Labor Day Hurricane of 1935


On this day in 1935, hundreds of veterans and civilians in the Florida Keys lost their lives in the Labor Day Hurricane. I learned about it from Ernest Hemingway’s essay, “Who Murdered the Vets,” and the storm and its aftermath figure heavily in my novel, HEMINGWAY’S GIRL. Though the book is historical fiction, the echoes of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath resounded with me in light of what the WWI Veterans suffered.

It has been 80 years since that devastating storm made landfall. It is the hurricane that led to the creation of the National Weather Service, and the naming and tracking of storms. If you would like to learn more, has detailed and graphic pages dedicated to the hurricane.

To honor those who died–those who could have been evacuated had a series of bureaucratic errors and negligences been avoided–I am giving away a signed copy of HEMINGWAY’S GIRL. To win, please comment below about any memorable storms you have lived through, or your favorite Hemingway story, and share on social media. US residents have until 9 PM ET on Thursday, September 3rd to win.


5 thoughts on “Labor Day Hurricane of 1935

  1. My family was caught in Hurricane Betsy in south Louisiana when I was a girl. My father didn’t get finished getting the drilling rig ready to ride out the storm he was working on time to get us to shelter. My parents, four children and a dog sat huddled together in a 32 foot travel trailer and listened to the raging storm in the night. I will never forget the terror of it but also the awe of the power of nature the hurricane inspired in me. We came through it fine but when we went outside there was devastation all around us. I think we were in the only trailer in the park that was not damaged.
    “Islands in the Stream” was my favorite but also “For Whom the Bells Toll.”

  2. Wonderful post, Erika! The best historical fiction always teaches us something, and I learned about this tragic storm thanks to your beautiful book. Will absolutely be sharing!

    So hard to choose a favorite Hemingway novel or short story, but The Sun Also Rises always holds a special place in my heart.

  3. erikarobuck says:

    Stephanie, you won! selected your number. Congratulations, and thanks for stopping by the blog!

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