In 1968, David McCullough, soon on his way to two Pulitzer Prizes and a place as America's foremost modern historian, wrote a book about it.
In 1966, Murray Leinster's "The Time Tunnel" left his adventurers unable to convince the Johnstown population of the coming disaster in 1889. The deaths from the flood were at September 11th 2001 Twin Towers levels, yet Alex Berezow at Real Clear Science found it isn't in many history books today at all.
How in the span of a generation did it disappear from our consciousness?
"Why the Titanic captures the public's imagination, while the Johnstown Flood does not, is a matter for historians and psychologists to debate. But surely, a whole generation of Americans could be raised to appreciate dam failures if Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet chose to raise public awareness about civil engineering issues.”
There is a Johnstown Flood song, but no one sings it.
Now, like a Paul Revere of old, came a rider both brave and bold,
On a big bay horse he's flyin' like a deer,
Giving warning shrills, "Quickly! Fly up to the hills!"
But the people smiled and showed no signs of fear.
When a Dam Break Killed 2,209 Americans by Alex B. Berezow, Real Clear Science