Back to top

In Johnstown, Pennsylvania, disaster strikes for hundreds when a viewing platform collapses.

Aftermath of the viewing platform collapse at Johnstown, Pennsylvania, during President Johnson's tour, September 14, 1866, artist's impression, detail.
09/14/1866

Tragedy struck outside Johnstown, Pennsylvania with the collapse of a crowded temporary platform, built to view President Johnson's Harrisburg-bound train as he neared the end of his notorious "Swing Around the Circle" speaking tour. At least four people were crushed in the accident and hundreds more were injured. Already intensely unpopular, Johnson gained no praise when his train barely halted before heading for the Pennsylvania capital. (By John Osborne)  

Source Citation: 

Garry Boulard, The Swing Around the Circle: Andrew Johnson and the Train Ride That Destroyed a Presidency (New York; IUniverse, 2008), 139-140.

How to Cite This Page: "In Johnstown, Pennsylvania, disaster strikes for hundreds when a viewing platform collapses.," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/45782.