Rochester's Rich History: Playing Politics With Natural Disaster
REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED (see below). Registrants will receive the Zoom link in an email one hour before the talk begins.
Hurricane Agnes struck the United States in June of 1972, just months before a pivotal election and at the dawn of the deindustrialization period across the Northeast. The response by local, state, and national officials had long-term consequences for all Americans. President Richard Nixon used the tragedy for political gain by delivering a generous relief package to the key states of New York and Pennsylvania in a bid to win over voters. After his landslide reelection in 1972, Nixon cut benefits for disaster victims and then passed legislation to push responsibility for disaster preparation and mitigation on to states and localities. The impact led to the rise of emergency management and inspired the development of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In this talk, Dr. Timothy Kneeland will discuss the interplay between the natural disaster and the 1972 election, especially how Democrats and Republicans at all levels tried to use the disaster to their own electoral advantage.
of Playing Politics with Natural Disaster: Hurricane Agnes, the 1972 Election, and the Origins of FEMADemocrats and Republicans on Social Issues (2017), The Buffalo Blizzard of 1977 (2017), Pushbutton Psychiatry: A Cultural History of Electroshock in America (2008) Declaring Disaster Buffalo's Blizzard of ’77 and the Creation of FEMA