Hurricane Camille devastates the Gulf Coast, killing 259, destroying communities and causing nearly $1.5 billion in damages. Many American Legion posts are obliterated, and veterans are left homeless after the storm surge of 24 feet and floods that extend as far north as Virginia. Restoration is expected to take months, if not years. The disaster leads The American Legion to establish a reserve fund for disaster relief, offering up to $1,500 for displaced veterans and up to $5,000 for posts that are damaged or destroyed. The reserve account is the genesis of what will become the National Emergency Fund, formally established 20 years later.