The Tragedy of Jonestown, 40 Years Later

at 10:00 AM
Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

This article is more than 4 years old.
Reverend Jim Jones of Peoples Temple in San Francisco protesting the forced eviction of elderly tenants from the International Hotel, 848 Kearny Street near Washington Street on Sunday, January 16, 1977. (Photo: Nancy Wong)

Forty years ago this week, more than 900 people died at Jonestown, a settlement in Guyana created by the Peoples Temple church. Until 9/11, it was the largest loss of U.S. civilian life in a deliberate act. Victims, many from the Bay Area, were drawn to Jonestown by leader Jim Jones and his promise of a utopian society with racial and gender equality . Forum talks about the Jonestown tragedy, new information about the event from FBI records and the profound impact the mass death had on the Bay Area.


Julia Scheeres, journalist; author, "A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Jonestown"

Deborah Layton, author, "Seductive Poison," a memoir of her experience as a member of Peoples Temple

Yulanda Williams, San Francisco police officer; was at Jonestown in 1977

Thom Bogue, Jonestown survivor; mayor, Dixon