One hundred and fifteen years ago today, on September 8, 1900, the city of Galveston Texas was struck by what today would be classified as a Category 4 hurricane, with winds of 145 mph and a storm surge of 14 feet. Somewhere between 6,000 and 12,000 people died, making it the deadliest hurricane in US history.
The story of the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 lives on in music. The song “Wasn’t That a Mighty Storm” was first recorded in 1934 by a preacher named “Sin-Killer” Griffin for the Library of Congress by folk song collector, John A. Lomax. The song has also been recorded by Tom Rush, Emmylou Harris and James Taylor among others. A variation of the song, called “Wasn’t that a Mighty Day” was recorded by the Chad Mitchell trio and the Highwaymen. Sin-Killer Griffin sings below. Other versions after the page break.