disaster, plus a panorama and scene in a nearby refugee camp.”


As far as a connection to the 1960s, try this. Joseph Lawrence Alioto was Mayor of San Francisco from 1968 to 1976. He was born in The City in 1916. The story goes, on the morning of April 18, 1906, Mayor Alioto’s grandfather, fish dealer Lorenzo Lazio, rushed from his house in the Marina with his wife and four daughters. They headed to one of his fishing boats at Fisherman’s Wharf to escape the devastation.

Another young fish dealer, Giuseppe Alioto, was running by. Lazio told Alioto to jump on board. He did and thus met Lazio’s eldest daughter, Domenico. Eight years later, on April 16, 1914, Domenico and Giuseppe were married. They had four children. Their son, Joseph, would grow up to become the mayor.

And on July 18, 1906, Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa was born in Vancouver, Canada. He became a college professor and served as President of San Francisco State College, now called San Francisco State University, from 1968 to 1973.

Best wishes,