August 16, 1931 saw Texas' largest recorded earthquake rock its foundations near Valentine, TX.

With a magnitude reaching 6.5 on the Richter scale, this natural disaster left its mark in history books.

Richter scale measurements

Although Charles Richter, the creator of the Richter scale, didn't release his measuring device until four years after the Valentine earthquake, numbers and measurements from seismographs at the time were plugged in to the scale to deduce the value of 6.5.

When people say an earthquake clocked 3.0 on the Richter scale, that means the magnitude was about 30 times greater than the base (0.0). Also, there is about 31 times more energy between each unit. This means that an earthquake measuring 3.0 has about 31 times more energy than a 2.0.

Of course, this scale has adapted over time as technology has improved and more precise measurements can be obtained.

Fun fact: the largest earthquake ever recorded was in Chile in 1960. This clocked a whopping 9.5. So, the Valentine quake was roughly 90 times weaker at 6.5.


Miraculously, there were no casualties during this massive event. The same can't be said for the architecture, unfortunately.

The Valentine schoolhouse was so badly damaged that the state of Texas actually gave them $25,000 in 1932 for disaster aid.

Shockwaves were felt all the way from New Mexico to 1,000 miles away in St. Louis, Missouri. Dishes were shattered, tombstones were split and cement structures were cracked and toppled.

There was actually a fortune-teller who claimed Valentine would see yet another devastating earthquake the same time next year in 1932. Luckily for Texas, that was not the case.

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