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The Day Judy Garland Died a Tornado Hit Kansas

judy garland death tornado kansas

The day Judy Garland died a tornado hit Kansas. The day was June 22, 1969. Some of you might be thinking so what? But it’s actually one of those weird coincidences in nature that seem to pop up every now and then. How about we delve into this peculiarity a little further?

Judy Garland is probably best known for her portrayal as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. It’s a story that everyone knows. Dorothy lives in Kansas and is swept away to the magical land of Oz when a tornado hits her house. Now can you see the freaky coincidence? Her performance in the movie is often regarded as stellar, and is even more spectacular given her young age at the time. She was only 17 when she was the leading star of the much loved movie.

Unfortunately the life of Judy wasn’t such a fairy tale. Her family life and upbringing was not a happy one. It has been said that her mother pushed her to succeed in show business with a relentless drive. That pressure was only exacerbated by her fathers closet homosexuality. Several times during her adolescence the family was forced to leave town thanks to her fathers affairs with other men. But even finding fame didn’t end her problems.

Shortly after signing with MGM, her father died. This no doubt delivered the still teenager a massive emotional shock. But her career continued to climb, if ever so slowly. The demands on her by the studios made her extremely tired, and doctors began to prescribe her pills to brighten her up while she was performing. Before long she was also being medicated for her weight fluctuations. This double whammy of pill popping had an impact on her lifelong addiction to drugs.

After her massive success in the Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland’s career took off. During the 1940’s she became one of the most bankable female actors in Hollywood. But her personal life continued to be a nuisance. She had many failed and tumultuous relationships. Her life came to an untimely end when she was discovered by her husband, Mickey Deans, dead in her bathroom from an apparent overdose of barbiturates. It was the drug that had consumed much of her adult life.

So that’s the sad story, obviously truncated for the purpose of this fact, of Judy Garland’s life. So what connects Judy Garland’s death to a tornado in Kansas?

June 22 is almost smack bang in the middle of summer, and tornado season in the US. Kansas too is right in the firing line, being in the middle of tornado alley. I know that many of you will probably be saying that a tornado hits Kansas as often as the mailman, but even though they’re a regular occurrence, they don’t strike that often. But here’s the thing. The day Judy Garland died a Tornado hit Kansas, the same place that swept a young Dorothy to the Land of Oz. The tornado that hit Kansas on June 22, 1969 was actually an F3, a somewhat powerful and destructive twister.

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judy garland death tornado kansas

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Someone wrote elsewhere that the tornaedo hit Kansas on the 21st June 1969, not the 22nd.

Not sure which is true, I prefer the fairy tale.

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