This Day in History: Feb 7: Great Baltimore Fire began in 1904

In 1904, the Great Baltimore Fire began near the present Baltimore Arena. It raged through the city for two days, destroying more than 1,500 buildings and 70 blocks – or more than 140 acres. Although it’s widely believed that no one died in the fire, an article in The Sun on Feb. 20, 1904, reported that the charred remains of a 30- to 40-year-old black man were found at Bowley’s Wharf east of Light Street. (Baltimore Sun photo, 1904)

1812: Author Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth, England.

1827: The first ballet performed in the United States, “The Deserter,” was presented at the Bowery Theater in New York.

1943: The government announced the start of shoe rationing, limiting consumers to buying three pairs per person for the remainder of the year.

1964: The Beatles began their first American tour as they arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Compiled by Laura Lefavor and Paul McCardell.

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