Great Hurricane of Sept. 21, 1938 Clean-Up

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Great Hurricane of Sept. 21, 1938 Clean-Up





Length: 02:41
Black & White, Silent

The title card reads: “The Great Hurricane of Sept. 21, 1938. The Clean-Up begins the morning after.” Footage shows downed tree limbs and branches on the Bridgewater State Teachers College campus and on neighboring properties. Students are seen walking though the campus, followed by footage of students helping to clear the fallen trees and branches from the campus quadrangle and “lower campus” (east of Summer Street). Students with axes chop the largest tree branches into smaller sections for removal while other students form piles from the smaller limbs and leaves.


The category 3 Great Hurricane of 1938 caused widespread coastal and inland flooding, high winds, property damage, and over 500 deaths in Southern New England (New York’s Long Island, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts). Massachusetts recorded sustained winds of over 100 mph.

Historical weather data indicates that September 22, 1938 was a sunny and windy day, with temperatures reaching the mid-70s.

This excerpt is from a 50-minute 16mm compilation film that was made in the early 1950s. The compilation film consists of both color and black & white segments, most filmed without sound, dating from 1935 to 1950. The BSU Archives and Special Collections has not uncovered any documentation or additional information about the compilation film and who produced it.

Sometime in the mid-1980s a VHS video recording was made of the projected 16mm film in an attempt to archive it, and the original film reel was probably discarded. The VHS recording was transferred to a digital format in 2015.

Great Hurricane of Sept. 21, 1938 Clean-Up