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The third most destructive tornado in history hit the unsuspecting city of St. Louis on the evening of May 27, 1896, leaving in its wake a mile-wide expanse of downed trees and telephone poles as well as dilapidated homes, factories, parks, and other city landmarks. The tornado went on to wreak havoc in East St. Louis, Illinois, causing cumulative damages of $25 million, or around $700 million in today's dollars.
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