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Topics in Chronicling America - Krakatoa Volcano Eruption

“Fires of inferno, stirred by the demons of death!” reports the August 30, 1883 Wheeling Daily Intelligencer describing the cataclysmic eruption of the Indonesian volcano Krakatoa in the Sunda Strait. One of the deadliest and most destructive natural disasters in recorded history. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/). Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.


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Important Dates:

  • May - August 1883: Shaking, heavy rains, and ash felt in the Sunda Strait.
  • August 27, 1883: Krakatoa erupts in a series of violent explosions, causing tidal waves up to 135 ft high.
  • November – December 1883: Blood red sunsets and green/blue sun and moon reported throughout the world.
  • February 12, 1884: Britain's Royal Society establishes Krakatoa Committee.
  • 1884 - 1887: Geologists discover significant change to the Earth’s surface.
  • 1888: Krakatoa Committee publishes report.
  • 1900-1925: Scientists begin to unravel mysterious effects on the Earth’s geography and atmosphere.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Krakatoa, Java, red, sunset, tidal wave, waves, earthquake, destroyed, Sumatra, Sunda Strait, green sun, volcano
  • Be aware that the volcano name is sometimes spelled as Krakatoa, Krakatau or Krakatowa.
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for particular event in order to narrow your results. To narrow your results for this topic, search between August – December 1883.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  May 23, 2017
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