Tornado Rips Fargo with Ten Dead

Fargo, N.D.
June 21, 1957

A killer tornado dropped from the sky at about 7:30 last night. Ten are dead; 1,364 homes have been damaged or destroyed; 2,000 people are homeless. This extremely intense tornado swept a path which was 9 miles long and 700 feet wide. Debris has been found near Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, 54 miles to the east.

The Weather Bureau issued warnings which local radio and television stations aired. Many people took shelter in their basements or drove out of town. The seven children of Harold and Mercedes Munson who lived in the Golden Ridge area were not as fortunate. A neighbor urged the children to leave with her, but they refused, wanting to stay home to greet their mother on her thirty-sixth birthday. The tornado snuffed out their lives.

Tornado causes damage and deaths. Courtesy of the NOAA’s National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office.

By Dr. D. Jerome Tweton


Originally published as The North Star Dakotan student newspaper, written by Dr. D. Jerome Tweton and supported by the North Dakota Humanities Council.

Grade Level

1, 4, 6

Subject Matter

Social Studies

North Star Dakotan:

Journals and Art Work: The Indian People, The Trade, and The Land

The Indian People

The Purchase and Exploration of Louisiana

The Fur Trade

Dakota Territory

The Military Frontier

The Reservation System

George Armstrong Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn

The Great Dakota Boom, 1878-1890

Reservation Troubles, 1886-1890

The Making of a State and a Constitution

The North Dakota Economy, 1890-1915

Life on the Indian Reservations

The North Dakota National Guard and the Philippines

North Dakota, The Great War and After

The Nonpartisan League's Rise to Power

The Nonpartisan League in Power

The Nonpartisan League's Decline

The 1920s

1930s: North Dakota's Economic and Political Climate

The New Deal in North Dakota

The Road to World War II

North Dakota and American Society

North Dakota Optimism and Economic Developments

North Dakota and Political Change

Related Media

  1. Through the Lens: The Killer Tornado of 1957
    Video: The tornado that struck Fargo in 1957 killed ten people and damaged 1500 houses.
  2. Dakota Datebook: Aftermath of the Fargo Tornado
    Audio: In 1957 a category 5 tornado ripped through Fargo.