The Atlantic Selects
Counting the Dead in the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
Apr 27, 2016
When the 1906 San Francisco earthquake hit, the official death toll was reported to be less than 500. For 50 years, the librarian Gladys Hansen, who is now 88 years old, made it her goal to correct the record and properly count the dead—so much so that she says people think of her as the “death lady.” This short film by Catharine Axley, Counting the Dead, tells Hansen’s story, and how she’s still finding names to add to her list of thousands over a century after the quake happened.
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Author: Nadine Ajaka
About This Series
A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.