Today in History (May 22, Remembering the Joplin Tornado)

Today in History
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Today is Sunday, May 22, the 142nd day of 2022. This is today in history.

Local news

  • In 2011, a tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri, with winds up to 250 mph, claiming at least 159 lives and destroying about 8,000 homes and businesses.
  • In 2012, 8,000 people attended a ceremony at Cunningham Park one year after the Joplin tornado.
  • In 2013, a handful of Joplin Police Officers, Firefighters, and METS Ambulance Workers went to Moore, Oklahoma to help with search and rescue efforts after a deadly tornado struck.
  • In 2014, a dedication ceremony was held at the new Butterfly Garden and Overlook in Cunningham Park. Officials said the area was designed to be a place where people can work through the grief.
  • In 2015, a report stated that 90% of the 531 businesses destroyed or severely damaged by the Joplin tornado had been rebuilt. Furthermore, the report stated that 250 new businesses had opened since May 22, 2011.
  • In 2016, Operation Barbecue Relief hosted a Pride & Progress picnic that honored serving others in times of need. The event featured BBQ, live music and more.
  • In 2017, a short documentary titled ‘Butterfly Angels’ was released. The film told a story of how nature played a key role in the post-tornado recovery.
  • In 2018, members of Duquesne and Joplin recognized The Salvation Army for its volunteer efforts post-tornado.
  • In 2020, runners from 25 states and across the globe came to Joplin to remember those who lost their lives during Joplin’s Annual Memorial Run.
  • In 2021, Community members gathered in Cunningham Park to remember those who lost their lives 10 years after the deadly EF-5 tornado struck Joplin. Those in attendance also recognized how far Joplin had come during the special ceremony.

World news

  • In 1960, an earthquake of magnitude 9.5, the strongest ever measured, struck southern Chile, claiming some 1,655 lives.
  • In 1962, Continental Airlines Flight 11, en route from Chicago to Kansas City, Missouri, crashed after a bomb apparently brought on board by a passenger exploded, killing all 45 occupants of the Boeing 707.
  • In 1968, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Scorpion, with 99 men aboard, sank in the Atlantic Ocean.


  • In 1967, Poet and playwright Langston Hughes died in New York at age 65.
  • In 1969, the lunar module of Apollo 10, with Thomas P. Stafford and Eugene Cernan aboard, flew to within nine miles of the moon’s surface in a dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing.
  • In 1992, after a reign lasting nearly 30 years, Johnny Carson hosted NBC’s “Tonight Show” for the final time. (Jay Leno took over as host three days later.)


  • In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, speaking at the University of Michigan, outlined the goals of his “Great Society,” saying that it “rests on abundance and liberty for all” and “demands an end to poverty and racial injustice.”
  • In 2006, The Department of Veterans Affairs said personal data, including Social Security numbers of 26.5 million U.S. veterans, was stolen from a VA employee after he took the information home without authorization.
  • In 2018, Stacey Abrams won Georgia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, making her the first woman nominee for Georgia governor from either major party.


Conductor Peter Nero is 88. Actor-director Richard Benjamin is 84. Actor Frank Converse is 84. Former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw is 82. Actor Barbara Parkins is 80. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Tommy John is 79. Songwriter Bernie Taupin is 72. Actor-producer Al Corley is 67. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is 65. Singer Morrissey is 63. Actor Ann Cusack is 61. Country musician Dana Williams (Diamond Rio) is 61. Rock musician Jesse Valenzuela is 60. Actor Mark Christopher Lawrence is 58. R&B singer Johnny Gill (New Edition) is 56. Rock musician Dan Roberts (Crash Test Dummies) is 55. Actor Brooke Smith is 55. Actor Michael Kelly is 53. Model Naomi Campbell is 52. Actor Anna Belknap is 50. Actor Alison Eastwood is 50. Singer Donell Jones is 49. Actor Sean Gunn is 48. Actor A.J. Langer is 48. Actor Ginnifer Goodwin is 44. R&B singer Vivian Green is 43. Actor Maggie Q is 43. Olympic gold medal speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno is 40. Actor Molly Ephraim (TV: “Last Man Standing”) is 36. Tennis player Novak Djokovic is 35. Actor Anna Baryshnikov (TV: “Superior Donuts”) is 30. Actor Camren Bicondova is 23.

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