Presentation on theme: "San Felipe-Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928. Statistics One of the ten most intense hurricanes in American history. 100 Million in damages (1.5 billion today)"— Presentation transcript:
San Felipe-Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928
Statistics One of the ten most intense hurricanes in American history. 100 Million in damages (1.5 billion today) Over 4,000 reported killed
The Lake Okeechobee Region
Migrant Worker Camp “The very next day he burst into the room in high excitement. ‘Boss done bought out another man and want me down on do lake. He got houses fuh de first ones dat git dere.”
“All night now the jooks clanged and clamored. Pianos living three lifetimes in one. Blues made and used right on the spot.” “Tea Cakes’ house was a magnet, the unauthorized center of the ‘job.’ The way he would sit in the doorway and play his guitar made people stop and listen and maybe disappoint the jook for that night.”
Migrant Workers in the Potato Fields
A Sugarcane Field around Okeechobee “But all day long the romping and playing they carried on behind the boss’s back made her popular right away. It got the whole field to playing off an on.”
Working in the Fields
Aftermath Havoc was there with her mouth wide open…. In the city it had raged among houses and men. Tea Cake and Janie stood on the edge of things and looked over the desolation.
Aftermath in Palm Beach
Damage in West Palm Beach
Death “Dey’s grabbin’ all de menfolks dey kin git dey hands on and makin’ ‘em help bury de dead.”
Loading Bodies “Miserable, sullen men, black and white under guard had to keep on searching for bodies and digging graves.”
Coffins Waiting for Burial “Got orders from headquarters. They makin’ coffins fuh all do white folks. ‘Tain’t nothin’ but cheap pine, but dat’s better’n nothin’. Don’t dump no white folks in de hole jus’ so.”
Nearly 1800 people died due to subsequent flooding. Total death tolls from the U.S, Puerto Rico, around the Lake Okeechobee area where the hurricane spawned a 6-9 foot surge on the lake and the Bahamas were over 2,100. Initial Numbers
Breaking News “Federal researchers' newest reckoning of the nation's fiercest hurricanes increases the 1928 storm's death count to at least 2,500, and possibly as much as 3,000.” Source – The Palm Beach Post
Breaking News WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — City officials Monday marked the mass grave where nearly 700 black victims of one of the nation's deadliest hurricanes were buried 74 years ago. The victims of the 1928 hurricane died in the Everglades, near Lake Okeechobee. Their bodies were loaded onto barges and taken to the coast. Workers separated the corpses by race, burying 69 whites in caskets at a cemetery. The 674 black victims went to the mass grave, which the city has since partially paved over – USAtoday.com
Wikipedia Entry In Florida, although the hurricane destroyed everything in its path with impartiality, the death toll was by far highest in the economically poor areas in the low-lying ground right around Lake Okeechobee.
Around 75% of the fatalities were from migrant farm workers, most of whom were black. Black workers did most of the cleanup, and the few caskets available for burials were mostly used for the bodies of whites; other bodies were either burned or buried in mass graves.
Burials were segregated, and the only mass gravesite to receive a memorial contained only white bodies. The inequity has caused ongoing racial friction that still exists.
The effects of the hurricane on black migrant workers is dramatized in Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God.