Disaster Tales
The Children’s Blizzard of 1888

The Children’s Blizzard of 1888

September 15, 2019

On January 12th, 1888 an arctic cold front, the coldest ever measured, raced down the center of the American heartland.  There were far below zero temperatures, windchills measured at -110 F and freezing effects as far south as Brownsville, Texas.  The storm hit the Dakota Territories, Minnesota and Nebraska about the same time children were walking home from school.  This storm was a killer. 

Waco Episode 3 - The Siege

Waco Episode 3 - The Siege

August 20, 2019

The Branch Davidian siege at Waco in 1993 was a deadly carnival of coincidence, misjudgement and errors.  This is the third and final part of our Waco podcast.  It's part of a collaboration with Home on the Strange podcast host Lynsie Wilson. 

You can find Part 1 here: 

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/httpsfeedsbuzzsproutcom291866rss/home-on-the-strange

Part 2 is on Disaster Tales and you can find it here:

https://disastertales.podbean.com/e/waco-part-2-the-prelude/

We hope you listen to all three parts in order to get the full story. 

Waco Part 2 - The Prelude

Waco Part 2 - The Prelude

August 13, 2019

Home on the Strange host Lynsie Wilson joins us to discuss the history of the Branch Davidians, the rise of David Koresh, and the circumstances that led over 70 people to their deaths. It remains to this day one of the largest domestic tragedies involving the United States Government, and is still referenced in popular culture regularly. This episode contains graphic content. 

For early access to part 3, please help support our show by going to Patreon and becoming a patron! 

This is part 2.  If you haven't already heard it, go straight to Home on the Strange Podcast for Part 1!

Circus Train Accidents

Circus Train Accidents

July 15, 2019

With the advent of nationwide railroad services, Circuses and other entertainment groups took to the railways to travel from city to city. There were many tragic accidents, but in the early twentieth century, the Hammond Rail Disaster and the Con T. Kennedy Circus disaster were among the most deadly. 

Influenza Pandemic of 1918

Influenza Pandemic of 1918

June 14, 2019

Beginning in the spring of 1918 and circling the world three times in the next 18 months, an influenza pandemic killed as many as 50 million people.  The disease killed many more than the ongoing First World War.  Find out why it was called the Spanish Flu and lots of other amazing details.  And thanks for listening. 

Peshtigo Fires

Peshtigo Fires

May 15, 2019

On October 8th, 1871, the same day as the Great Chicago Fire, the nation's most deadly wildfire raged through eastern Wisconsin.  The Peshtigo Fire killed an estimated 2,000 Americans.  It left a permanent mark on the Midwest.  (IMPORTANT CORRECTION:  Per listener Neil Miller, Door county is in Wisconsin, not Michigan. Thank you, Neil!) 

New Madrid Earthquakes

New Madrid Earthquakes

April 18, 2019

From December 16th, 1811 to February 7th 1812, the area where the boot heel of Missouri meets Tennessee and Kentucky were devastated by over 2,000 earthquakes. The initial quakes were so strong they rang church bells in Boston and woke President Madison and his wife Dolly from their sleep in Washington, D.C.  Lakes drained, steaming hot sulphur geysers blew up from the ground and the Mississippi River ran backwards.  This often overlooked seismic area is still active today.

Saint Francis Dam Failure

Saint Francis Dam Failure

March 15, 2019

Three minutes before midnight March 12th, 1928, the Saint Francis Dam near Santa Clarita, California catastrophically failed.  This is the second-greatest loss of life in California's history after the 1906 Earthquake. Find out how a series of poor decisions put hundreds of people in harm's way. 

San Francisco Earthquake and Fire

San Francisco Earthquake and Fire

February 15, 2019

The morning of April 18th, 1906, the city of San Francisco was struck by a 7.1 earthquake. The quake and resultant fire killed over 3,000 people and left nearly 200,000 homeless.  This episodes includes contemporary, on site interviews conducted in 1906.

Fires That Changed America - Triangle and Binghamton Factory Fires

Fires That Changed America - Triangle and Binghamton Factory Fires

January 14, 2019

In the early 20th century labor unions were beginning to work for changes in safety and health laws at the workplace. But it took two factory fires and hundreds of deaths to finally get the attention of the legislature. The Triangle Waist Factory in New York City and the Binghamton Clothing Factory in Binghamton, New York changed the lives of workers nationwide.