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NDSU Archives to host book talk on Fargo tornado

The NDSU Archives are set to host a book talk about the deadly 1957 Fargo tornado. The event is scheduled for Thursday, May 10, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the NDSU Archives located in the West Building at 3551 7th Ave. N.

Authors Trista Raezer-Stursa and John Hallberg of NDSU Archives and Lisa Eggebraaten of NDSU Libraries will share the story of the tornado and the process of using archival documents to create their book, titled “1957 Fargo Tornado.”The book will be on sale during the event, with proceeds going to the NDSU Archives.

Light refreshments will be served.

The other contributing author, Jylisa Doney, is now at the University of Idaho.

On the evening of June 20, 1957, an F-5 tornado struck Fargo. The tornado killed 12 people, injured numerous residents and left about 2,000 people homeless. More than 300 houses were destroyed and hundreds more were damaged. The estimated damage was reported to be around $20 million. More than 100 tons of clothing and bedding were donated, 97,000 meals were served, 24 mobile canteens were established and 225 families applied for assistance from the Red Cross. Donations for survivors poured in from the entire nation and Canada. 

At 1:09 a.m. June 21, only 5 hours and 29 minutes after the tornado struck, a special edition of the Fargo Forumwent to press. A year later, the staff received a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting.

The book contains more than 200 images from the Cal Olson Photograph Collection and other photograph collections held at the NDSU Archives. Olson was one of the photojournalists for the Forumwho took pictures the day of the tornado.

A sign-up list will be available if attendees are interested in having their memories of the 1957 Fargo Tornado preserved as an oral history. Donations of written memories also are welcome.

As a student-focused, land grant, research university, we serve our citizens.


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Vice President for University Relations
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-1068 - Fax: (701) 231-1989
Campus address: Old Main 204
Mailing address: Dept 6000 PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU University Relations