Posts Tagged ‘anniversary’

12 Years Later: Remembering Hurricane Katrina

Twelve years ago, Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. Nearly 93,000 square miles were impacted by Katrina. 138 counties and parishes were affected by the storm. New Orleans, Louisiana, Gulfport, Mississippi, and Mobile, Alabama were among the devastated cities that bore the brunt of Katrina’s destruction. The 12th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is a great opportunity for educators to help students learn about one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States.

People sit on a roof waiting to be rescued after Hurricane Katrina.

People sit on a roof waiting to be rescued after Hurricane Katrina.
By Jocelyn Augustino / FEMA (This image is from the FEMA Photo Library.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

To commemorate the anniversary, here are 10 facts about Hurricane Katrina:

1. Hurricane Katrina struck Florida first.

On August 23, 2005, a tropical depression developed in the Bahamas. The tropical depression intensified into Tropical Storm Katrina the next day. On August 25th, Katrina made landfall in South Florida between North Miami Beach and Hallandale Beach as a Category 1 hurricane, with wind speeds of approximately 80 mph.

2. Hurricane Katrina became a Category 5 storm on August 28, 2005.

After crossing over Florida, Katrina moved into the Gulf of Mexico and strengthened into a Category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of approximately 175 mph.

3. The first-ever mandatory evacuation for New Orleans was issued on August 28, 2005.

The day before Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin ordered the first-ever mandatory evacuation of the city. It is estimated that about 80% of the city’s residents evacuated. Residents who lacked transportation were urged to go to the Superdome, a domed sports venue and home of the New Orleans Saints. The stadium was to be used as a “shelter of last resort” for people unable to evacuate the city. Approximately 26,000 people sought refuge in the Superdome. Unfortunately, the stadium, which became synonymous with the misery of Hurricane Katrina, was undersupplied and understaffed–demonstrating how woefully unprepared local, state, and federal government officials were for the catastrophic event.

4. Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005.

On Monday, August 29, 2005, Katrina made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane near Buras, Louisiana, with winds estimated at 125 mph. Katrina continued northward and made its final landfall as a Category 3 hurricane near the Louisiana/Mississippi border with winds estimated at 120 mph.

5. Approximately 80% of New Orleans was underwater.

Much of the damage and devastation from Hurricane Katrina was due to the storm surge. Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge overwhelmed the levee system built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect the city from flooding. The flooding was so extensive in low-lying areas like the Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish that people climbed to rooftops for safety.

6. Hurricane Katrina was the costliest and the third deadliest hurricane in U.S. history.

The storm caused an estimated $108 billion in damage and resulted in 1,833 fatalities, according to CNN. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency has described Hurricane Katrina as the “single most catastrophic natural disaster in U.S. history.”

7. Hurricane Katrina displaced more than one million people in the Gulf Coast region.

Hurricane evacuee shelters accommodated 273,000 people at their peak. FEMA trailers were used to house approximately 114,000 households. Up to 600,000 households remained displaced a month after the storm.

8. New Orleans lost more than half of its population.

The population of New Orleans decreased from 484,674 in April 2000 to approximately 230,172 in July 2006, almost a year after Hurricane Katrina. By 2015, the city’s population was at 80% of what it was before Katrina in 2000.

9. Hurricane Katrina damaged over one million housing units across the Gulf Coast.

Approximately half of the damaged housing units were in Louisiana. 134,000 housing units in New Orleans were damaged as a result of Hurricane Katrina and the ensuing flooding.

10. Post-Katrina, the federal government has spent $120.5 billion on the Gulf Coast region.

$75 billion of that money was used for emergency relief operations.

For more information on Hurricane Katrina, check out these related resources available through ProQuest eLibrary and ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher.

Hurricane Katrina (2005) Research Topic

Hurricanes Research Topic

In Depth: Hurricane Katrina

Storm That Drowned a City

100th Anniversary of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was established on August 1, 1916, so this year marks the 100th anniversary of the park! The park is located on Hawaii’s Big Island and includes the two active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa.

