was the St. Francis Dam failure in California. What’s interesting is that there is still a dam of the exact same design in Los Angeles.
The name Mulholland is one near and dear to Los Angeles. He’s the man who built the aqueduct and brought water to the city. But he’s also the man who designed the St. Francis Dam.
Which failed on the night of 12 March 1928. At least 431 people were killed but no one really know how many given that corpses were washed out to see.
The events leading up to the failure are amazing, including the fact that Mulholland had no formal training as an engineer. He began his career as a ditch digger for LA. Seriously.
He was also called to the dam that day by the dam keeper who was concerned about seepage through the face of the dam. Mulholland dismissed those fears are unfounded.
Also, geological surveys had indicated it was not a good place to put a dam, but he ignored those.
The complete list of Cascade Events (there are always seven, following my Rule of Seven) is in a free short nonfiction account available on my freebies page.
Part of my series Stuff Doesn’t Just Happen: The Gift of Failure which examines various disasters and shows what we can learn from them in order to prevent similar events in the future.