Greetings Word of the Week fans and welcome to the Oct. 10 edition of Clarion County's favorite word game.
It was on this date in 1871, the Great Chicago fire ended. It started with an accident in a barn on Oct. 8, 1871.
No, it wasn't really Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicking over a lantern, the cow got the blame and frankly, it's always best to blame a cow.
The fire killed approximately 300 people, destroyed roughly 3.3 square miles of the city, and left more than 100,000 residents homeless.
The fire began in a neighborhood southwest of the city center. A long period of hot, dry, windy conditions, and the wooden construction prevalent in the city led to a conflagration.
The fire leapt the south branch of the Chicago River and destroyed much of central Chicago, and then leapt the main branch of the river consuming the near north side.
A tragedy of unforgettable size.
Let's ponder having a steak and figuring out what syzygy means.
Does syzygy mean:
A: A Czech word for cow. "I still say Mrs. O'Leary's syzygy kicked over the lantern and caused the fire," said Svoboda.
B: A mystical energy drawn from sunlight. "My syzygy just ain't makin' it," said Dracula. "I just feel so tired."
C: Three celestial bodies in a straight line. -- During an eclipse, Earth, the moon, and the sun are in perfect syzygy and set barns on fire.
D: An Eastern European soup. Paul the Chef invited Rodney over for a syzygy dinner, but Rodney wore his best necktie and disaster was unavoidable.
Great Chicago Fire trivia:
The speeding massive fire wall created tornado-style winds and the tremendous heat turned the beach sands into glass.
Even worse, the fire wall even managed to jump over and cross the Green Bay waters and played havoc in a number of cities there.
With the devastating fire Chicago saw lawlessness and mass looting, forcing the government to introduce martial law.
When the fire broke out, the population of Chicago was around 324,000 and by next five years, the population shot up to 500,000.
The correct answer to the Word of the Week challenge is "C."