Description: The surprise hurricane of September 21st, 1938 raced up the Atlantic Seaboard at 67 MPH (with a record low air pressure) and left residents of the thickly populated Northeast Coast with no time to react. This maelstrom devastated Long Island, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Western Massachusetts. 11 states and 2 countries felt the wrath of this unforgiving meteorological monster. While many victims drowned, some suffered tremendous property losses due to the storm surge. Entire landscapes along the exposed southern New England coast were scoured, eroded and decimated. Some vicitms were swept out to sea, never to be seen again. There were unbelievable acts of heroism, cowardice, kindness, selfishness and poor judgement. Actress Katherine Hepburn lost her family home in Connecticut while others lost their livelihood to the storm. New England folklorist and weather historian John Horrigan will take you from the mariner's unheeded warnings through the botched forecasts of the National Weather Service to the blistering winds of a Category 3 hurricane with a driving narrative about "GH38". He'll also speak about the other major hurricanes to strike New England such as the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635 and the Great September Gales of 1815. If you have experienced the 1938 Hurricane, you are encouraged to attend this lecture and talk about your own personal recollections.
The track of the Great Hurricane
A church steeple topples in Danielson, Connecticut
Napatree Point, Rhode Island before the storm
Napatree Point, Rhode Island after the storm
Providence, Rhode Island at 4:45 PM on September 21st, 1938.
New London, Connecticut suffered tremendous damage after a fire raged out of control.
Recorded on July 15th, 2008 in New London, Connecticut. John interviews New London Town Historian Sally Ryan about the Great New London Fire that took place during the Great Hurricane of 1938. Running Time is 21 minutes. Size: 19 MB
Recorded on November 2nd, 2009 in Watertown, Massachusetts. John reads from David Ludlum's Early American Winters, Volume I about a hurricane that struck New England in October of 1804. Time: 7 minutes Size: 8 MB
Recorded on November 2nd, 2009 in Watertown, Massachusetts. John reads from Edward Rowe Snow's Storms and Shipwrecks of New England about a 'white hurricane' that struck New England in October of 1804. Time: 3 Minutes Size: 3 MB
Recorded on November 2nd, 2009 in Watertown, Massachusetts. John reads from Sidney Perley's Historic Storms of New England about an October hurricane' that struck New England in 1804. Time: 11 Minutes Size: 11 MB
Recorded on May 4th, 2008 in Watertown, Massachusetts. John reads from David Ludlum's Early American Hurricanes about a mammoth hurricane that struck New England. William Bradford and John Winthrop record their observations of one of the three most severe hurricanes in the history of New England in August of 1635.
Recorded on June 4th, 2008 in Watertown, Massachusetts at the Charles River. John reads from Sidney Perley's Historic Storms of New England about a tremendous tempest that devastated New England. One of the most severe hurricanes in the history of New England. Running Time 17:52