Playing Politics with Disaster: The Impact of Hurricane Agnes in Pennsylvania

Playing Politics with Disaster: The Impact of Hurricane Agnes in Pennsylvania

(left) Book cover for "Playing Politics with Natural Disaster." (right) Author Dr. Timothy Kneeland.
(left) Book cover for “Playing Politics with Natural Disaster.” (right) Author Dr. Timothy Kneeland.

Program Registration Is Now Open!

On Thursday, February 16, join LancasterHistory virtually as we welcome Nazareth College professor Dr. Timothy Kneeland to discuss Hurricane Agnes and its ripple effects in the history of Lancaster County and the nation.

After Hurricane Agnes spawned extensive flooding and damage across Pennsylvania in June 1972, the victims of the storm found themselves caught in a political game between Democrats and Republicans. Both parties sought to use the storm to gain political advantage in an election year. With a particular focus on events in New York and Pennsylvania, Timothy W. Kneeland narrates how local, state, and federal authorities responded to the immediate crisis of Hurricane Agnes and managed the long-term recovery. The impact of Agnes was horrific, as the storm left 122 people dead, forced tens of thousands into homelessness, and caused billions of dollars in damage from Florida to New York. In its aftermath, local officials and leaders directed disaster relief funds to rebuild their shattered cities and reshaped future disaster policies.

Dr. Timothy W. Kneeland is the Professor and Chair of History, Politics, and Law at Nazareth College in New York. He is the author of Declaring Disaster: Buffalo’s Blizzard of ’77 and the Creation of FEMA (2021), Playing Politics with Natural Disaster: Hurricane Agnes, the 1972 Election, and the Origins of FEMA (2020), Democrats and Republicans on Social Issues (2017), and Pushbutton Psychiatry: A Cultural History of Electroshock in America (2008) He has authored numerous chapter-length studies and encyclopedia articles on the American presidency, politics, and science. In addition to teaching and writing, Dr. Kneeland is a frequent guest on local television and radio programs and provides political analysis for local, state, national, and international media.


This event will take place online via Zoom on Thursday, February 16, 2023 at 5:30pm ET. This is NOT an in-person event. The event will be streamed live and then recorded and made available on LancasterHistory’s YouTube Channel.

The program is free and open to the public but requires advance registration. Register online or by calling (717) 392-4633. Your link to the Zoom will be emailed to you on the day of the presentation. If you are unfamiliar with Zoom, we highly recommend reading our Virtual Event Guide & FAQ in advance of the event. Registration will close online on Thursday, February 16 at 5:30pm ET.

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Lecture Online/Virtual Event

February 16, 2023 Online via Zoom 5:30pm Free | Registration Required