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This image shows a harvested field with a dark blue sky and tornado in the background. It has the words Fargo Tornado Anniversary Activation on it.

 

On June 20, 1957, a rare F5 tornado blew through downtown Fargo and changed the lives of many.

Stop by Broadway Square (rescheduled to this July date due to weather on the original event day - June 20) to explore the science, history, stories and lessons of the Fargo Tornado of 1957.

Event Details

  • Hear NDSU's Professor of Climatological Practice, F. Adnan Akyüz, talk about tornadoes in ND and the anatomy of the 1957 tornado, including the importance of the 1957 Fargo Tornado to Ted Fujita. 
  • See the FM Science Museum's tornado generator in action - including live demonstrations of how tornados form. 

 

  • Hear from local researcher and author, Jamie Parsley, as he reads from his book, Fargo, 1957, which provides historic context and walks attendees through the events of June 20, 1957. 
  • Authors and researchers John Hallberg (Lead Archives Associate, NDSU Archives), Lisa Eggebraaten (NDSU Research and Access Librarian), and Trista Raezer-Stursa (MSUM Archivist/Library Assistant Professor) will present their historical images and information they included in their book 1957 Fargo Tornado.
  • Scan QR codes to see additional historic images, videos and press coverage of the tornado that won The Forum a Pulitzer Prize, shared by Tracy Briggs and Forum Communications. This media captures first-hand the tornado and destruction that occurred in Fargo that day.

Watch PBS's film, "Mr. Tornado", documenting meteorologist Tetsuya Theodore "Ted" Fugita's struggle to study and understand tornados, including what he learned from Fargo's landmark storm. Film and limited public performance rights provided courtesy of Prairie Public.

 

"Mr. Tornado" Synopsis:

One Man's Pursuit to understand the deadliest storms.

The Super Outbreak of 1974 was the most intense tornado outbreak on record, tearing a vicious path of destruction across thirteen states, generating 148 tornadoes from Alabama to Ontario, damaging thousands of homes and killing more than 300 people. Meteorologist Tetsuya Theodore “Ted” Fujita spent ten months studying the outbreak’s aftermath in the most extensive aerial tornado study ever conducted, and through detailed mapping and leaps of scientific imagination, made a series of meteorological breakthroughs.

His discovery of “microbursts,” sudden high wind patterns that could cause airplanes to drop from the sky without warning, transformed aviation safety and saved untold numbers of lives. "Mr. Tornado" is the remarkable story of the man whose groundbreaking work in research and applied science saved thousands of lives and helped Americans prepare for and respond to dangerous weather phenomena.

Read and purchase books about the Fargo Tornado.

  • Author Jamie Parsley will be holding a Book Signing of his book, Fargo, 1957, which is back in print from NDSU Press specifically for this event. 
  • 1957 Fargo Tornado is available for purchase from Zandbroz Variety.