Courtesy of Rosenberg Library
night of terror became
A Galveston Daily News reporter in 1900 said the story of the Sept. 8, 1900, hurricane could never truly be written.
Linda Macdonald's grandfather said nothing could ever make him forget the sounds of that night.
And for many, no words could ever be spoken again about the deadly hurricane that reshaped the Gulf Coast forever.
As Galvestonians and the rest of the country mark the centennial of the deadliest hurricane in U.S. history, its story continues to linger in the minds of virtually everyone who lives along a coast. It is the reminder of what can happen when the winds blow and the tides rise along the hurricane-prone coasts of America.
Its tale of death, devastation and eventual recovery is close to the hearts of Galvestonians. And as its centennial anniversary comes and goes, and its stories are passed on again, the 1900 Storm will become part of the history of another generation.
For locals, any reference to "the storm" is obvious. If someone says a house survived the storm, there is no doubt it predates Sept. 8, 1900.
If people say they had family who died or survived the storm, there is no doubt that they are referring to a family history that goes back more than 100 years.
For in Galveston, "the storm" always refers to the hurricane that tore across Galveston on Sept. 8, 1900, and left the city in ruins.
Those who managed, either by sheer luck or the grace of God, to survive the storm faced the challenge of moving forward.
In his memoirs, meteorologist Isaac Cline referred to the morning after the storm as "a most beautiful day."
It was indeed a sunny, warm day, the kind of day people came to Galveston for at the turn of the century. But few visitors would walk the sandy shores for months after the infamous hurricane.
Instead, bodies of the dead that were improperly buried at sea washed ashore on those beaches, leaving even more treacherous work for the cleanup crews.
The storm left behind a legacy that extends across the country. As families moved from the island, they carried with them the story of that night.
Published in conjunction with the City of Galveston 1900 Storm Committee.
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