The Johnstown Flood of 1889: Providence or Indifference?
The Disaster of the Century
On May 31, 1889, the South Fork Dam failed for the final time, sending 20,000,000 tons of water racing to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, killing 2,209 in its wake and causing $17,000,000 in property damage. The exchange of responsibility for the dam led to the lack of oversight by engineers and combined with the indifferent industrial elite, caused a disaster that never should have happened. The flood tested the new Red Cross, led to changes in environmental standards, and challenged the ethics of the political system.
All photos were obtained from the Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/