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Memorial events to mark 75 years since deadly day
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Remembering the 1936 tornado
All events are free

Exhibit featuring the events of April 6 and the aftermath
When: Through April 30
Where: Northeast Georgia History Center, 322 Academy St., Gainesville

Moment of silence, walking tour, plaque dedication
When: 8:15-8:30 a.m. Wednesday
Where: Gainesville’s downtown square

Survivors’ reception
When: 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Northeast Georgia History Center

Lecture on the history of the 1936 tornado and the science of weather
When: 1-4 p.m. April 10
Northeast Georgia History Center

Documentary showing and forum with tornado survivors
When: 7 p.m. April 12
Where: Northeast Georgia History Center

Seventy-five years after a tornado decimated Gainesville, the town is ready to pay tribute to those it killed.

Northeast Georgia History Center and Main Street Gainesville officials have planned a series of events this month to recognize April 6, 1936.

A crowd will gather on the downtown square at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday to hold a moment of silence when the tornado struck at 8:27 a.m. Mayor Ruth Bruner will help dedicate a plaque that will hang on a brick pillar beside Washington Street.

"I was really surprised that there's nothing downtown that talks about the destruction that occurred," said Angela Thompson, Main Street manager. "It's a very important piece of our history that speaks volumes about our community and it needed to be acknowledged downtown."

After the memorial event, Thompson will hand out brochures for residents to take a 20-minute walking tour of the path of the tornado.

On Wednesday evening, the history center will host a special reception to recognize survivors.

"We're excited to see a good attendance and, more importantly, get many survivors in one place," said Glen Kyle, director of the center. "We want it to be something special to honor them and the 200 plus people who didn't survive, who were these survivors' friends and families."

A year ago, history center workers began planning a documentary, a lecture on the science of weather and two large exhibits in addition to "A City Laid Waste" that is already on display.

The exhibits, "The Tornado of 1936" and "New Deal to New Direction: America and Northeast Georgia in the 1930s," include artifacts and an interactive tornado display for children.

"If we don't preserve these stories, who is going to?" Kyle said. "People living in Gainesville were not alive during those times, and we need to make them aware that the community they live in and the landscape they see every day was a result of this singular event."