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The Johnstown Flood Chapter Summary & Analysis - Chapter 1 Summary

David McCullough
This Study Guide consists of approximately 98 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Johnstown Flood.
This section contains 1,303 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Johnstown Flood Study Guide

Chapter 1 Summary and Analysis

The Johnstown Flood describes how on May 31, 1889, the earthen dam holding back Lake Conemaugh 15 miles upriver from Johnstown, PA, gives way in abnormally heavy spring rains, and a wall of water races down the valley, scraping away all trace of several small communities before destroying and drowning the populace of Johnstown in ten minutes. Relief operations begin immediately, involving the American Red Cross, and locals try unsuccessfully to blame a club of rich Pittsburghers who own the dam and lake. Most surviving Johnstownians return to rebuild their city and forget the terrible disaster.

Chapter 1, "The sky was red," sketches life in Greater Johnstown, PA, on Memorial Day, May 30, 1889, as context for the devastation next day when Lake Conemaugh breaks its dam and its waters crash down the valley into the prosperous steel town. The chapter also introduces a few characters whose fate in...

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This section contains 1,303 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Johnstown Flood Study Guide
Copyrights
The Johnstown Flood from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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