By now just about every San Franciscophile has been alerted to the fact that April 18th of this year will mark the centennial of the 1906 earthquake — the Big One which destroyed the city that once was, and gave rise to the one which we inhabit today.

But the “Great Quake” of 1906 was only the second to bear the name.

The first great quake happened in 1865, and though its memory has faded somewhat, the coincidental presence of the young Sam Clemens (or Mark Twain, as the nation would soon discover) in San Francisco has preserved it. In this week’s podcast we’ll travel back to October of 1865 and listen to an American literary icon reminisce about that day.

For further edification:
» 1856 earthquake newspaper reports – sfmuseum.org
» Mark Twain in the West – pbs.org
» The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

Musical support:
thanks to Tom Joad for the banjo tune “Jaybird” — provided under a Creative Commons license