Activities & Events
The City Will Rise (radio documentary)
In this 60-minute documentary for public radio, producer Jesse Boggs (Radio Smithsonian, Soundprint) covers the rebuilding of San Francisco and its amazingly rapid recovery. The radio special also explores the aftermath of three catastrophic events and focuses on how cities, communities and individuals rebuild after disaster through gripping personal stories told by the people who lived them through these events:
- The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
- The Terrorist Attacks of 09-11-01
- Hurricane Katrina's Devastation of the Gulf Coast
"The City Will Rise" takes its title from a 1906 San Francisco newspaper headline, reflecting the spirit of undaunted optimism that characterized the media coverage of the great earthquake and fire that destroyed three-quarters of the city. The city did rise, with astonishing speed. San Francisco's rebirth was hailed as a miracle of human ingenuity and determination, and in many respects it was. The documentary asks:
- What was the true cost of reconstruction, beyond the $400 million (in turn-of-the-century dollars) price tag?
- Who benefited from the process, who was displaced, and why?
- Who determined the shape and face of the "new" San Francisco?
- What role did insurers play?
- Where did the money, raw materials, manpower and initiative come from?
- What were the issues and tensions that surfaced during this tumultuous period?
The answers to these questions reveal a sequence of events that occurred in 1906 -- and that has been repeated, with remarkable consistency, in the aftermath of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and many other disasters. The radio documentary examines how people cope with catastrophes, which lessons we've learned and which we've lost over time, and how we might cope with such events in the future.
During April 2006, the documentary airs on public radio stations nationwide, including Bay Area and Central Valley stations. If your local public radio station is not listed for one of the air dates on our Calendar of Events, check your local station's programming schedule.
See listings of individual airings in the TV Show, Films, Music & Radio category on the Calendar of Events.
Most of the show features the 1906 earthquake.
Public radio audience
Kathy gronau, (323) 655-5214