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Can't Make This Up

Chicago’s Great Fire with Carl Smith


You have likely heard the story before: "Mrs. O'Leary's cow knocked over a lantern and started the Great Chicago Fire." While the Great Fire was a real disaster that occurred in October, 1871, we remember it much like a quaint American folk tale. To add a little clarity to this famous event, I am joined by Carl Smith, Emeritus Professor of History, English, and American Studies at Northwestern University, to talk about his recent book, "Chicago's Great Fire: The Destruction and Resurrection of an Iconic American City." During our time together, Carl and I discuss what made Chicago one of America's largest cities in the 19th century, the status of fire safety in urban areas at the time, the tragic events that unfolded over a three day period in 1871, and how Chicago's resolve led to the city being resurrected.

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This podcast is part of Straight Up Strange Productions. Check out www.straightupstrange.com for more shows like this one.