A headline from the Oakland Tribune dated May 9, 1906 asked the incendiary question, "Was the Earthquake and Fire Result of Alleged Wickedness In San Francisco?"
The paper, published about three weeks after the Great San Francisco Earthquake and the citywide fire it spawned, was posted recently in a Facebook Group devoted to Oakland history. It has several amusing headlines including the above, and the main story came with the sub-hed "What the Berkeley Ministers Have to Say on the Subject," and the lede, "Some say the calamity was a visitation of the heavenly powers."
Yes, so, back before Berkeley was Berkeley — namely a haven for progressive politics, slow food, and unwashed hippies — it was apparently home to some conservative church types who didn't think highly of the City by the Bay. And from what we know about SF's Barbary Coast days, it was probably with good reason that some ministers tried to warn their flocks against it.
And, sadly, when San Francisco gets hit with another big earthquake, we'll be hearing this kind of shit coming out of the mouths of contemporary evangelicals and others, no doubt. Because some things never change!
Amusingly, the other headlines on that edition of the Tribune include one about SF businessmen wanting insurance companies to "get down to business at once" and pay up on claims from the fires, so that rebuilding could begin quickly — not unlike a headline we could have seen in the last two years after wildfires in wine country and in Paradise. Another headline: "Why Men Drink Who Dislike It."
See it all below.