The SS Eastland was a passenger ship based in Chicago and used for tours.
On 24 July 1915, while moored to the dock in the Chicago River, the capacity load of passengers shifted to the river side of the ship causing it to roll over, killing 845 passengers and crew in what was the largest loss of life from a single shipwreck on the Great Lakes.
Writer Jack Woodford witnessed the disaster and gave a first-hand account to the Herald and Examiner, a Chicago newspaper. In his autobiography, Woodford writes:
And then movement caught my eye. I looked across the river. As I watched in disoriented stupefaction a steamer large as an ocean liner slowly turned over on its side as though it were a whale going to take a nap. I didn't believe a huge steamer had done this before my eyes, lashed to a dock, in perfectly calm water, in excellent weather, with no explosion, no fire, nothing. I thought I had gone crazy.
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