December 26, 1811
A fire quickly spreads in the Richmond Theatre, killing 72 including the Governor of Virginia and the president of the First National Bank of Virginia
The fire started when a curtain became entangled in a lit chandelier, igniting the curtain and the set pieces and backgrounds. The audience of 598 people, 80 of whom were children, panicked and tried to flee through the main entrance or out windows despite other, lesser known exits being available. The victims totaled 54 women and 18 men including Governor George William Smith who died saving his child from the flames.