Cleveland from the Air

This image of Cleveland, Ohio (United States) was taken in the December of 1937.

Downtown_Cleveland,_Ohio,_in_winter,_from_the_air,_12-1937_-_NARA_-_512842 December 1937

On this day: the Great Dayton Flood

Postcard showing a view of Fifth Street looking west from Main Street, showing the flood waters when the flood was at its crest. March 1913.

The Great Dayton Flood, when the overflowing Great Miami River inundated Ohio, began on the 21st of March, 1913.

Over the course of the next few days, an estimated 360 people died, making the flood the worst natural disaster in the state’s history.

4th Street of Dayton, OH, USA during Great Miami Flood in 1913.

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In addition to the destruction caused by the water, a gas explosion and exposed gas lines resulted in fires that caused significant damage. The damage to property included the loss of around 20 000 homes.

Despite being a historically significant city, because of the flood today there are few historic buildings left in Dayton.

On this day: the birth of “Axis Sally”

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American woman Mildred Gillars, nicknamed “Axis Sally” for the prominent role she played broadcasting Nazi propaganda during World War Two, was born on the 29th of November, 1900.

Born in Maine, but moving to Ohio as a child, Gillars moved to Germany to study in 1934, and then later obtained work as an English teacher in Berlin.

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As a young actress in America in the 1920s. X

By 1940, she was working as an announcer for Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft: German State Radio.

Along with an Italian-American woman by the name of Rita Zucca, who performed the same work for Mussolini in Fascist Italy, she was dubbed “Axis Sally” for her anti-American propaganda that was broadcast to US troops once her home country joined the war.

Gillars’ broadcasts told stories of wives and sweethearts at home who cheated with other men while the troops were away, and spread defeatist propaganda to try and destroy American morale.

At the end of the war “Wanted” posters for Gillars were put up around Berlin. Once she was found and arrested in 1946 she was returned to the United States, where she was put on trial for treason.

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The New York Times announces that Mildred Gillars is to stand trial for treason. X

She was eventually convicted of treason for a broadcast titled Vision Of Invasion, and spent twelve years in prison before being released on parole.

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The FBI escorts Gillars to her trial in 1949. X

Gillars went on to live in a convent and work as a schoolteacher, before dying of cancer in 1988.

Her fellow “Sally”, Rita Zucca, spent nine months in an Italian prison, and – having given up her American citizenship – was barred from the United States.

On this day: the Palm Sunday tornado outbreak

Picture of the double tornado that hit the Midway Trailer Park in Indiana, killing 14. 11th April 1965.

The Palm Sunday tornado outbreak occurred across the US states of Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa on the 11th and 12th of April, 1965.

Forty-seven tornadoes struck, including the “double tornado” in Indiana (above) that killed fourteen people. 271 deaths were confirmed across all states.