Halemaʻumaʻu crater

Active vent of the Kilauea Volcano (Public Domain) via Wikimedia Commons

To celebrate the centennial, here are some facts about the park:

  • The park was called Hawaii National Park from 1916 to 1961, then its name changed to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
  • Kilauea Volcano has erupted over 60 times since the 1750s. It has been continuously erupting since Jan. 1983.
  • In Aug. 2016, lava from Kilauea dropped into the ocean creating new land. Since 1983, about 500 acres of new land has been added by lava to the island.
  • Mauna Loa Volcano has erupted over 30 times since the 1840s. Its last eruption was in 1984.
  • The top of Mauna Loa Volcano reaches 13,677 feet above sea level. Kilauea Volcano is 4,091 feet above sea level.
  • The park has about 333,000 acres of land. About half of those acres are forests.
  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was the 11th park established in the United States.
  • The park receives over 2.5 million visitors each year!
Pu'u O'o

Lava erupting from Kilauea Volcano (Public Domain) via Wikimedia Commons

Teachers, for more about this national park, direct your students to SIRS Discoverer. Here are some searches to get you started:

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Kilauea Volcano

Mauna Loa

Happy 60th Birthday, Disneyland!

“To all who come to this happy place: Welcome! Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America…with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”—Walt Disney, July 17, 1955

The Partners statue in Disneyland, California.

The Partners statue in Disneyland, California.
By James Ferrandini (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re a huge Disney fan like me, then you probably already know that Disneyland is celebrating its 60th anniversary. I visited Disneyland for the first time this year and was captivated by Walt Disney’s original theme park. Disneyland has a certain nostalgic charm that in my opinion makes it the most magical of all the Disney theme parks in the United States. In honor of Disneyland’s 60th anniversary, I want to share some fun facts about the beloved park’s history and changes over the years, as well as its anniversary celebration.

Walt Disney shows Disneyland plans to Orange County officials in December 1954.

Walt Disney shows Disneyland plans to Orange County officials in December 1954.
By Orange County Archives [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Walt Disney transformed 160 acres of orange groves into Disneyland. He opened the $17 million amusement park in Anaheim, California on Sunday, July 17, 1955, to the media and invitees only. The grand opening was broadcast live on ABC and hosted by Bob Cummings, Art Linkletter, and Ronald Reagan. 6,000 guests were invited to Disneyland’s “International Press Preview” event, but thousands of additional guests showed up with counterfeit tickets. Total attendance for the day was 28,000. Attractions were unfinished, rides broke down, lines were long, and food and beverages ran out. Walt Disney referred to Disneyland’s opening day as “Black Sunday.” The park opened to the public on Monday, July 18, 1955. Over 700 million guests have visited Disneyland since it opened its doors.

In 1955, Disneyland charged an entrance fee of $1.00. Tickets for rides and attractions were sold separately. Tickets for individual rides cost 10 to 35 cents. Ticket books containing eight “A” through “C” ride tickets were also sold. Attractions were designated “A,” “B,” or “C” based on their level of popularity and the lettered tickets corresponded to the attractions. “C” tickets were required for the best rides. Disneyland’s admission price is now $99.00 for one day and that entitles guests to unlimited use of all rides and attractions.

“The Happiest Place on Earth” has grown into a world-class tourist destination. The Disneyland Resort has expanded to approximately 500 acres. It now includes two theme parks, the iconic Disneyland Park and its sister park Disney California Adventure Park, three hotels, and the Downtown Disney District.

Disneyland Research Topic

Disneyland Research Topic Screencap via ProQuest eLibrary

The year-long Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration began on May 22, 2015 and features three new nighttime spectaculars. Disneyland Park unveiled the new “Paint the Night” electrical parade and the new “Disneyland Forever” fireworks show. A new version of the popular and elaborate “World of Color” water and light show called “World of Color—Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” debuted at Disney California Adventure Park. Disneyland is also marking the 60th anniversary with decorations, special snacks, and new souvenirs. Walt Disney said, “Disneyland will never be complete as long as there is imagination left in the world.” 60 years later, his words still ring true.

To learn more about Disneyland, explore these resources available in ProQuest eLibrary.

Anaheim Research Topic

Disneyland Research Topic

Walt Disney Research Topic

Walt Disney Company Research Topic

50 Years Later: Remembering the War on Poverty

SIRS Issues Researcher values historical research and remembrance. That’s why poverty is such an important issue affecting past and present-day economic discussions.

