About the Site

The 1936 Gainesville Tornado: Disaster and Recovery provides online access to a historical film depicting the extensive damage from the severe multi-funnel tornado strike that devastated Gainesville, Georgia on April 6, 1936. The thirty-two-and-a-half minute film, probably shot for insurance purposes, focuses on the devastation of the commercial and governmental center of Gainesville, but also includes footage of damage to nearby residential areas. In particular, it features the damage to the public square, the county courthouse, the Georgia Power Company, the Cooper Pants Factory, and the First Methodist Church. The 1936 Gainesville tornado (part of a massive tornado outbreak across the Deep South that also heavily damaged Tupelo, Mississippi) is generally regarded as the fifth deadliest in U.S. history. Extensive recovery efforts involving many local, regional, state, and national resources eventually rebuilt Gainesville, culminating in the 1938 dedication of the new city hall and county courthouse by President Franklin Roosevelt.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

  • Tornadoes–Georgia–Gainesville
  • Buildings–Natural disaster effects–Georgia–Gainesville
  • Central business districts–Georgia–Gainesville
  • Disaster relief–Georgia–Gainesville
  • Fires–Georgia–Gainesville
  • Natural disasters–Georgia–Gainesville
  • Rubble–Georgia–Gainesville
  • Public Square (Gainesville, Ga.)
  • Cooper Pants Factory (Gainesville, Ga.)
  • Georgia Power Company. Substation (Gainesville, Ga.)
  • First United Methodist Church (Gainesville, Ga.)
  • Hall County Courthouse (Gainesville, Ga.)
  • Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945
  • Georgia. National Guard
  • Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)
  • United States. Federal Emergency Relief Administration
  • United States. Works Progress Administration
  • American National Red Cross. Emergency and Community Services
  • New Deal, 1933-1939
  • United States–Social conditions–1933-1945
  • United States–History–1933-1945
  • Gainesville (Ga.)–History–20th century

Creation of the Web site

The following Gainesville Regional Library System, Georgia HomePLACE, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, and Digital Library of Georgia staff and student assistants contributed to the production of The 1936 Gainesville Tornado: Disaster and Recovery Web site:

  • Ruta Abolins
  • James Benyshek
  • Margie Compton
  • P. Toby Graham
  • Edward A. Johnson
  • Mandy Mastrovita
  • Sheila McAlister
  • Ben McCormick
  • Adrian Mixson
  • Leigh Ann Ripley
  • Ronda Sanders

Thanks also to Film Technology, Inc. for preservation work on the film.

Publisher: The Digital Library of Georgia, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, GA 30602

Date: 2007

Publication status: This work is the property of The University of Georgia Libraries. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

Master file details: Uncompressed avi, 24 fps, 720x480