California at 5.12 a.m. on Wednesday, 18th April, 1906, San Francisco was stricken by a terrible followed by devastating fires which broke out in the city that lasted for several days. About 3,000 people died and over 80% of San Francisco was destroyed. This episode is remembered as one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States together with alongside the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The disaster inspired one of the most famous film of the thirties, San Francisco a 1936 musical-drama directed by Woody Van Dyke starring Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, and Spencer Tracy. Famous silent film directors D. W. Griffith and Erich von Stroheim worked on the film without credit.