San Francisco

111 Years Later: San Francisco Remembers 1906 Earthquake Victims

Tuesday morning marked the 111th anniversary of the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco.

City leaders and community members gathered at Lotta's Fountain — one of the oldest monuments in the city by the bay and one-time gathering place for earthquake survivors — to remember the lives lost after the quake and sweeping blaze. The blaring sound of fire engines roared at 5:12 a.m. to mark the exact time when the earth violently shook 111 years ago.

The large group then meandered to the corner of 20th and Church Streets to continue the annual tradition of painting the famous "Little Giant" hydrant, which is known for helping save the Mission District more than a century ago.

For the second-consecutive anniversary remembrance, an original survivor was not on hand to offer a personal recount of the terrifying day. Bill Del Monte, the last known survivor, died in early 2015 at the age of 109.

A formal memorial dedicated to the earthquake does not exist in San Francisco, but some folks are campaigning to change that. Organizers are striving to house a memorial plaque in front of the de Young Building located at the intersection of Market and Kearny Streets.

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