Deadly 1957 tornado recounted at Turner House this month

The 1957 tornado winds its way through Dallas. (Photo courtesy of the NOAA photo library)

Famous as Oak Cliff is for many wonderful things, it’s also known to weather nerds for something terrible.

The slow-moving tornado that struck Oak Cliff in April 1957 killed 10 people and injured 200 others. It caused millions of dollars in damages. But it also informed the atmospheric sciences.

Because of its speed and trajectory, it was the most-photographed tornado up to that time. Scientists were able to study it and change the thinking on how twisters work. It also contributed to the creation of the Fujita-Pearson Scale, which measures the intensity of tornadoes.

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Read more about it here. And learn even more at the Turner House on Thursday, April 20, marking the tornado’s 60th anniversary.

Dallas historian Mark Doty gives a talk, “Terror from the Sky,” beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for Oak Cliff Society of Fine Arts members and $20 otherwise.

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  • Lolotehe

    That twister went right past my parents’ house, but when the first owners were still there. The house was hideous back then: cinderblocks with a splash of white paint and green trim. But the story I’m told is everyone in the area retreated to that bunker and Mrs. Seal made tea for everyone.

    Another story I’m told of the event was there was a fellow in a tall office building who called a local radio station and gave his eye-witness account. The entire time, he was standing in front of a large window. When asked later why he didn’t run for shelter, he said, “There was no where to go. If I was going to die, might as well let folks know how it happened.”