American Disasters - Great Michigan Disasters

Reviewed Resources for Students and Teachers 


Great American Disasters State by State

Alabama  - Alaska  - Arizona  - Arkansas  - California  - Colorado  - Connecticut  - Delaware  - Florida  - Georgia  - Hawaii  - Idaho  - Illinois  - Indiana  - Iowa  - Kansas  - Kentucky  - Louisiana  - Maine  - Maryland  - Massachusetts  - Michigan  - Minnesota  - Mississippi  - Missouri  - Montana  - Nebraska  - Nevada  - New Hampshire  - New Jersey  - New Mexico  - New York  - North Carolina  - North Dakota  - Ohio  - Oklahoma  - Oregon  - Pennsylvania  - Rhode Island  - South Carolina  - South Dakota  - Tennessee  - Texas  - Utah  - Vermont  - Virginia  - Washington - West Virginia  - Wisconsin  - Wyoming 


These pages do not begin to cover all the disasters that have taken place in every state.  There is also controversy over what constitutes and defines a "great" disaster from any other kind.  All disasters are "great" to those directly involved in them.

So these pages are a mix of "great" and "not so great" disasters.  The major disasters are all covered in the larger sites I have linked to as resources and the rest are related items of interest.

For example, you might not find a particular major disaster on this list, but it may be included in a site such as, which is one of the resources found here.

This is an excellent place to begin your research.  The links found here lead to an ever widening amount of information.  Good luck in your efforts.

Go to Michigan Social Studies - Michigan History - Capital City Lansing, Michigan - Michigan Tourism - Michigan Disasters - Michigan Geography - Michigan Lesson Plans - Michigan Colleges and Universities


Bath School Disaster __ "On May 18, 1927, 45 people, mostly children, were killed and 58 were injured when disgruntled and demented school board member Andrew Kehoe dynamited the new school building in Bath, Michigan out of revenge over his foreclosed farm due in part to the taxes required to pay for the new school." A good overview plus many, many additional resources. - illustrated - From -

FEMA: Michigan State Disaster History __ Michigan Disaster History. Major Disaster Declarations. Click on the 'disaster #' on the right side of the list to access detailed information including images and more. - illustrated - From FEMA - 

The Great Peshtigo Fire of 1871 __ "On the evening of October 8, 1871 the worst recorded forest fire in North American history raged through Northeastern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, destroying millions of dollars worth of property and timberland, and taking between 1,200 and 2,400 lives." Learn what else was burning at the same time. - illustrated - From Deana C. Hipke -

Historic Disasters: Michigan Disasters __ You will find a list of Michigan disasters. Each list entry is a live link to additional information. - From -

Iron Mountain, MI Chapin Mine Explosion Jun 1901 __ "Quantity of Powder Lets Go in the Ludington Shaft of the Chapin Mine Near Iron Mountain, Michigan, with Terrible Results This Morning -- List of the Killed." Original news accounts and links to related material. - From -

Italian Hall Disaster (Calumet, Michigan, 1913) __ "The Italian Hall disaster (sometimes referred to as the 1913 massacre) is a tragedy which occurred on December 24, 1913 in Calumet, Michigan. Seventy-three men, women, and children, mostly striking mine workers and their families, were crushed to death when someone falsely yelled "fire" at a crowded Christmas party." An encyclopedic article. - From wikipedia -

Michigan Disasters Floods, Fires, Tornadoes, Mine Explosions and more __ "...a look back at the events that touched our ancestor's lives - tornadoes, fires, floods, hurricanes, train wrecks, mine explosions, and tragic accidents that became a part of history and our genealogy." You will find original news articles and more. - From -

Michigan Earthquake Information __ An overview and history of Michigan earthquakes. - From - 

Michigan Prepares __ "Natural Disaster and Severe Weather ... Disaster Preparedness in Michigan ... " A site about disaster planning from the Stste of Michigan. - illustrated - From -

Michigan tornadoes __ An index of all articles about Michigan tornadoes found in wikipedia. - From wikipedia -

Michigan Tornadoes __ Michigan tornadoes from 1950 to 1995, listed by County. - From -

Northwest Airlines Flight 255 __ "The flight crashed after takeoff in Detroit, on August 16, 1987, at about 20:46 EDT (8:46 p.m. local time, 00:46 UTC August 17), killing all of the crew and passengers except for a 4-year-old girl,..." An encyclopedic article. - From wikipedia -

Port Huron Fire of 1871 __ "The Port Huron Fire of 1871 occurred on Sunday, October 8, 1871. A fire leveled broad swathes in the U.S. state of Michigan, including the cities of Holland, Manistee, and Port Huron. At least 200 people died as a result of the fire." A brief article. - From wikipedia -

Riga, MI Train Wreck, Jan 1907 __ "One trainman was killed and twenty passengers were injured when an east-bound Lake Shore Railroad passenger train ran into an open switch late last night at Riga and collided with a freight train, derailing and overturning all the coaches." Original news accounts and links to related material. - From -

Super Outbreak __ "The Super Outbreak is the largest tornado outbreak on record. From April 3 to April 4, 1974, there were 148 tornadoes confirmed in 13 US states and one Canadian province: Ontario, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and New York." An encyclopedic article. - illustrated - From wikipedia -

Wildfires in Michigan __ An index of all articles about Michigan wildfires found in wikipedia. - From wikipedia -


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