On the morning of Sept. 8, 1900, Galveston residents awoke to rising tides and blustery winds, but with little sense of alarm. The city had weathered hurricanes before and was confident it would survive this one, too.
But in less than 24 hours, Texas’ most dazzling city — the first to have electricity and telephones, the most cultured and exciting — was almost destroyed by a horrific storm that took more than 6,000 lives.
The Galveston hurricane remains the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.
As Clara Barton, founder and president of the American National Red Cross, wrote when she arrived to offer assistance: "It was one of those monstrosities of nature which defied exaggeration and fiendishly laughed at all tame attempts of words to picture the scene it had prepared."