I'm sure there are events and details I've missed so I thought I'd open it up for peer review to make sure I got it right for posterity.
"I think the people want the president to be in a position to make good, crisp decisions and to stay healthy, and part of my being is to be outside exercising. So I'm mindful of what goes on around me. On the other hand, I'm also mindful that I've got a life to live, and will do so."
Later, White House spokesperson David Almacy denies Bush is on vacation claiming the reason that Bush is in Crawford is "due to the renovation of the West Wing of the White House."
Friday Aug. 26, Day 2 - Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, commander, Joint Task Force Katrina, acknowledges in Special Defense Department Briefing held on Sept. 1 that a request from the state governors in Louisiana, Mississippi was requested a week earlier Friday Aug. 26. (Dates corrected. Thanks to many comments)
Q General, Jamie McIntyre from CNN. To what extent is this additional assistance you've outlined today a response to a request from the state governors in Louisiana, Mississippi? And if so, can you tell us when specifically you got that request?
GEN. HONORÉ: Yes, sir. The process starts, sir, in this particular event, with a request Friday of last week, as the approximate date for defense coordinating offices to be established in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Those were established in those states over Friday and Saturday.
Bush is still not on vacation in Crawford where he is living his life.
Sat. Aug. 27, Day 3 - Katrina, the sixth deadliest hurricane to hit Florida in a year, moves westwards toward the Gulf Coast at nearly 7mph (11kph). Forecasters said the hurricane, expected to make landfall on Monday, could hit anywhere from Florida to Louisiana. Bush remained on the grounds of his ranch behind a security perimeter and made his case for the Iraq occupation in his Saturday radio address
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin ordered an immediate mandatory evacuation for all of New Orleans.
From his Texas ranch where he was not on vacation Bush warned, "We cannot stress enough the danger this hurricane poses to Gulf Coast communities. We will do everything in our power to help the people and the communities affected by this storm."
Later, Bush pressed for an emergency declaration in Alabama, which would allow federal operations in. Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi were already declared disaster states.
"These declarations will allow federal agencies to coordinate all disaster relief efforts with state and local officials," Bush said.
Mon. Aug. 29, Day 5 - Hurricane Katrina comes ashore just east of Grand Isle, Louisiana, at 6:30 a.m. ET. About a hundred miles to the north, New Orleans is said to be 80 percent evacuated, with the potential for historic damage. Evacuations were also ordered in Alabama and Mississippi.
Bush was briefed by Michael Brown, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on hurricane preparedness then headed to Arizona for a speech on Medicare. Bush weighed a decision on whether to release oil from the nation's petroleum reserves as the price of light sweet crude rose to more than $70. No decision was made.
The White House did announce new low-cost options under the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit that will be available beginning in January 2006. According to a White House press release on Aug. 29, "This is great news for people with Medicare. They will be able to choose prescription drug plans costing $20 a month, or even less, while still getting medically necessary treatments and prescriptions at convenient pharmacies."
Correction from jennifer poole: It is reported by the New Orleans Times-Picayune that the 17th St. levee broke late Monday morning in Bucktown after Katrina's fiercest winds were well north
Addition from joejoejoe and Terre: The Federal Emergency Management Agency went into disaster mode as it and other federal agencies prepared to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Addition from DWCG: President George W. Bush joins Arizona Senator John McCain in a small celebration of McCain's 69th birthday.
Tue. Aug. 30, Day 6 - Water pours into New Orleans a full day after the hurricane hit. Breached levees from Monday submerged 80 percent of the city in water from Lake. There is no power. There is no fresh water or sewage systems.
"The situation is untenable," Gov. Kathleen Blanco said. "It's just heartbreaking."
Mayor Ray Nagin lashes out at federal officials, telling WWL radio "they don't have a clue what's going on down here."
Bush visits Naval Base Coronado in California, standing against a backdrop of the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, answered growing anti-war protests with a fresh reasons for American troops to continue fighting in Iraq: protection of the country's vast oil fields that he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorist extremists.
Afterwards he was presented with a guitar bearing the Presidential seal by Country Singer Mark Wills backstage following his visit. Bush decides to cut short the vacation he was not on and return to Washington to focus on the storm damage. He comes back the next day.
Wed. Aug. 31, Day 7 - Bush flies back to Washington DC and holds a press conference from the White House Rose Garden during which he said he had been updated on the disaster from Secretary Chertoff and other Cabinet Secretaries.
"As we flew here today, I also asked the pilot to fly over the Gulf Coast region so I could see firsthand the scope and magnitude of the devastation."
In New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin said, "We know there is a significant number of dead bodies in the water, and others dead in attics," during an impromptu news conference at the Hyatt Hotel. Asked how many, he said: "Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands."
About 15,000 to 20,000 people were in the Superdome, which had become hot and stuffy, with broken toilets and nowhere for anyone to bathe. Mayor Nagin estimated 50,000 to 100,000 people remained in New Orleans.
Army engineers struggle to plug New Orleans' breached levees with giant sandbags and concrete barriers.
Thurs. Sept. 1, Day 8 - "The president's statement this afternoon set the tone. Rather than direct the U.S. military to immediately assist the thousands of people without food or water in the city center, Bush assured the nation that expected gasoline shortages would be temporary and that his father and former President Clinton were ready to pass the tin can to ensure private-sector support for rebuilding New Orleans. As people began dying around the Convention Center, and Mayor Ray Nagin resorted to issuing a pathetic SOS over CNN, Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff spoke empathetically of the suffering of the people in New Orleans. But somehow he seemed proud that 72 hours after the hurricane hit, only 2,800 National Guardsmen had come to the city. The number is about to reach 12,000 by tomorrow."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gets busted shopping for shoes and is shamed by New Yorker who reportedly said, "How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!"
Vice President Dick Cheney is still on vacation in Wyoming.
Congress quickly passes a $10.5 billion disaster aid package.
Friday. Sept. 2, Day 9 - Five days after Katrina makes landfall on the Gulf Coast "The Cavalry Arrives." National Guard relief convoy rolls into the Crescent City with Bush leading the charge.
Originally wrote "Calvary Arrives." Several comments suggested perhaps that was more accurate. lol.
Bush visits Gulf for photo op. "We're going to make it right," he said. Bush said he would sign the $10.5 billion disaster aid package by day's end.
Sat. Sept. 3, Day 10 - Refugees are bused and airlifted out of New Orleans. Bush ordered more than 7,000 active duty forces to the Gulf Coast. No one is yet certain how many were killed by Hurricane Katrina's floods and how many more succumbed waiting to be rescued. But the bodies are everywhere: hidden in attics, floating among the ruined city, crumpled on wheelchairs, abandoned on highways. And the dying continued -- at the convention center and an airport triage center, where bodies were kept in a refrigerated truck.
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) reports that levee repairs during a Bush's photo-op the day before were faked and stopped soon after he left. "...It became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment," Landrieu said.
"In America, we do not abandon our fellow citizens in their hour of need," President Bush said.