American Disasters - Great Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts Social Studies - Massachusetts History - Capital City Boston, Massachusetts - Massachusetts Tourism - Massachusetts Disasters - Massachusetts Geography - Massachusetts Lesson Plans - Massachusetts Colleges and Universities


Boston Disasters __ An extensive list of click-to-read articles about disasters in Boston and the state. - From - 

Boston Molasses Disaster __ "A large molasses tank burst and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 mph (56 km/h), killing 21 and injuring 150." An encyclopedic article. - illustrated - From wikipedia -

Clinton, MA Waterworks Aqueduct Explosion, Sept 1896 __ "Four men were killed and one was fatally injured by an explosion of dynamite in the tunnel of shaft No. 2. Metropolitan water-works aqueduct, at Clinton, Saturday afternoon." Original news stories and links to related material. - From Linda Horton/ -,-ma-waterworks-aqueduct-explosion,-sept-1896

Cocoanut Grove fire __ "The Cocoanut Grove was a nightclub in Boston, Massachusetts. On November 28, 1942, the fashionable nightclub burned in what remains the deadliest nightclub fire in United States history, killing 492 people and injuring hundreds more." An encyclopedic article. - From wikipedia -

Cocoanut Grove Nightclub fire __ "During the early days of World War II, a major fire struck the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston, Massachusetts. On the night of the fire, November 28, 1942, the club had approximately 1,000 occupants, many of whom were people preparing to go overseas on military duty." A brief look at what happened. - From -

Delta Airlines 723 __ "...on July 31, 1973, Delta Air Lines Flight 723, crashed into a seawall while executing an instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 4R in heavy fog on the Logan International Airport, Boston, There were 83 passengers, 5 crewmembers, and a cockpit observer (on a Delta training assignment) on board the DC-9-31. All but two occupants were killed in the crash." An overview. - From -

FEMA: Massachusetts State Disaster History __ Massachusetts 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 - 

Great Boston Fire of 1872 __ "The Great Boston Fire of 1872 was Boston's largest urban fire and still one of the most costly fire-related property losses in American history." An encyclopedic article. - illustrated - From wikipedia -

Great Fire Devastates Boston __ " 1872, a monstrous fire nearly destroyed Boston's business district, ravaging the city from the Common to the waterfront." You can read the whole story. - From -

Great Salem Fire of 1914 __ "The Great Salem Fire of June 25, 1914, destroyed 1,376 buildings in Salem, Massachusetts." An encyclopedic article. - illustrated From wikipedia -

Historic Disasters: Massachusetts Disasters __ You will find a list of Massachusetts disasters. Each list entry is a live link to additional information. - From -
Hotel Vendome Fire __ "The Hotel Vendome Fire was the worst firefighting tragedy in Boston history. 9 firefighters were killed when part of the building collapsed, June 17, 1972." Very brief article listing the firefighters. - From wikipedia -

Mass Moments __ You will find a list of click-to-read articles about Massachusetts disasters. - From -

Massachusetts Disasters Floods, Fires, Tornadoes, Mine Explosions ... __ "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 stories and more. - From -

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

Massachusetts tornadoes __ Index of wikipedia articles about Massachusetts tornadoes. - From wikipedia - 

New England Hurricane of 1938 __ "It made landfall in Suffolk County on Long Island, New York on September 21, 1938 as a strong Category 3 hurricane on the present-day Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale with a central pressure of 946 mbar (hPa).... It then traveled across Long Island Sound into Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and finally into Canada while still moving at an unusually high speed." An encyclopedic article - illustrated - From wikipedia -

“Snow Hurricane” Hits Massachusetts: October 10, 1804 __ " 1804, a "snow hurricane" struck Massachusetts. The storm began with winds so powerful that whole forests were leveled. Houses, barns, chimneys, and church steeples came crashing down. Even when the wind subsided, it continued to snow. As much as two feet fell in some places." Read the whole story. - From - 


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