History

I Still Hear Your Sea Winds Blowing

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Ralph Kinney Bennett has a decent piece up at Tech Central Station about the hurricane that flattened Galveston in 1900 and the reconstruction effort that followed. One part of the story he doesn't explore is how the city was rebuilt: The old local government was abandoned, and a business committee took control of the reconstruction effort. In the wake of that success, the businessmen devised a new government modeled on the corporation, with five commissioners running the town.

The new plan quickly spread across the country, paving the way for the commission-manager model that then supplanted it in the hearts of Progressive Era reformers. However New Orleans comes to be rebuilt, I'm sure it will leave a substantial political imprint as well.

Here's another link for people interested in donating to the Katrina relief effort: Charity Navigator, sort of a Consumer Reports for philanthropy. For tips on avoiding charity scams, go here.