On October 8, 1871, a fire broke out in a barn on the southwest side of Chicago, Illinois. For more than 24 hours, the fire burned through the heart of Chicago, killing 300 people and leaving one-third of the city's population homeless.Scientists and historians are not sure what caused the Great Chicago Fire. An early legend blamed the fire on Catherine O’Leary, whose barn was the first building to burn. A journalist made up the story that O’Leary’s cow knocked over a lantern while being milked. Many people were bigoted against Irish immigrants like O’Leary and believed the story.A more likely possibility is that O’Leary’s son and his friends were playing cards in the barn. Mrs. O’Leary shooed them out, and one of the young gamblers accidentally knocked over a lantern. In fact, a man confessed to being the one to knock over the lamp, and later gave money to the city to apologize.Another possibility is that Chicago and the surrounding area experienced a meteor shower, and burning space rocks set wooden houses and forests on fire. Four fires (including the even more destructive Peshtigo Fire in Wisconsin) took place in the same area, on the same night. Witnesses reported seeing “balls of fire” fall from the sky.Today, the second week in October is marked as Fire Prevention Week in the United States and Canada in remembrance of the Great Chicago Fire.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry apologize Verb
to express regret or remorse for having wronged another person.
shelter where animals and farm equipment are kept.
prejudiced or intolerant of a person or group not like oneself.
to hold responsible for something.
to play a game of chance.
person who studies events and ideas of the past.
person who moves to a new country or region.
person who reports and distributes news.
portable case for storing a source of light, such as a candle.
traditional or mythical story.
probable or believable.
meteor shower Noun
large amount of rocky debris falling into Earth's atmosphere, usually when Earth passes through the orbit of a comet.
total number of people or organisms in a particular area.
chance or likelihood.
person who studies a specific type of knowledge using the scientific method.