of September 8, 1900, which killed 6,000 Galvestonians, remains
the worst natural disaster in United States history. The storm and
the subsequent recovery of the city and construction of the Galveston
Seawall are the defining events in our community's history.
of the City of Galveston's 1900 Storm Commemoration Committee, I
am pleased to report on our plans for the commemoration of the 100th
anniversary of the 1900 hurricane and the celebration of the subsequent
rebirth of our community.
committee began meeting in January 1998 and over the course of several
months established a mission statement and four primary goals. The
mission of the 1900 Storm Committee is to develop and implement
a plan to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great Storm of
1900 and celebrate the subsequent rebirth of the city through remembrance,
education, celebration and reflection.
The first event
in the year-long commemoration of the 1900 Storm was a luncheon
on September 8, 1999, featuring author Erik Larson, whose book "Isaac's
Storm" is on the New York Times Bestseller List. Larson spoke to
a crowd of more than 250 people, some of whom were descendents of
storm survivors and of storm victims. The book tells the story of
Isaac Cline, the chief meteorologist for the National Weather Service
in Galveston during the time of the hurricane.
The first goal
of the 1900 Storm Committee was to produce a commemorative event,
or series of events, that remember the storm and its survivors and
victims and celebrate the city's rebirth. Dancie Ware is chairing
2000, will be the focus of events with nationally prominent dignitaries
participating in the city's commemoration and celebration. Alice
Wygant and Henry Boening chair the second subcommittee whose purpose
is to educate the public about events of September 8, 1900, and
the subsequent rebirth of Galveston following that disaster.
This group has
four primary projects which include:
production of an educational video on the 1900 Storm and hurricane
preparedness in general;
of a 20-page booklet based on the photographic collection of the
Galveston County Historical Museum;
of four identical traveling exhibits that will circulate at least
in the Galveston/Houston area to be located in publicly accessible
venues, such as shopping malls, bank lobbies, and various buildings;
of the calendar of exhibits on the 1900 Storm that will be produced
by various entities in the weeks and months leading up to Sept.
and Linda Macdonald are co-chairs of a third committee whose purpose
is to educate current and future generations through the collection
of historical information, photographs and artifacts about the storm
and the rebuilding of Galveston, and the placement of those items
in appropriately accessible public venues.
creation of this web site;
coordination of a speakers' bureau;
of photographs and artifacts held privately, and the placement of
those in appropriate venues; and
of an inventory of resources on the storm. Maureen Patton and Robert
Lynch chair the fourth committee whose goal is to create a memorial
site for reflection and remembrance that is open to all the Galveston
community and visitors to our island.
has selected a piece of art that commemorates the storm and hopes
to locate it on the Seawall between 45th and 53rd streets. Finally,
Betty Massey, executive director of Galveston Historical Foundation,
has provided the staff support for the committee.
Foundation staff have worked with the 1900 Storm Committee to establish
a line of merchandise commemorating the 1900 Hurricane, including
special plaques for buildings that survived the storm. Owners of
buildings that survived the storm can apply for and then purchase
a plaque to designate their buildings as official 1900 Storm Building
fee is $10 and the plaque is $20. For information about the plaques,
call Galveston Historical Foundation at (409) 765-7834 or send email
I am excited
about these plans and most appreciative of everyone's diligent work.
Now, we need your help. Please send us your ideas concerning our
plans for the commemoration.
Michael C. Doherty,
1900 Storm Commemoration Committee