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date: 28 September 2022

Chicago Fire. 

The Oxford Companion to United States History
Carl SmithCarl Smith

The Chicago fire of 8–10 October 1871 is perhaps the most famous urban disaster in American history. Its exact cause is unknown, notwithstanding the legend that it was started by Mrs. Catherine O'Leary's cow kicking over a lantern. Whatever the conflagration's origin, the combination of a long drought, high winds, a delay in the alarm system, and an overmatched fire department assured catastrophe for the new metropolis, which was constructed almost entirely of wood. The flames destroyed a third of the city, including the entire commercial downtown and the homes of about 100,000 of ... ...

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