Tornado of 1953
Detail of "Residents viewing some of the damage cause by the June 9, 1953 Tornado," George P. Cocaine Collection

Tornado of 1953

In 2003, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the June 9, 1953 tornado, Worcester Historical Museum reached out to the community and asked them to share their stories and images of this tragic date in Worcester’s history where 94 people lost their lives.  The result was an impressive archive of stories, images and film that document the emotional, physical and property damage caused by the storm.

“I was sucked right out and flew down the hallway… I was able to hang on to a radiator pipe, and that’s where I stayed until it was over.”

Richard Dion; age 16 – Mr. Dion was a student at Assumption Preparatory School in a third floor dorm room.

“Then it was all over and everything around us was in chaos.”

Kathleen A. Fitzgerald; age 10 – Mrs. Fitzgerald lived in Curtis Apartments.

“I remember taking a little girl out of a house in Brentwood.  We heard her crying.  I remember taking my T-shirt off and wrapping it around her.”

Thomas Hannigan; age 13 – Mr. Hannigan lived at 120 Holden Street.  He was delivering papers on Holden Street.  After the tornado, he went with a friend to view the damage.

If you have a story to share about the Tornado of 1953 or would like to know more information about this oral history project please contact the WHMLibrarian.

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