[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
January 9, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLII(2):104. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490470032010

The awful theater disaster at Chicago December 30, which has stirred the country more than any other recent event, has in it many lessons which it is to be hoped will be utilized against future accidents of the kind. The most pitiful feature of the case is that it occurred during the holidays when the city schools were not in session,1 and thus a larger proportion of the audience were women and children than is usually the case, even at matinees; and such an audience is naturally less self-helpful and resourceful than one composed of adult men. Many of the victims were trampled down and smothered, as the absence of burns on their bodies testified. It is doubtful, however, whether this wild panic, in which so many lives were sacrificed, could have been absolutely avoided, even had the crowd attempted to go out quietly and orderly. There would have