Day in History: December 30th

1903: the largest fire in the history of the American theater

On December 30, 1903, a fire broke out at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago, Illinois. As a result of the disaster, more than 602 people died. This theater fire became the deadliest in the history of the United States: hundreds of people were crushed, trampled or strangled due to the unthinkable panic in the crush at the closed shut-off lattice gates. There were also several fake decorative “doors” in the theater that looked like exits. 200 people died in one such passage.

The theater was built by Fuller Construction and, after numerous problems and delays in construction, opened on November 23, 1903.

Among the shortcomings of fire safety, the excessive presence of wooden trim and insufficient capacity of fire exits were noted, as well as their small number, there were no fire alarms, telephones and fire hydrants.

1916: the murder of Grigory Rasputin

On the night of December 30 (December 17, old style), 1916, the murder of Grigory Rasputin took place. The crime scene was the house of the Yusupov princes in St. Petersburg.

A peasant of the village of Pokrovskoye, Tobolsk province, was a friend of the family of the Russian Emperor Nicholas II, in the 1910s in certain circles of St. Petersburg society he had the reputation of a “royal friend”, “elder”, visionary and healer. The negative image of Rasputin was used in revolutionary, later in Soviet, propaganda. Until now, numerous disputes have been conducted around the personality of Rasputin and his influence on the fate of the Russian Empire.



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