1964 Alaskan Earthquake

by Anne Overby

It was my husband's birthday, and I was cooking and had just placed his cake on the table.

All of a sudden, things started shaking.

The doors of our kitchen cabinets started flying open. My hubby grabbed our daughter in his arms and was yelling for me to leave with him and Robyn.

I was trying to hold the China cabinets and the television down.

They tried to get out of the door and the ironing board fell out of the closet and in front of the door. My husband grabbed the ironing board and threw it out of the way and was still yelling for me to follow them.

We finally got down the back stairs where our car was, and our daughter did not want to get in the car. She was afraid because the car was rocking back and forth.

We and our neighbors drove to the commissary parking lot and stayed there most of the night. In the a.m. we ran back to our homes. The men ran in and grabbed food, water, and diapers for the kids.

Afterward, we melted a lot of snow.

A Note from Anchorage Memories


That was one birthday your husband would never forget.

Your memories of the 1964 Alaska earthquake remind us that, like you and your family, many of us recall how our kitchen became a very dangerous place. Cupboard doors flying open and canned goods and dishes flying out onto the floor.

And, like you, the furniture in our living rooms became moving objects we had to navigate to escape while our home shook for 5 minutes.

Another reminder from your story are the parked cars that were being thrown around in driveways and on streets.

Thank you for sharing your story.


Great Alaskan Earthquake Survivor

A powerful story about a young teenage girl caught in the JC Penney building during the 1964 earthquake.

An amazing story of survival.

Take a look at Great Alaskan Earthquake Survivor and imagine.

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