This Day In History
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
On This Day

Events

in 1889

Over 2,200 people die...
Over 2,200 people die after a dam break sends a 60-foot (18-meter) wall of water over the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The Johnstown Flood occurred on May 31, 1889. It was the result of the catastrophic failure of the South Fork Dam situated 14 miles (23 km) upstream of the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA, made worse by several days of extremely heavy rainfall. The dam's failure unleashed a torrent of 20 million tons of water (4.8 billion U.S. gallons; 18.2 million cubic meters; 18.2 billion litres). The flood killed more than 2,200 people and caused US$17 million of damage. It was the first major disaster relief effort handled by the new American Red Cross, led by Clara Barton. Support for victims came from all over the United States and 18 foreign countries. After the flood, victims suffered a series of legal defeats in their attempt to recover damages from the dam's owners. Public indignation at that failure prompted a major development in American law—state courts' move from a fault-based regime to strict liability.
Johnstown Flood, flood, Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Births

in 1773
Ludwig Tieck

Johann Ludwig Tieck was a German poet, translator, editor, novelist, writer of Novellen, and critic, who was one of the founding fathers of the Romantic movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Deaths

in 1809
Joseph Haydn

Franz Joseph Haydn, known as Joseph Haydn, was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms. He was also instrumental in the development of the piano trio and in the evolution of sonata form.
in 2001
Arlene Francis

Arlene Francis was an American actress, radio talk show host, and game show panelist. She is known for her long-standing role as a panelist on the television game show What's My Line?, on which she regularly appeared for 25 years, from 1950 through the mid-1970s.
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