The Waco Tornado – Today In Southern History

11 May 1953

Houston Chronicle Photo

On this date in 1953…

An estimated F-5 tornado killed more than 110 people in Waco, Texas and caused $39 million damage.

Other Years:

  • 1862 – Confederate troops scuttled the ironclad C.S.S. Virginia off Norfolk, Virginia to prevent its capture by Federal forces.
  • 1864 – Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart was mortally wounded at the Battle of Yellow Tavern, Virginia.
  • 1867 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis was released from prison on a $100,000 bond provided by prominent Northerners, among them old abolitionists Gerrit Smith and Horace Greely. Although still scheduled to be tried for charges of treason, he would never be tried.
  • 1934 – A severe two-day dust storm stripped the topsoil from the great plains of Oklahoma and Texas, one of many storms creating the “Dust Bowl.”
  • 1963 – Racially motivated bombings struck Birmingham, Alabama.
  • 1996 – A ValuJet DC-9 caught fire shortly after takeoff from Miami enroute to Atlanta and crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 people on board.
  • 2001 – U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced his decision to approve a 30-day delay of the execution of convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh because the FBI had failed to disclose thousands of documents to McVeigh’s defense team.

Read: Why Know Southern History?

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