The diary of former Chicago resident Catherine O'Leary, who's cow was accused of starting the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, has been found in an old trunk in a Chicago antique store.
Mrs. O'Leary (1827 to 1895) has long been accused of leaving a kerosene lantern burning in a barn. Tradition states that her cow kicked over the lantern and started the fire that destroyed the growing city.
In the diary, however, the truth has finally been revealed.
Mrs. O'Leary let the cow (who perished in the flames) take the fall for her cat Tippy (who didn't).
Her journal statest that Catherine felt guilty for over twenty years (until her death) for allowing her milk cow to be blamed. She did not, however, want the truth known for fear that mobs of angry citizens would kill her beloved feline.
Her entry from that day (October 8, 1871) states: "I took the pail of milk to the barrel and dumped it in. When I turned back, I saw that Tippy was chasing a mouse and had it almost cornered in Diasy's stall. Tippy swatted at the mouse and knocked over the lantern. Before I could get any water, the flames had started to spread. I grabbed my cat and ran to the house."
The famous Chicago Stockyards, which grew enormously during the late 19th century as a result of local peoples hatred of cows, announced that they will now begin processing cat meat instead.