Great Alaskan Earthquake -
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Then the ceiling began to crumble and fall in.
Our parents shielded Ted & I from the debris with their bodies. Dad said that it was time to move and ushered us back into the living room.
"where were you when the quake struck?" Right after the quake, that was the first question all of us survivors
asked each other. The answers were incredible.
"I was watching "Fireball XL5" on TV" was one of the answers.
Check out this fun clip from that popular TV show right now.
Dishes where breaking and the house was really shaking.
My Dad yelled, "get out of the house now", he didn't have to say it twice. Outside, the trees where really swaying and cracking.
I will never forget the rolling motion of the ground.
I was being slammed one way then the other, it was such a struggle just to keep standing up, and at one point I lost that fight and fell.
Then the ground kept shaking for over 5 minutes.
Cars slid out of flat driveways. The paved road looked like waves. There was nothing we could do.
The adults went into panic mode.
The cabinets were emptied as the house rolled up and down, like a boat in 15 foot swells.
All 9 of us (little sister was 6 months old) clung to each other in the doorway between the dining room and the living room.
Photo by Helen Bucy
Photo by Diane S. Smith
Check out the Alaska 1964 Earthquake in rare pictures right now
The Four Seasons (it was still under construction when the quake hit)
5:36pm, Good Friday, March 27th, 1964
It felt like it would never stop. And when it was over we learned that it was a magnitude 9.2 earthquake that had lasted 5 minutes. And it was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in north America.
139 people lost their lives, and the tsunamis that followed hit British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and Northern California.
It's often called, the Great Alaskan Earthquake.
after the quake, what was left of 4th Avenue, Anchorage
This was a school before the quake
incredible destruction on Anchorage's 4th Avenue
Reconstruction begins after the Great Alaskan Earthquake
Click below to see stories from other visitors to this page...
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I'll Never Forget
I was 6 years old on that day. We lived on West 29th Place, which back then was a dead end street off of Spenard Road. Now days it's Benson Blvd …
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What does "Supermarionation" have to do with the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake in Alaska? Right after the quake, one of the first questions all of us …
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I Remember 64
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The Big Alaska Earthquake - Part 2
During the 1964 Good Friday Alaskan earthquake, the author, Linda A. Wingfield was living in Valdez, Alaska. This is Part 2 of her story - At some …
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Man survives the earthquake, but is injured from the after effects! Not rated yet
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I was 13 and my Little Brother was 10 ... We Recall the Quake Vividly Not rated yet
I've been asked to give our memory of March 27, 1964 at 5:36 PM. My brother and I have vivid recall. My name is Ron Dionne and my brother is Ross …
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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 …
The stories on this page were all written by actual survivors of this horrible earthquake.
While Anchorage and Alaska in general, has it's share of quakes, the one on Good Friday, 1964 was much more intense and destructive than others - before or sense. And those who experienced the terror and devastation first hand, still vividly recall their experiences to this day - and always will.
As you read the stories above, one of the first things you'll discover is the incredible variety of amazing things each one saw and experienced.
You'll also discover that for everyone, the earthquake did strange things with time. It rattle and shook time until it seemed like there was nothing but the earthquake. We were trapped in the seemingly never ending world of an earth that would not stop shaking us to our very core.
And you'll learn the many faces of terror -
The intense and profound shaking began as a cautious curiosity and quickly turned into a quest for survival as we tried desperately to just survive the incredible earthquake that would haunt us for the rest of our lives.
To this day, most survivors will tell you that at some strange moment while the earth was shaking, buildings were crumbling, and there was no place to hide, it seemed as though it would never stop. That it would go on and on until the earth was but a memory.
Can you imagine what that must have felt like?
The stories you'll read when you scroll up this page will give you a special look into this amazing event as you experience the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake through the eyes of the survivors.
To learn more, visit the Anchorage Museum website.