We think of extreme climatic events as happening only in this past few decades, but there were events that fundamentally altered our country’s demography in the 1920’s and 1930’s and 1950’s, and were more devastating than what we are now experiencing.
The Mississippi River flooded in 1927 and had short and long term impacts. In those floods, 700,000 people lost their homes and Herbert Hoover became a hero for his leadership in flood relief efforts, which propelled him into the Presidency in 1928. The flooding disaster triggered acceleration in the migration by African Americans from the Southern delta farm areas to Northern cities, which was part of a major migration by African Americans from South to North between 1915 and 1970. It also resulted in a significant increase in federal control of waterways and flood control systems across the country.