"Lyndon Johnson." Photo credit: Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, Texas A&M / Foter / CC BY

“Lyndon Johnson.” Photo credit: Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, Texas A&M / Foter / CC BY

Fifty years ago today, Lyndon B. Johnson declared a War on Poverty  (1964-1968). With his declaration came a slew of legislative improvements he signed and designed to prevent poverty and lift the economy.  Job Corps, the Office of Economic Opportunity, Welfare Reform and Earned Income Tax Credit were just some of the efforts put forth by president Johnson to help struggling families. The “Great Society,” which emerged as the 36th president’s running theme for the late 1960s, encompassed the heart of his good intentions.

Detracting from his American vision and economic efforts was the Vietnam War (1959 — April 30, 1975). During the Vietnam War, troops became angry and resentful, often turning to drugs. They were unprepared for the dangerous ambushes in the jungle of the Viet Cong. The Vietnam War later proved to be a prominent symbol of what not to do in wartime because of the disorganization, length of time overseas and expense. After the war was over, Americans had a very different perspective on what mattered to them most at home.

Fifty years later, poverty is still a problem. The impoverished and working poor still look to the government for aid, while middle and upper class earnings get stretched apart more each year. Economic inequality is prevalent throughout the U.S. and minimum wage rarely gets increased.

Kickstart a research paper on the war on poverty by browsing for inspiration from Drawing the Line or the Poverty Timeline. Utilize the keyword search for finding graphics and websites. A streamlined design and user-friendly navigation menu make searching SIRS Issues Researcher simple.

Who Loves Doctor Who?

Who Pals

Librarians Matthew Winner and Sherry Gick rock their Doctor Who tees at the 2013 American Association of School Librarians (AASL) UnConference in Hartford, Connecticut. (photo used with permission by Matthew Winner)

I love two things (well, three, but we’ll leave chocolate out of this!) — libraries and the hit BBC sci-fi show Doctor Who. With the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who approaching (November 23rd), I thought why not combine my love of the two into one, big celebratory blog post?

Both of these loves hearken back to my childhood in which I spent many a happy time tucked away with an adventure book in some corner of my local library or at home with my Dad, watching Tom Baker with his mop of curly hair and ridiculously long scarf play the fourth incarnation of the Doctor.

I wanted to find out what connections could be made between libraries and Doctor Who, so I went to the best authorities on these beloved subjects–librarians and educators. For this post, I interviewed six librarians and one teacher who are fans of Doctor Who.

Tells a Good Story

Christie Ross Gibrich, a Teen Librarian Toolbox blogger and Senior Librarian at the Bowles Life Center Branch Library in Grand Prairie, Texas, attributes Doctor Who’s appeal to the “element of storytelling and detail with each and every arc” to the show.  Ms. Gibrich and others also note that some of the episodes were written by legendary writers, such as Neil Gaiman.

Timeless and Ageless Appeal

Several of those I interviewed speak of the timeless and ageless appeal of the show. Karen Jensen, creator of the Teen Librarian Toolbox and Youth Services Librarian at the Betty Warmack Branch Library in Grand Prairie, TX, was struck by how much her kids loved Doctor Who as much as she did. And while Doctor Who is perceived as a sci-fi show, it is also sui generis—or unique of its kind.  “Even if you don’t like science fiction,” points out Jan LaRoche, Young Adult Librarian of Moline Public Library of Moline, Illinois, “Doctor Who dabbles in all sorts of genres including history, mystery, romance, and even westerns. Because he can go anywhere and anytime, he’s kind of like literature itself.”

 Makes Knowledge Cool

Another common thread that educators and librarians remarked about the show was how, underneath its fantastical adventures, it makes the pursuit of knowledge cool. Each episode of the show involves problem solving and the acquisition and application of knowledge. “Not only does he make bow-ties and fez’s cool,” says Sarina La Torre, children’s librarian and author of the Nerd Craft Librarian blog, “he makes knowledge cool.”

Library Media Specialist Elizabeth Zdrodowski of Glades Central High School in Belle Glade, Florida, points out that the literary allusions and historical connections make the show “such a fun way to peak further interest about major events or characters throughout history.” 

