By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – A series of free events next month will commemorate the 75th anniversary of Tupelo’s tragic tornado.
The twister was the fourth deadliest in U.S. history, killing 233 people when it ripped through the city the evening of April 5, 1936. It also destroyed a large swath of homes and businesses, which took residents years to rebuild.
People will have a chance to learn about the tornado and its impact on the community through the planned events, set to kick off April 5.
“The mayor wanted to make sure we did something to commemorate the anniversary, celebrate the survivors and honor the victims,” said Annabeth Wyatt, Tupelo’s communications director. “Our committee has been working to organize this since September.”
Featured in the lineup are free showings of two documentaries about the tornado – one by filmmakers Roy Turner and Jim Palmer, to be shown at the Lyric Theater, and the other by filmmaker Terry Swindol, set for the Link Centre.
Also included will be a lunchtime panel discussion at the Lee County Library, special exhibits at the Gumtree Museum of Art and the Oren Dunn City Museum, and the dedication of a monument at Gum Tree Park, where a majority of the devastation took place.
The Tupelo Public School District also will organize a donation drive that week to benefit the American Red Cross chapter in Northeast Mississippi.
The city, which helped coordinate the events, will release more information about them as it becomes available.
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lineup of events
– April 5: Showing of the Tupelo Tornado film, 5 p.m., at the Lyric Theater with a reception for tornado survivors.
– April 6: Lunchtime panel discussion about the tornado, noon, at the Lee County Library.
– April 7: Showing of the Tupelo Tornado documentary at the Link Centre. Time TBD.
– April 8: Dedication of a Tupelo Tornado monument at Gum Tree Park. Time TBD.
– April 9: Exhibit at the Oren Dunn City Museum during regular hours.
– All week: Tupelo Public School District will have a donation drive to benefit the American Red Cross; the Gumtree Museum of Art also will host an exhibit of unique photographs from the Tupelo Tornado.