President George W. Bush speaks to the nation on network television from Jackson Square in New Orleans Sept. 15.
The president boards Air Force One after speaking about Hurricane Katrina's damage.
President Bush addresses the nation in a televised speech from the French Quarter in New Orleans. The president pledged a massive federal effort to help the Gulf Coast rebuild. He offered words of encouragement for a stricken region, and took responsibility for the federal government's failings in the relief effort.
Saying that as president he is also responsible for the solution, Mr. Bush called for tax incentives for businesses that hire workers displaced by Hurricane Katrina. He also urged Congress to pass an urban homestead act that would hand over federal land in a lottery system to low-income Americans who agree to build homes in the region.
A majority of those suffering, Mr. Bush noted, were lower-income minorities. "That poverty has its roots in the history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunities of America. We have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action."