On this date in 1927, a devastating tornado hit Poplar Bluff, killing 104 and and injuring 350 more. In all,  225 people were killed as this twister and others in its group swept through southern Missouri and Arkansas. 

Sadly, this heartbreaking tragedy was eclipsed in the late afternoon of May 22, 2011 when an EF5 multiple-vortex tornado struck Joplin. That devastating tornado claimed 161 lives, making it one of the single deadliest U.S. twisters since 1953. 

The Joplin tornado was only the second EF5 tornado to strike Missouri since 1950. It was the seventh-deadliest tornado in U.S. history, and the 27th-deadliest in world history.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.

Photo credit: Chandler Cruttenden, Unsplash