floodpath the deadliest man made disaster of 20th century america and the making of modern los angeles

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Floodpath

Author : Jon Wilkman
ISBN : 9781620409169
Genre : History
File Size : 21. 4 MB
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Just before midnight on March 12, 1928, the St. Francis Dam, a twenty-story-high concrete structure just fifty miles north of Los Angeles, suddenly collapsed, releasing a devastating flood that roared fifty-four miles to the Pacific Ocean, destroying everything in its path. It was a horrific catastrophe, yet one which today is virtually forgotten. With research gathered over more than two decades, award-winning writer and filmmaker Jon Wilkman revisits the deluge that claimed nearly five hundred lives. A key figure is William Mulholland, the self-taught engineer who created an unprecedented water system, allowing Los Angeles to become America's second-largest city, and who was also responsible for the design and construction of the St. Francis Dam. Driven by eyewitness accounts and combining urban history with a life-and-death drama and a technological detective story, Floodpath grippingly reanimates the reality behind L.A. noir fictions such as the classic film Chinatown. In an era of climate change, increasing demand on water resources, and a neglected American infrastructure, the tragedy of the St. Francis Dam has never been more relevant.

St Francis Dam Disaster

Author : John Nichols
ISBN : 9781439630334
Genre : Nature
File Size : 86. 90 MB
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Minutes before midnight on the evening of March 12, 1928, the St. Francis Dam collapsed. The dam's 200-foot concrete wall crumpled, sending billions of gallons of raging flood waters down San Francisquito Canyon, sweeping 54 miles down the Santa Clara River to the sea, and claiming over 450 lives in the disaster. Captured here in over 200 images is a photographic record of the devastation caused by the flood, and the heroic efforts of residents and rescue workers. Built by the City of Los Angeles' Bureau of Water Works and Supply, the failure of the St. Francis Dam on its first filling was the greatest American civil engineering failure of the 20th century. Beginning at dawn on the morning after the disaster, stunned local residents picked up their cameras to record the path of destruction, and professional photographers moved in to take images of the washed-out bridges, destroyed homes and buildings, Red Cross workers giving aid, and the massive clean-up that followed. The event was one of the worst disasters in California's history, second only to the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire.

William Mulholland And The Rise Of Los Angeles

Author : Catherine Mulholland
ISBN : 0520234669
Genre : Architecture
File Size : 75. 73 MB
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Mulholland presided over the creation of a water system that forever changed the course of Southern California's history. In the first full-length biography of the water and civil engineer, his granddaughter provides insights into the triumphant completion of the Owens Valley Aqueduct and the San Francisquito Dam tragedy that ended his career. Archival photos. 7 maps.

Heavy Ground

Author : Norris Hundley
ISBN : 9780520287662
Genre : History
File Size : 22. 16 MB
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Minutes before midnight on March 12, 1928, the St. Francis Dam collapsed, sending more than 12 billion gallons of water surging through California’s Santa Clara Valley and killing some 400 people, causing the greatest civil engineering disaster in twentieth-century American history. This extensively illustrated volume gives an account of how the St. Francis Dam came to be built, the reasons for its collapse, the terror and heartbreak brought by the flood, the efforts to restore the Santa Clara Valley, the political factors influencing investigations of the failure, and the effect of the disaster on dam safety regulation. Underlying all is a consideration of how the dam—and the disaster—were inextricably intertwined with the life and career of William Mulholland.

Rivers In The Desert

Author : Margaret Leslie Davis
ISBN : 9781497613775
Genre : History
File Size : 63. 2 MB
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Rivers in the Desert is the quintessential American story. It follows the remarkable career of William Mulholland, the visionary who engineered the rise of Los Angeles as the greatest American city west of the Mississippi. He sought to transform the sparse and barren desert into an inhabitable environment by designing the longest aqueduct in the Western Hemisphere, bringing water from the mountains to support a large city. Davis chronicles Mulholland’s dramatic ascension to wealth and fame, followed by his tragic downfall after the sudden collapse of the dam he had constructed to safeguard the water supply. The disaster, which killed at least five hundred people, caused his repudiation by allies, friends, and a previously adoring community. Epic in scope, Rivers in the Desert chronicles the history of Los Angeles and examines the tragic fate of the man who rescued it.

