Hurricane Laura. Almost Identical To 1900 Galveston,Texas Storm. Nothing To Do With Climate Change.


If people suggest that Hurricane Laura has something to do with “global warming” or “climate change”, remind them of the Galveston Hurricane of 1900.

The timing, track, intensity, air and water temperatures for the 1900 storm were almost identical to those of Laura today.

Details of the Galveston storm are described in Erik Larson’s book “Isaac’s Storm”.  Galveston, Texas at the time was a beach resort city very similar to Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Some disputed accounts say that much of a seawall protecting the city melted during the storm.  This allowed ocean waves to roll directly through much of the town causing many deaths.

As with many national issues and events, there is an Atlantic City angle:  After the Galveston disaster, many “progressive” reformers throughout America blamed corrupt politicians and contractors in Texas for either not building a seawall in a timely manner, or building a defective one with too much cheap sand , and too little expensive concrete.  These reformers claimed the  “weak mayor/large-strong council” form of local government was too corrupt and cumbersome to run a modern city.  They recommended that Galveston and other large cities be run by a five member “commission” instead. 

Many New Jersey towns, including Atlantic City, switched to that  Commission form of government several years later.  That was after Democratic NJ Governor Woodrow Wilson arrested, prosecuted and convicted many Republican Atlantic City council members and political leaders in 1911 for voter fraud and padding contracts to build a new cement Boardwalk.  One of those Republicans sent to prison was Atlantic City Yacht Club commodore, hotel owner, and Republican political leader Louis Kuehnle.

“Wasn’t That A Mighty Storm!”  Shortly after the large death toll of the 1900 Galveston Hurricane became known, many black churches choirs began singing this song during services.  In 1934, the song was recorded by a folk song collector at a church service in a Texas prison.  The song was discovered and revived by Eric Von Schmidt and Tom Rush in the early 1960’s.  This version is by Nanci Griffith.


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