The respondents noted how caring the Doctor is toward his companions and the human race in general. Matthew Winner, a teacher librarian at Ducketts Lane Elementary School in Elkridge, Maryland, and author of The Busy Librarian blog, supposes that the Doctor’s “neverending compassion” might be what draws teachers and librarians to the show.  “He’s always been portrayed as a character whose constant surprise toward the admirable qualities of the human race draws him closer and closer to the species,” says Winner. “He does, after all, find us the one race in all of the galaxy worth saving.”

How Are Teachers and Librarians Like Doctor Who?

Winner ties in the Doctor’s compassion with how teachers and librarians feel toward their students. “No matter what trouble, embarrassment, or otherwise threatening situation our students find themselves in, we are constantly compelled to help out…because we see the hope in each and every one of them.”

Gibrich notes that just as the Doctor “brings out the best” in his companions, “librarians have a little bit of the Doctor quality because if we’re any good, we can be what teens need the most and bring out the best in them…”

“For librarians,” says Jensen, “there are no meaningless stories or people, something which the Doctor speaks about often: ‘You know that in 900 years I have never met anybody that wasn’t important.'”

Compassion, the desire to help, and recognizing the importance of others aren’t the only qualities teachers and librarians share with the Doctor. When I asked a high school English teacher  to compare educators with the Doctor, she noted their shared love of learning new things:

“How are teachers like Doctor Who? I’d be flattering myself if I drew very many comparisons between myself and The Doctor, but I will say that any teacher worth their salt is going to share The Doctor’s love for learning new things. A perfect example is that when he is confronted with a new and terrifying monster, he does not react like most people would by running – he usually quips something like ‘Oooh – look at you!  You’re gorgeous!’  English teachers and librarians are like that with books. Big and ‘scary’ or intimidating books that others shy away from appear as opportunities for learning to us.”—Jennifer Hall, Glades Central Community High School, Belle Glade, Florida

How Are Libraries Like the TARDIS?

Along with a companion or two, the Doctor goes on civilization-saving adventures through time and space in a ship called the TARDIS that looks like a blue British police box. A running joke in the series is about how the TARDIS is bigger on the inside. (It even has a swimming pool!) Several respondents noted how just like the TARDIS, libraries are bigger on the inside, especially since the books they contain can transport you to other worlds. And, libraries house so many other resources besides books. Here is my favorite response I received when I asked, how is a library like the TARDIS? —

“You can always find something unexpected in the TARDIS. While we may not have swimming pools in our libraries, we have many things you would never think of. For example, there are libraries that loan out tools and cake pans and even prom dresses. And if a library doesn’t have what you need, the friendly staff will help you find out who does and print out a map to get you there.”— Jan LaRoche, Young Adult Librarian of Moline Public Library, Moline, Illinois



Yum! I guess I can combine all three of my loves! Check out this chocolate Dalek and TARDIS for library parties celebrating Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary. (photo used with permission by Teen Librarian Toolbox)

On November 23rd, BBC will be airing a 50th anniversary special called The Day of the Doctor. It will be broadcast in several countries, including the US. Many libraries and schools are celebrating with parties, classroom activities and more. If you’d like to host a Doctor Who event at your school or library, Teen Librarian’s Toolbox has a Doctor Who Central with resources and information.

You can also check out the Google Doc and other links on The Busy Librarian’s blog post, WHO Loves Libraries (#SaveTheDay).

And, Nerd Craft Librarian has nifty Doctor Who craft ideas, such as how to make a bow tie (because bow ties are cool!)

Watch a NerdyCast on Doctor Who and Education

The Busy Librarian also has a NerdyCast in which teacher/technology curriculum specialist and author of The Nerdy Teacher blog, Nick Provenzano, has a conversation with educators Sherry Gick and Matthew Winner on Doctor Who and education.

Research Doctor Who in ProQuest

Are you doing a classroom project on Doctor Who? If so, check out our eLibrary Research Topic, Doctor Who, for newspaper articles, transcripts, vintage photographs and more. Also, explore the genre of Science Fiction in SIRS.

Share with Us!

If you are doing something special in your school or library for the anniversary and would like to share with us, please let us know on Facebook or Twitter @ProQuest! Also, feel free to contact me if you’d like to see the questions I asked along with the complete list of responses.