Great California Earthquake of 1906 (2005)
2) Before the city was named San Francisco (after St. Francis, of course), it was known as
Yerba Buena (Good Herb). In the 1770s, Spanish explorers came across an island in the bay that had a minty herb that had a myriad of uses. The area Natives, as well as the Spaniards, used the herb for virtually any purpose to promote health (e.g. tea, topical uses, food additive). That island in San Francisco Bay is stilled called Yerba Buena.
3) Chinatown, like every other part of San Francisco, was hit incredibly hard by the earthquake. In a desire to permanently remove the Chinese from San Francisco, city leaders tried to relocate the survivors to a nearby peninsula. In the end, Chinatown survived and thrived, but a result of the earthquake was the new purpose of Angel Island. Since the identification papers of resident Chinese immigrants were lost, and many more Chinese were now attempting to enter via San Francisco to take advantage of the "paperless" situation, Angel Island became a de facto detention center for all Chinese that couldn't immediately prove they were in America legally. Sometimes, several months would pass until the ruling came down, either way, for a Chinese individual at Angel Island
4) City leaders, as well as railroad executives, were scared to death after the earthquake that people would no longer want to relocate to, or visit, San Francisco. So, in a somewhat organized conspiracy of sorts, the official line of what caused the most destruction of the city was deemed to be the subsequent fire, not the actual earthquake. These same city leaders ignored warnings about the failing water pipes before the earthquake; there was very little water available to fight the fires, although the scope of the post-earthquake fire was such that it wouldn't have mattered anyway.
5) The theory of plate tectonics is surprisingly recent: Tuzo Wilson, in the late-1960s, published his plate tectonic theory, and faced a surprising level of criticism from fellow geologists and scientists for a few years. The San Francisco Earthquake was caused by the "Slip-Slide" movement of plates, in which the Pacific Plate slipped a bit against the North American Plate. San Francisco basically sits astride the San Andreas Fault, whereas Los Angeles (most of it, anyway), is west of the fault
** 5 days after the quake, as the effort to locate survivors / bodies continued, a dog (terrier) emerged from the wreckage, none the worse for wear, wanting to play (and I assume eat).