OCTOBER 23, 1863: THE GREAT FIRE
The San Francisco fire of 1863 breaks out in what is today the Financial District of the city. The great blaze spreads rapidly and threatens to destroy the entire city.
RUSSIANS TO THE RESCUE
A newspaper article describes what happened next:
“Suddenly the spectators began to cheer, and to cheer again and again. A thousand throats took up the cheering. The firemen were electrified when they observed boat load after boat load of Russian sailors and their officers from the Russian fleet in the harbor, landing with buckets and other fire fighting instruments…
They took the places of the tired and exhausted firemen and worked hard and long at the pumps and finally conquered the fire.”
RUSSIAN SAILORS DIE FIGHTING THE FIRE
Russian heroism saves hundreds of lives, and the city itself. The Russian fleet loses 6 brave men that day. Every year, for the past century and a half, San Francisco has commemorated the disastrous fire and the supreme Russian sacrifice.
The sailors are buried in Mare Island Navy Cemetery, in Vallejo, California. Local Russian Orthodox Priests honor them every year.
A BIG EVENT IS PLANNED FOR THE 150th ANNIVERSARY
Civic groups, the SF Police, the SF Fire Department, and the SF Port Administration are all aboard and ready to participate in a big event to commemorate the 1863 fire, and to honor the Russian sacrifice. The SF Fire Department invites Putin himself to speak at the event.
SUDDENLY, CITY HALL CANCELS THE CITY’S PARTICIPATION
“At the last minute, I got a message from the City Hall of San Francisco saying that the municipality ceases all plans to participate in this event, and the same message was received by the Russian Consulate General. Why? Because the gay community threatened the San Francisco City Hall to hold a protest against Russia at the event.”
– Leonid Nakhodkin, Russian-American Organizer
Pro Homosexual Mayor Edwin Lee caves in to pressure. (above with SF Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi at a queer rally.)