Before dawn on the morning of April 19, 1906, San Francisco was suddenly stricken by a massive earthquake. Severe as this disaster was, it was nothing compared to the tragedy that followed. Electric wires and gas mains broken by the quake resulted in fires that almost destroyed the city. More impressive even than the disaster was the citys swift recovery. Her citizens rallied as one for the reconstruction of their homes, and within a few months San Francisco had risen from the ashes, more wisely, firmly, beautifully built than before. The legendary author Jack London was among the first on the scene of the disaster. Heres his dramatic account of the disaster, followed by the vivid story of the citys rebirth from Herman S. Scheffauer.