Perspective is an important thing, and even though we’ve been spending an awful lot of time focused on how weather has impacted the District this past year, few of us know what it’s like for it to be really shaken by a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina.
Can you believe that it has been five years since Louisiana and the Gulf Coast faced one of most overwhelming tropical storms of American history? It’s almost surprising because the region is still very much recovering five years later – something exhibited by the joy of the city when the New Orleans Saints won last January’s Super Bowl.
The news caught many of us off guard, especially because it happened late in August when many were still wrapping up the summer, working to forget about the busy fall that lay ahead. However, the media was still entrenched, documenting an incredible amount of what was happening in the Gulf, and five years later, the Newseum is featuring those stories and headlines from the days when the disaster was unfurling. An archive of newspaper front pages from the time when the storm came ashore is only one part of the exhibit. Perhaps the most interesting will be vignettes from main reporters discussing their experiences, including Brian Williams, Shepard Smith and Robin Roberts, and a 30-minute documentary on the scene within the refuge center that became of the New Orleans Superdome.
The exhibit will open on Friday, two days ahead of the August 29th anniversary of Katrina, and run through September 2011.