April 18, 2006
Pat Cashman Family
1953 Tornado: "The
Highest Award for Journalism"
a balmy Saturday afternoon in the winter of 1953, a tornado etched a
path of destruction from Vicksburg's waterfront through downtown and
into a northeast residential area.
December 5th twister is to date (2006) one of only two F5 tornadoes in
Mississippi history and the third deadliest in the state. The
tornado claimed thirty-eight lives, including five children who were
watching a movie in the Saenger Theater on Walnut Street and two
children at the Happyland Nursery.
an hour relief agencies were mobilized, help came from surrounding
cities, and survivors and the dead were being uncovered from the
debris. Scores of buildings were destroyed or were damaged
beyond repair by the high winds and subsequent fires, including
historically important buildings such as St. Paul Catholic Church,
which had stood on Vicksburg's high bluffs since 1849.
Vicksburg Sunday Post Herald received journalism's highest award, the
Pulitzer Prize, for its courage under deadline pressure. The
Sunday newspaper was printed and then delivered by its carriers the
morning following the tornado. Mr. Pat Cashman is pictured below
at the unveiling ceremony.
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