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105th Anniversary of the SS Eastland shipwreck

On July 24, Czech-Americans in Chicago commemorate the 105th anniversary of one of the largest shipwrecks in history, which significantly affected the local Czech community.

On July 24, 1915, the SS Eastland sank on the Chicago River downtown Chicago.

At that time it served as a cruise ship. 844 people died in this disaster. This disaster involved Western Electric employees on board with their families who they were invited to a corporate party in neighboring Indiana. Western Electric, based at Chicago suburb called Cicero employed at that time a large number of Czechs and  more than 220 of them died in the disaster.

The vast majority of compatriots were buried at the Czech National Cemetery in Chicago, where in 2015 a memorial by Lubomír Dostál was unveiled on the occasion of the 100th anniversary built with from public money collections.

The same year a Czech artist Viktor Valášek created a mural celebrating this anniversary in the Chicago neighbourhood of Pilsen (Plzeň).

Last year, the new documentary Eastland: Chicago´s Deadliest Day, which published some unpublished materials and documents on the background of this tragedy, which was never properly investigated and no one was punished.


Chicago Genealogical will be hosting on July 21 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Virtual Meet-Up: "Ask the Expert" About Eastland Disaster Genealogical Records – July 21 at 1 PM and 7 PM! Registration necessary HERE




105. výročí - Eastland