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Chicago’s Eastland Disaster: Explore this Great Lakes tragedy with a Storymap

Chicago’s Eastland Disaster: Explore this Great Lakes tragedy with a Storymap
August 24, 2020 Sandra Svoboda

Historic photos, newly discovered film reels, archival accounts from survivors and stories from their descendants are all part of the new documentary “Eastland: The Shipwreck That Shook America.”

The steamship capsized on the Chicago River as hundreds of passengers boarded. Their destination: a day trip to Michigan City, Indiana, just across the southern end of Lake Michigan.

Some 844 people died that day in the Windy City’s worst disaster. The downtown site is marked with a historical placard. The Bohemian National Cemetery has a memorial, and the Chicago History Museum now has an augmented reality tour.

Great Lakes Now featured a segment about the disaster and the documentary.

See the full episode here.

Meanwhile, explore this StoryMap about some of the North American and European locations related to the Eastland’s story.

Here is some other Great Lakes Now work about shipwrecks in the Great Lakes:

Wrecks Within Reach

Shipwreck fragment emerges along Lake Michigan beach

Silver Linings: High water and erosion uncovers hidden history

“Dream Big”: Diving the five lakes in 24 hours, from the perspective of one of the divers

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