On May 11, 1953, a powerful F5 tornado tore a path of destruction through the heart of Waco, Texas. One hundred and fourteen people died in the storm, and hundreds more were injured in Waco’s downtown area. The damage to Waco’s economy and downtown infrastructure were catastrophic.
For the 60th anniversary, the Dr Pepper Museum is partnering with the City of Waco, KCEN-HD, the Waco Tribune-Herald Museum, the Waco History Project, The Texas Collection, Waco’s First Presbyterian Church, the Red Men Museum and Library, and Waco ISD providing the citizens of McLennan County with a commemoration of those events.
StormWatch 2013 debuted on Saturday, April 20, 2013. The Dr Pepper Museum is hosting this temporary exhibition commemorating the 60th anniversary of the 1953 Waco Tornado. A series of large scale black and white photographs of the storm’s devastation is featured and several oral histories documenting the storm’s fury and destruction are included.
Using the resources of the Texas Collection at Baylor University, the Red Men Museum and Library, and Waco’s First Presbyterian Church Archives, and the Dr Pepper Museum Archives, the exhibition provides a visible reminder of the tragedy and the spirit of the community that rebuilt itself after this disaster. Artifacts from the aftermath of the storm, archival newspapers, and a map of the storm’s path add additional background to the exhibition story. Storm Watch 2013 provides an opportunity to see the devastation caused by the Waco Tornado, discover how the community was changed forever by the May 11, 1953 disaster, reflect upon the personal stories associated with this event, and learn how the downtown area has evolved since that fateful day.
Thanks to our generous sponsors: Community Bank and Trust, the Fentress Foundation, Bob Cragen, Jim Hardwick, Janet McCarty, Jennie and Ben Sheppard, and Katie Wolfe.