The Great New England Hurricane
The deadliest hurricane to hit New England, the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 made landfall 75 years ago on September 21, 1938. Hurricane forecasting at the time was in its infancy and the intensity of the storm was underestimated and it struck further north than predicted. The storm left death and destruction strewn across all 6 New England states and Long Island, causing millions of dollars in damages and leaving between 600-800 fatalities.
Hurricanes in History
Hurricane Dennis made landfall on the panhandle of Florida on July 10, 2005. Projected to be a Category 2 Hurricane it increased in strength to become a Category 4 after skirting to the west of Key West. Dennis was the fourth named storm and second hurricane of the season. One of the earliest and strongest Atlantic storms, Dennis was quickly surpassed by Hurricane Emily later that month.
Even though the first day of spring was last week, many of us are still feeling the effects of Old Man Winter! Clifford Berryman penned this cartoon for The Washington Evening Star as Washington, DC shivered through a cold spell during the end of March 1915.
Untitled by Clifford Berryman, 3/27/1915, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 6011103)
Here’s to the first day of spring!
This untitled illustration by cartoonist Clifford Berryman, which appeared in the Washington Evening Star on March 12, 1908, shows Miss Spring hesitating at the gate before making her entrance.
Untitled by Clifford Berryman, 3/12/1908, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 6010748)
Let Congress Take Warning, 03/06/1909
The Inauguration Day of William Howard Taft was one of the worst Inauguration days ever due to rain, snow, sleet, slush, and chilling winds. In the cartoon, telegraph lines are shown falling over because of the strong winds and snow. Uncle Sam is bundled in winter gear while holding a resolution to change the date of Inauguration Day and telling Congress that they shouldn’t let the same thing happen again. Because of the bad weather, there was much support in changing Inauguration Day to April 30, which is when George Washington was inaugurated. The resolution was not successful until 1933 though, when Inauguration Day was changed to January 20.
The Blizzard of ‘78, 35 Years Ago
Many New Englanders will remember the Blizzard of 1978, a destructive and record-setting nor’easter which first struck the region on February 6, 1978.
View of Route 128 South in Needham, Massachusetts, Following the Blizzard of 1978, 02/1978
Without a doubt the Blizzard was a catastrophic and tragic storm. But anyone young enough at the time that they didn’t have to help shovel probably remembers it as the most amazing snowstorm ever (the Today’s Document team included).
Do you remember the Blizzard of ‘78 — or what was the biggest snowstorm in memory?
Staying Ahead of Sandy
I hope that you and your families are well and safe after Sandy’s visit to the Northeast.
The National Archives buildings were largely spared, thanks to extensive preparation based on “lessons learned” from similar weather events. I am grateful to all of our staff and especially to our facilities and emergency staff for their ongoing work in keeping personnel and records safe. None of our records were damaged as a result of Hurricane Sandy, thanks to our staffs’ careful preparation.
While the National Archives buildings overall fared well, we know that other archival facilities did not. Our staff are reaching out to state archivists whose states have been affected by the hurricane. Our staff are poised to advise and coordinate with Federal agencies on any needed records recovery operations.
Thanks again to the National Archives’ staff for their hard work, and my hope for a speedy return to normal for all affected by the storm.
These photos are from the Archives I facility in Washington, DC. Due to the low-lying topography of the site, the National Archives Building has implemented several flood control/countermeasures including Self-Closing flood walls at the moat entrances, cofferdams around louver openings serving the electrical vaults and watertight personnel doors leading to the electrical vaults. (Photo credit: Timothy Edwards, National Archives Facility Manager)
Read the full post on the AOTUS blog
[Hurricane Katrina] Pascagoula, Miss., October 29, 2005 — The Carnival cruise ship Holiday docks in Pascagoula, Miss. after sailing from Mobile, Ala. today. The ship is being used to temporarily house Mississippi residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina. FEMA/Mark Wolfe, 10/29/2005
Hoping relief measures of this scale won’t be necessary post-Sandy…
Waiting for Hurricane Sandy
The non-emergency staff here at the National Archives have the day off, in fact the entire Federal Government in our region is closed. We’re hunkered down at home waiting for Hurricane Sandy to hit the Washington, DC area. Hoping trucks like these are not in our future — or yours. Stay safe and we’ll see you after the storm!
- The Today’s Document Team
[Severe Storms and Flooding] Methuen, MA, May 19, 2006 — Electric trucks work throughout neighborhoods impacted by recent heavy rain. Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA, 05/19/2006