San Francisco Earthquake - powerful earthquake levels San Francisco, with a fire raging out of control in the aftermath, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless
On April 18, 1906, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake centered near the city of San Francisco struck at 5:15 AM. The quake ruptured the San Andreas fault to the north and south of the city, for a total of 296 miles, and could be felt from southern Oregon to Los Angeles and inland to central Nevada. The intense shaking toppled hundreds of buildings, but the resulting out-of-control fires were even more destructive. Broken water mains and limited firefighting capabilities allowed city-wide fires to burn for several days. Nearly 500 city blocks were leveled, with more than 25,000 buildings destroyed. At the time, the city was home to more than 400,000 residents—after the disaster, 250,000 were left homeless. The exact death toll is undetermined, but most estimates place the number of deaths caused by the earthquake and fire at more than 3,000.
Despite the utter devastation, San Francisco quickly recovered from the earthquake, and the destruction actually allowed planners to create a new and improved city. A classic Western boomtown, San Francisco had grown in a haphazard manner since the Gold Rush of 1849. Working from a nearly clean slate, San Franciscans were able to rebuild the city with a more logical and elegant structure. The destruction of the urban center at San Francisco also encouraged the growth of new towns around the San Francisco Bay, making room for a population boom arriving from other parts of the United States and abroad.
Meeting of Russian spiritual leaders - Grigori Rasputin, Bishop Hermogenes and Hieromonk Iliodor in Tsaritsyn
Rasputin, Hermogen and Iliodor sitting together. Within a few years of this photograph the three men became bitter enemies.
Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin was a Russian peasant, mystical faith healer, and trusted friend of the family of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia. He became an influential figure in Saint Petersburg, especially after August 1915, when Nicholas took command of the army fighting in World War I.
Hermogenes was a prominent Russian Orthodox religious figure and a monarchist with extreme right ideas, supporting the Union of the Russian People and Black Hundreds. In 1917, he was appointed as Hermogenes, Bishop of Tobolsk and Siberia.
Hieromonk Iliodor (Sergei Trufanov) was a lapsed hieromonk, a charismatic churchman, an enfant terrible of the Orthodox church, and panslavist. He is known primarily for his book, semi-autobiographical, and biographical on Rasputin. In this work, he was supported by Maxim Gorky, who hoped that Trufanoff’s story on Rasputin would discredit the Tsar’s family and eventually contribute to the revolutionary propaganda.
In December 1911, Hermogenes and Iliodor came into conflict with Rasputin, who had almost free access to the Imperial family. Hermogen started rumours that Rasputin had joined the Khlysty, an obscure Christian sect with strong Siberian roots. After having been beaten by Hermogen with a crucifix, in a monastery on Vasilyevsky Island, Rasputin complained to the Imperial couple. Within a few weeks Empress of Russia Alexandra ordered Hermogenes to be banished to a monastery.
In Summer 1914, after an attack on Rasputin by Khioniya Kozmishna Guseva, Iliodor Iliodor went into exil. Rasputin believed Iliodor and Vladimir Dzhunkovsky had organized the attack. Gusseva, a fanatically religious woman, had been his adherent in earlier years and “denied Iliodor’s participation, declaring that she attempted to kill Rasputin because he was spreading temptation among the innocent”.