On this day: the Great New Orleans Fire

On the 21st of March, 1788, a fire broke out in a home in New Orleans, present-day Louisiana.

856 of the 1100 buildings in the town were destroyed.

Because the fire happened on Good Friday, priests wouldn’t allow church bells to be rung as a warning to residents.

Below is a map of the destroyed area, published in 1886. X

New Orleans Map of 1788 fire, published in 1886.

On this day: the Peshtigo Fire

The Peshtigo Fire occurred on the 8th of October, 1871 in and around Peshtigo, Wisconsin. It was the deadliest fire in US history.

The Peshtigo Fire occurred on the 8th of October, 1871 in and around Peshtigo, Wisconsin. It was the deadliest fire in US history.

Because a number of fires struck the United States on the same day that year this one is largely forgotten, overshadowed by the far more famous – but not as deadly – Great Chicago Fire.

The 1871 Peshtigo Fire in Wisconsin and Michigan

The Peshtigo fire took at least 1500 lives, but may have taken as many as 2500. It is hard to determine an exact number, as local records were destroyed in the disaster.

Peshtigo 1871 before te fire 19th century su history wisconsin

Peshtigo shortly before the fire.

As with many fires around that time – and just as it is today – the cause was a combination of drought, hot temperatures and strong winds, joining to create a firestorm. However there is little specific detail available, and what information there is available is largely from journal entries of the time.

On this day: St Katharine Docks opened in London in 1828

St Katharine Docks opened in London in 1828

1828

In the 1820s, some 11300 low class Londoners lost their homes as they were cleared out to make way for the development of St Katharine Docks. The docks opened on the 25th of October, 1828.

Plan drawn up for the St. Katharine Dock Company showing the street and buildings which would need to be demolished to make way for the new dock. circa 1825

Circa 1825 plan showing what needed to be demolished to make way for the docks.

Badly damaged by German bombing in World War Two, the area is now home to offices and private residences.