On October 8, 1871 several major fires broke out in Chicago (Illinois), Peshtigo (Wisconsin), Port Huron (Michigan) and other places.
It is estimated that in the Chicago Fire alone, 100,000 people lost their homes, thousands of homes were destroyed and altogether the fires burned up much more than 1 million acres of land. The loss of life is in the thousands, although the actual number will never be known. The distance between the fires was sometimes hundreds of miles. Why all these fires broke out on the same day, no one knows.
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Photo Credits / Sources:
By Unidentified photographer, printer or publisher (1871 albumen album print) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.