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Playing Politics with Natural Disaster – Hurricane Agnes, the 1972 Election, and the Origins of FEMA - Cornell Scholarship Online
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Playing Politics with Natural Disaster: Hurricane Agnes, the 1972 Election, and the Origins of FEMA

Timothy W. Kneeland


Hurricane Agnes struck the United States in June of 1972, just months before a pivotal election and at the dawn of the deindustrialization period across the Northeast. The response by local, state, and national officials had long-term consequences for all Americans. President Richard Nixon used the tragedy for political gain by delivering a generous relief package to the key states of New York and Pennsylvania in a bid to win over voters. After his landslide reelection in 1972, Nixon cut benefits for disaster victims and then passed legislation to push responsibility for disaster preparation a ... More

Keywords: Hurricane Agnes, Richard Nixon, disaster victims, benefit cuts, disaster preparation, emergency management, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9781501748530
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2020 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501748530.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Timothy W. Kneeland, author
Nazareth College