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In 1927, the most destructive river flood in U.S. history inundated seven states, displaced more than half a million people for months, and caused about $1 billion dollars in property damages. And like many national emergencies it exposed a stark question that the country still struggles to answer - what is the political calculus used to decide who bears the ultimate responsibility in a crisis, especially when it comes to the most vulnerable? This week, the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and what came after.
If you would like to read more on the topic, here's a list:
- Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America by John M. Barry
- Backwater Blues: The Mississippi Flood of 1927 in the African American Imagination by Richard M. Mizelle Jr.
- The Flood Year 1927: A Cultural History by Susan Scott Parrish
- Deep'n as It Come: The 1927 Mississippi River Flood by Pete Daniel
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Correction April 23, 2020
A previous version of this episode described Will Rogers as a musician. He was so much more. He's now just described as "famous".