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Donora in Washington County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The 1948 Donora Smog

 
 
The 1948 Donora Smog Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, July 24, 2011
1. The 1948 Donora Smog Marker
Inscription. Major federal clean air laws became a legacy of this environmental disaster that focused national attention on air pollution. In late October of 1948, a heavy fog blanketed this valley, and as the days passed, the fog became a thick, acrid smog that left about 20 people dead and thousands ill. Not until October 31 did the Donora Zinc Works shut down its furnaces--just hours before rain finally dispersed the smog.
 
Erected 1995 by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
 
Location. 40° 10.574′ N, 79° 51.324′ W. Marker is in Donora, Pennsylvania, in Washington County. Marker is on Meldon Avenue (Pennsylvania Route 837) near 5th Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located at Donora Public Library. Marker is in this post office area: Donora PA 15033, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Cement City (approx. 0.7 miles away); Rabe Manor (approx. 1.3 miles away); Christian B. Anfinsen (approx. 1.8 miles away); Colonel Edward Cook (approx. 3 miles away); Horseshoe Baptist Cemetery (approx. 3.1 miles away);
The 1948 Donora Smog Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, July 24, 2011
2. The 1948 Donora Smog Marker
John K. Tener (approx. 3˝ miles away); Whiskey Point (approx. 3.9 miles away); One Extraordinary Street (approx. 3.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Donora.
 
Also see . . .
1. The 1948 Donora Smog - Behind the Marker. ExplorePAHistory.com (Submitted on July 25, 2011, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.) 

2. Commemoration of The Donora Smog of 1948. (Submitted on July 25, 2011, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.)
3. Cleaner air is legacy left by Donora's killer 1948 smog. 1998 article by David Templeton in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Smog laden with sulfur dioxide from the zinc works was something Donora residents had become used to. As it thickened, residents went about their normal routines. On Oct. 29, the smog hid players from the crowd at a high school football game, and later, it became too thick to drive. That evening, people walking outside couldn't see their hands in front of their faces. Still, few had any sense of the danger encircling them.” (Submitted on October 26, 2017.) 

4. 1948 New York Times Article. “Expert Asserts Slightly Higher Concentration Would Have Depopulated Community. The Donora, Pa., smog, which
The 1948 Donora Smog Victims plaque image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, July 24, 2011
3. The 1948 Donora Smog Victims plaque
Located south of marker on PA 837 in Donora. Next to "Cement City" marker 40.168097,-79.862051
killed twenty persons last Oct. 30, barely missed being a ‘major catastrophe’ Dr. Clarence A. Mills of the University of Cincinnati reported tonight.” (Submitted on October 26, 2017.) 
 
Categories. EnvironmentIndustry & Commerce
 
The 1948 Donora Smog Victims plaque image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, July 24, 2011
4. The 1948 Donora Smog Victims plaque
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 29, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 25, 2011, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,013 times since then and 36 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week October 29, 2017. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 25, 2011, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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