The Devil in the White City

by Erik Larson

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What historical reference is discussed on pages 288-289 of "The Devil in the White City" and what is its significance?

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The major historical reference on these pages is not actually specifically named.  Instead, there are a number of references to events that occurred because of this unnamed event.  The event is the Panic of 1893.

The Panic of 1893 was the biggest economic downturn in the history of the United States to that point.  It was a major shock to many people in the country.  As we can see in these pages, it was a devastating blow to many Americans.  The pages that you mention refer to bank failures and to suicides.  These things show just how traumatic the Panic of 1893 was to many Americans.  This makes it an important historic reference.

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