Remembering the Johnstown Floods

Erica Palan

On this day in 1889, a small town in Pennsylvania endured an epic flood, killing more than 2200 people. When the South Fork Dam failed, Johnstown became the first major disaster relief effort where Clara Barton's new American Red Cross gave aid. The devastating Johnstown Floods have appeared many times throughout pop culture, including a 1946 episode of the Mighty Mouse cartoon. Here, more examples of how it impacted our culture.

"Johnstown, Pennsylvania"

Angela Easterling released included this song on her 2011 album.

"Highway Patrolman"

This Bruce Springsteen song refers to the flood: "Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band played 'Night of the Johnstown Flood'."

"Night of the Johnstown Flood"

A folk-punk take on the flood from Chicken Little.

"Mother Country"

John Stewart puts his folk spin on the flood. His lyrics include "Boys? Hell, they were men who stood knee deep in the Johnstown mud in the time of that terrible flood."

Mighty Mouse

In 1946, Mighty Mouse survived the flood in an episode.

A True History of the Johnstown Flood

In 2010, playwright Rebecca Hilman chronicled the flood in her provocative play.