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Mark Pennell sits at the helm of his time machine.Mark's Almanac is a 90-second time travel that highlights the world's history from the very serious to the sometimes sublime.

Mark's Almanac for October 8, 2021

Currier & Ives lithograph depicting the Great Chicago Fire.
CHICAGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY
/
WIKIPEDIA
This Currier & Ives lithograph shows people fleeing across the Randolph Street Bridge during the Great Chicago Fire.

It was on this date in 1871 that the Great Chicago Fire started in the barn of Patrick and Catherine O'Leary. The fire lasted two days and killed 300 people. And it was on this date in 1918 that U.S. Army Sgt. Alvin York lead an attack on a German machine-gun nest, killing at least 25 enemy soldiers and capturing 132 prisoners during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive during World War I. York would later receive the Medal of Honor for his actions.