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Famous Kurz & Allison print showing the great Johnston flood of May 31, 1889.

The print was issued shortly after that tragic event, and it probably provided the image most Americans had of the flood.

The Johnstown Flood occurred on May 31, 1889, as a result of the failure of the South Fork Dam, 14 miles upstream of the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The dam's failure unleashed a torrent of nearly 5 billion gallons of water. The flood killed more than 2,200 people. It was the first major disaster relief effort handled by the new American Red Cross, led by Clara Barton.