New Exhibit: Xenia Tornado

The F5 tornado that struck nearby Xenia, Ohio, on April 3, 1974, was without a doubt one of the worst natural disasters in Miami Valley history. This coming April 3 marks 40 years since that devastating day.

In commemoration, we are exhibiting a selection of original photographs of the Xenia tornado’s destruction in our reading room. We have chosen 40 photographs out of the more than 100 photos on this subject, from our Dayton Daily News Archive.

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Look for these signs in the Dunbar Library elevators, welcoming you to the exhibit!

The exhibit consists of three silver cases just inside the entrance to our reading room, which is located on the fourth floor of Dunbar Library. The photo below shows the contents of the center case. (The case is shown open for photography purposes only; it will be closed when you visit.)


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One of three cases of original photographs of Xenia tornado damage from the Dayton Daily News Archive. (Case open for photography purposes only; will be closed when you visit. Sorry!)

The exhibit also includes a copy of the book Tornado: A Special Report by the Journal Herald, Dayton, Ohio. (shown in the photo above). This book includes many additional photographs and historical accounts. If you would like to look at the book, please let us know; we have a second copy that will be readily available outside of the exhibit case.

This exhibit will be available in our reading room during our open hours from now through the end of Spring Semester. We hope you’ll stop by, view the photos, and take a few minutes to reflect on what that day was like for our community (whether you are remembering or imagining).

If you aren’t able to visit us to see the original photos we have on display, you can see a sampling of Xenia tornado photos on this blog post from our Dayton Daily News Archive blog. You can also see photos and learn about Wright State University’s relief efforts for tornado victims in tomorrow’s 40th anniversary blog post or in that week’s issue of The Guardian, April 8, 1974, on CORE Scholar.

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