Image via WikipediaDecember 16, 1811 - A violent earthquake shook southeastern Missouri and neighboring states at approximately 2:15 a.m. in the small town of New Madrid, Missouri on the Mississippi River. That's in the "Kentucky Bend" region (map, left).
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) extimates the quake at M7.7. Early reports indicate that there was minimal damage to buildings, but there are no reports of deaths in the sparsely populated area of southeastern corner of the state. The shaking was felt widely throughout the region, and even rang church bells in Boston - half way across the country.