- Opening ceremony for the Industrial Canal, connecting Lake Pontchartrain to the Mississippi River
- The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927—the most destructive river flood in United States history—leads Congress to task the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with taming the Mississippi River. The world’s longest system of levees was built.
- The Housing Authority of New Orleans receives funding for six public-housing projects, and builds them according to the mandate of segregation.
- President Jimmy Carter creates the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- President Bill Clinton elevates FEMA to Cabinet status.
- President George W. Bush appoints Joe Allbaugh—his former chief of staff, who has no disaster-management experience—as FEMA head.
- The post-9/11 Homeland Security Act reorganizes FEMA under the Department of Homeland Security, effective 2003.
- The Times-Picayune’s Mark Schleifstein and John McQuaid write “Washing Away” predicting “The Big One”
- Michael Brown takes over as head of FEMA after the reorganization.
- FEMA and Louisiana officials hold “Hurricane Pam” exercise to test scenario of a Category 3 hurricane hitting New Orleans
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
- A tropical depression near the Bahamas strengthens into Tropical Storm Katrina.