"Death Out Of Darkness" is a public safety documentary about the deadly tornadoes of the 11-April-1965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak, which affected portions of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The film primarily focuses on the devastation across Northern and Central Indiana. Produced in 1966 by the Indiana State Police and WISH-TV in Indianapolis, narrated by Lt. Dave Levendoski. Video from visualarchivist on YouTube. There were 47 tornadoes in less than 12 hours. This was the 3rd deadliest tornado swarm in U.S. history. See Also: Ted Fujita


Below are personal recounts of the event. They have been submitted to us by our readers. If you would like to submit your story or photos please click the link in the upper right side of this blog.

President Johnson Came to Town

Submitted by Tuff Kidder

April 11th 1965 , I was 11 years old, I remember we were all in our basement listening to the radio and moms police scanner- (she had the crystals for just about all departments) several neighbors that did not have basements were also there. My Dad and neighbor Bud Gilbert were watching a tornado from our back door, I was half way up the basement stairs to see to -- Dad hollers' " Ok everyone back in the basement there is a tornado just to the west " This tornado did not hit our house. But there was damage all over town. Mom and Dad had a new 1964 Blue and White Chevy 2 station wagon. We rode around the next day looking at some damage. Bad , bad , damage lots of people were dead and missing. Scary stuff.

President Johnson UPI Telephoto
Some friends Grandpa Lowe Spaugh and family, Paul and Myrna Rink, were hit hard on In. 19 near Jimtown, their whole farm house and out buildings were pretty much destroyed. they were all in the cellar, They were very lucky to survive and get out of the rubble. we drove to thier farm and looked around the next day. Some things I remember seeing, a 2 x 12 , 12 foot long stuck in a ditch bank about 1/2 way. Lots of grass straw stuck in telephone poles, dead chickens stuck in broken trees with no feathers left, lumber and cloths everywhere. A dead cow way up in a broken tree, Mud, Mud and More Mud. In the bare field behind where the huge barn used to be a refrigerator standing upright in the middle of the field with an old spice cologne bottle sitting right on top. No mud on the refrigerator, I know that seems impossible but there it was.

President Johnson came to town, Mom took us to the corner of County Road 6 and Cassopolis street and we watched the President and all the limos and Cars drive south on Cassopolis street. I remember the president looked right at us.

Funny what you remember sometimes. VIEW Tuff's Blog

Still from the documentary "Death out of Darkness" Click to Enlarge
Produced in 1966 by the Indiana State Police and WISH-TV in Indianapolis

1 comment :

  1. I have read your blog, and i was wondering if i could use some of it in a report i am doing about the Palm Sunday Tornadoes for my history class, I will be more than happy to put your name in my report if you would like.