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Dixie Tornado Outbreak: Topics in Chronicling America

In 1908, a series of tornadoes killed over 200 people. This guide provides access to materials related to the "1980 Dixie Tornado Outbreak" in the Chronicling America digital collection of newspapers.


"Gulf States swept by terrible tornado" April 25, 1908. The Salt Lake Herald (Salt Lake City, UT), Image 1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

One of the deadliest tornado disasters in U.S. history, the 1908 Dixie Tornado Outbreak was a series of storms that swept through the Great Plains and Southwest. The storms killed over 200 people, many of them in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, and left thousands injured and homeless. Entire towns were destroyed as winds knocked down schools, churches, and homes of all sizes. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


April 23, 1908 Tornados touch down in the Great Plains and the Southwest, rolling through Nebraska, Arkansas, and Texas
April 24, 1908 Deadliest of three-day storms in Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, and Illinois.
April 25, 1908 Final day of storms; a tornado tears through downtown Atlanta and moves south.