ROBERT PRICE: Who was the Christlike figure in that 1952 earthquake photo? A fraud, it turns out | Robert Price

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The photographic chronicle of the Bakersfield earthquake of 70 years ago still inspires shock. The crumpled storefronts, the collapsed roofs, the fractured decades-old ornamentation continue to inspire wonder and dismay.

The pictures of that 97-degree afternoon — and there are many, in both public and private hands — capture how police, fire, ambulance, Red Cross and literally hundreds of civilian volunteers converged to help when the earthquake of Aug. 22, 1952, shook the city to its foundation. Men of all ages, some in uniform, most in street clothes, waded willingly into the chaos.

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