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Response
 

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Public response to the disaster was swift, and generally efficient. The Army's energetic Brigadier General Frederick Funston ordered troops from the Presidio to assist civilian authorities and protect government property. Within a day, the California National Guard joined them. The Navy dispatched vessels from Mare Island to aid in the firefight, medical triage and evacuations. Mayor Eugene Schmitz coordinated rescue, relief and fire fighting. His extralegal order for the military and police to shoot looters had the desired effect, and there was comparatively little civil disorder during the crisis. Both Schmitz and Funston won praise for their handling of a desperate situation.

Brigadier General Frederick Funston


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The torpedo boat destroyer U.S.S. Prebble (shown here at San Diego) sped across San Francisco Bay from her berth at Mare Island to assist in fighting fires. Her commander reported that his men had difficulty because of so much public drunkenness along the waterfront as mobs looted saloons and liquor warehouses.

The torpedo boat destroyer U.S.S. Prebble (shown here at San Diego) sped across San Francisco Bay from her berth at Mare Island to assist in fighting fires. Her commander reported that his men had difficulty because of so much public drunkenness along the waterfront as mobs looted saloons and liquor warehouses.

The flagship of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Squadron, U.S.S. Chicago, sailed at top speed from Southern California to San Francisco to assist in firefighting and disaster relief.

The flagship of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Squadron, U.S.S. Chicago, sailed at top speed from Southern California to San Francisco to assist in firefighting and disaster relief.

Governor George Pardee declared April 19, 1906 a state holiday to enable affected areas to deal with the aftermath of the earthquake.  Several more such orders followed as the scope of the disaster became known.

Governor George Pardee declared April 19, 1906 a state holiday to enable affected areas to deal with the aftermath of the earthquake. Several more such orders followed as the scope of the disaster became known.

Passes issued by Chief of Police at the height of the crisis.

Passes issued by Mission Relief Committee at the height of the crisis.

Passes issued by authorities at the height of the crisis.

Even after the worst of the fires had abated, the Army still had to evacuate civilians from damaged or endangered residences.

Even after the worst of the fires had abated, the Army still had to evacuate civilians from damaged or endangered residences.

Original draft of a legislative resolution thanking the military for its assistance during the 1906 disaster.

Original draft of a legislative resolution thanking the military for its assistance during the 1906 disaster.

Original draft of a legislative resolution thanking the military for its assistance during the 1906 disaster.



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