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The Gulfport harbor was built in 1898, and the city was incorporated in 1910. The area around the bay became a center for shipping cotton and sugarcane crops from other parts of Mississippi. In 1928, it hosted the Mississippi-Alabama Junior College Conference (now known as the Gulf Coast Classic). In 1940, one of America's worst natural disasters struck: Hurricane Camille hit just before midnight on August 17th with winds over 200 mph (320 kph) which destroyed most houses within a 20 mile radius from where it made landfall near Bay St Louis. It caused massive destruction across Harrison County; killing 216 people along its path through Louisiana and Mississippi to Lake Huron; including 138 deaths at Pass Christian alone – making this hurricane second only to Katrina in terms of damage cost per human life lost among Atlantic hurricanes since 1900 when adjusted for inflation ($17 billion 2017 USD).