Texas Tech University

Texas Tech to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Lubbock Tornado

Glenys Young

May 10, 2020

The university will launch a special website and host an observance on Monday.

In memory of the 26 people who died, and in honor of the thousands whose lives were disrupted, Texas Tech University is launching a special website to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the tornado that struck Lubbock on May 11, 1970.

The site, which will go live Monday morning (May 11), features stories on Texas Tech alumni memories of the storm, the university's contributions in the tornado's aftermath and the now-world-renowned National Wind Institute that grew out of it. A photo gallery compares images taken after the storm with images of the same locations today. Videos highlight how the tornado debris was repurposed to share other history and the tremendous archive of storm documentation that now resides in the university's Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library.

View the special tornado site here: Lubbock Tornado 50th Anniversary.

In addition, the university will host a special observance at 9:45 p.m. Monday. To mark the time when the tornado was on the ground in the heart of our city, Texas Tech will go dark in the heart of campus. All lights around Memorial Circle, the Broadway entrance to campus, the Engineering Key and the Science Quadrangle will be turned off, and the Saddle Tramps will ring the bells 26 times, once for each victim.

To maintain social distancing, the public is being asked to stay home and observe the memorial through a livestream on the university's Facebook page and by turning on their porch lights at 9:45 p.m. The university also will showcase its observance Tuesday (May 12) through its social media channels.