I Saw the School Split in Half

by Jack Schott
(Inverness Florida USA)

Government Hill Elementary School

Government Hill Elementary School

I was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base at the time of the 1964 Alaska earthquake.

I was just outside the gate on Government Hill in a drug store picking up a few things. Then I started to feel a shaking and all of a sudden, things were falling off the shelves.

I didn’t know what was going on as I had never experienced anything like that before!

Someone hollered “earthquake” and everyone ran for the door. When I got out in the parking lot, the ground was really shaking and the cars that were parked there were being thrown around. All I could do was kneel, so I wouldn't fall.

I looked across the road just in time to see the Government Hill Elementary School split in half and drop into the ground. Thank God it was a holiday and the school was closed.

The water tower up the street was swaying back and forth but never fell over.

It was an experience I will never forget and hope I never have to go through it again.

A Note from Anchorage Memories


Your story reminds us why all of us who experienced the 1964 Great Alaskan Earthquake were fortunate that it took place on the Good Friday holiday. Imagine how many children may have been injured or worse when Government Hill Elementary school split in half.

We also remember the damage at West High School that sent desks tumbling out of the building.

Thank you for your fascinating first-hand account of the earthquake from Government Hill.


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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Cracks in our Basement Walls
by: Anonymous

I was watching the cracks form in our basement walls and the floor as we knelt down and prayed on hands and knees.

I was watching the White Alice tower
by: W R Ward

I was west of you watching the White Alice tower swaying so much I thought it was going to snap in two.

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