1936: Tornado devastates town of Gainesville, GA

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April 6, 1936 , brought one of the worst weather-related disasters in Georgia history. A series of strong tornados struck the southern United States but none was deadlier than the one that struck Gainesville, Georgia on April 6 1936. It was part of a devastating outbreak of 17 tornadoes across the South. And it wasn’t the first for Gainesville - another tornado killed more than 100 people in January 1903. In 1936, not one, but two tornadoes tore through the heart of town, destroying much of the business district and the county courthouse, trapping hundreds in debris. The funnel fueled fires all over the area, including the Cooper Pants manufacturing company, where 60 employees were killed. The storm left more than 200 dead, 1,600 injured, 2,000 homeless and millions of dollars in damage in Gainesville and 454 people were killed by the tornado outbreak across the south in the second deadliest ever recorded in US history. President Franklin Roosevelt toured the city three days later, and returned in 1938 to rededicate the courthouse and city hall after a massive citywide rebuilding effort.

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