This Day in History – March 8th, 1937

March 9, 1937. An earthquake rattles the small village of Anna, Ohio. Although Anna is located roughly forty-five miles north of Dayton, the effects were felt here in Dayton too. Anna was affected by eight earthquakes in March 1937 alone, with a total of twenty-three earthquakes in the decade. The prior week, the first of the March 1937 earthquakes hit, on March 2. Although there were no reported injuries, there was plenty of property damage. Fire Chief Henry Cleaves reported his clock – which had not been ticking for at least a year- had started ticking again after the quake.

On March 9th, Anna was still recovering from the first earthquake, when they were hit by the second of the eight quakes at 12:45 AM. This time, every building in Anna was damaged and neighboring towns and cities, such as Dayton, felt the effects of the quake. Chief Cleaves reported that his clock had stopped ticking again.

According to legend, Shawnee Chief Tecumseh tried to unite several native tribes in the Northwest Territory in the early 19th century. When many of the tribes resisted joining together, Tecumseh threatened to demonstrate his power by stomping his foot on the ground and they would feel their houses shake down to Mississippi.

In 1811, the first of three major quakes rocked the US. These quakes were called the New Madrid earthquakes. They were so powerful that church bells rang out in Boston, sidewalks cracked in Washington D. C., forests vanished, new lakes were made, and the Mississippi River ran backward. This stomping was reputed to have put a curse on Ohio and was blamed for many Ohio quakes for years to come.

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