Colossus

Author : Michael Hiltzik
ISBN : 1439181586
Genre : History
File Size : 31. 12 MB
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As breathtaking today as the day it was completed, Hoover Dam not only shaped the American West but helped launch the American century. In the depths of the Great Depression it became a symbol of American resilience and ingenuity in the face of crisis, putting thousands of men to work in a remote desert canyon and bringing unruly nature to heel. Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Michael Hiltzik uses the saga of the dam’s conception, design, and construction to tell the broader story of America’s efforts to come to grips with titanic social, economic, and natural forces. For embodied in the dam’s striking machine-age form is the fundamental transformation the Depression wrought in the nation’s very culture—the shift from the concept of rugged individualism rooted in the frontier days of the nineteenth century to the principle of shared enterprise and communal support that would build the America we know today. In the process, the unprecedented effort to corral the raging Colorado River evolved from a regional construction project launched by a Republican president into the New Deal’s outstanding—and enduring—symbol of national pride. Yet the story of Hoover Dam has a darker side. Its construction was a gargantuan engineering feat achieved at great human cost, its progress marred by the abuse of a desperate labor force. The water and power it made available spurred the development of such great western metropolises as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and San Diego, but the vision of unlimited growth held dear by its designers and builders is fast turning into a mirage. In Hiltzik’s hands, the players in this epic historical tale spring vividly to life: President Theodore Roosevelt, who conceived the project; William Mulholland, Southern California’s great builder of water works, who urged the dam upon a reluctant Congress; Herbert Hoover, who gave the dam his name though he initially opposed its construction; Frank Crowe, the dam’s renowned master builder, who pushed his men mercilessly to raise the beautiful concrete rampart in an inhospitable desert gorge. Finally there is Franklin Roosevelt, who presided over the ultimate completion of the project and claimed the credit for it. Hiltzik combines exhaustive research, trenchant observation, and unforgettable storytelling to shed new light on a major turning point of twentieth-century history.

Man Made Disaster

Author : Charles F. Outland
ISBN : STANFORD:36105025984035
Genre : History
File Size : 90. 39 MB
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For more than a century the history of the American Frontier, particularly the West, has been the speciality of the Arthur H. Clark Company. We publish new books, both interpretive and documentary, in small, high-quality editions for the collector, researcher, and library.

A New Species Of Trouble

Author : Kai T. Erikson
ISBN : 0393313190
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 78. 72 MB
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In the twentieth century, disasters caused by human beings have become more and more common. Unlike earthquakes and other natural catastrophes, this 'new species of trouble' afflicts person and groups in particularly disruptive ways.

109 East Palace

Author : Jennet Conant
ISBN : 9781416585428
Genre : History
File Size : 70. 58 MB
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From the bestselling author of Tuxedo Park, the fascinating story of the 3,000 people who lived together in near confinement for more than two intense and conflicted years under J. Robert Oppenheimer and the world's best scientists to produce the Atomic Bomb and win World War II. They were told as little as possible. Their orders were to go to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and report for work at a classified Manhattan Project site, a location so covert it was known to them only by the mysterious address: 109 East Palace. There, behind a wrought-iron gate and narrow passageway just off the touristy old plaza, they were greeted by Dorothy McKibbin, an attractive widow who was the least likely person imaginable to run a front for a clandestine defense laboratory. They stepped across her threshold into a parallel universe--the desert hideaway where Robert Oppenheimer and a team of world-famous scientists raced to build the first atomic bomb before Germany and bring World War II to an end. Brilliant, handsome, extraordinarily charismatic, Oppenheimer based his unprecedented scientific enterprise in the high reaches of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, hoping that the land of enchantment would conceal and inspire their bold mission. Oppenheimer was as arrogant as he was inexperienced, and few believed the thirty-eight-year-old theoretical physicist would succeed. Jennet Conant captures all the exhilaration and drama of those perilous twenty-seven months at Los Alamos, a secret city cut off from the rest of society, ringed by barbed wire, where Oppenheimer and his young recruits lived as virtual prisoners of the U.S. government. With her dry humor and eye for detail, Conant chronicles the chaotic beginnings of Oppenheimer's by-the-seat-of-his-pants operation, where freshly minted secretaries and worldly scientists had to contend with living conditions straight out of pioneer days. Despite all the obstacles, Oppie managed to forge a vibrant community at Los Alamos through the sheer force of his personality. Dorothy, who fell for him at first sight, devoted herself to taking care of him and his crew and supported him through the terrifying preparations for the test explosion at Trinity and the harrowing aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Less than a decade later, Oppenheimer became the focus of suspicion during the McCarthy witch hunts. When he and James B. Conant, one of the top administrators of the Manhattan Project (and the author's grandfather), led the campaign against the hydrogen bomb, Oppenheimer's past left-wing sympathies were used against him, and he was found to be a security risk and stripped of his clearance. Though Dorothy tried to help clear his name, she saw the man she loved disgraced. In this riveting and deeply moving account, drawing on a wealth of research and interviews with close family and colleagues, Jennet Conant reveals an exceptionally gifted and enigmatic man who served his country at tremendous personal cost and whose singular achievement, and subsequent undoing, is at the root of our present nuclear predicament.

Death And Oil

Author : Bradford Matsen
ISBN : 9780307378811
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 46. 98 MB
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Documents the events of the 1988 oil rig disaster on the North Sea, drawing on interviews with survivors and family members, the Occidental Petroleum company and rescue workers to trace the gas leak that triggered the explosion and the devastation it continues to inflict. By the author of Jacques Cousteau.

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