Mayo Clinic Releases New Documentary Ahead of Tornado’s 139th Anniversary


Laura Lee

Updated: August 19, 2022 10:51 PM
Created: Aug 19, 2022 10:49 PM

(ABC 6 News) – This weekend marks the 139th anniversary of the tornado that led to the creation of Saint Marys Hospital and what is now the Mayo Clinic.

For the first time, Mayo Clinic has created a short film to highlight the events of that day and honor the history that would ultimately create one of the most prestigious hospitals in the world.

It was a hot and humid day on August 21, 1883. That same day, a huge tornado destroyed part of the city. Following the aftermath, the Mayo brothers and the Sisters of Saint Francis established a makeshift hospital that would become Saint Marys Hospital.

“We don’t know if the Mayo Brothers would have stayed in Rochester, they might have gone to a bigger city, somewhere else to practice, but the tornado led to the opening of Saint Marys which kept the Mayo Brothers here which launched today’s Mayo Clinic, so these are the imponderables of the mystery of history,” said Matthew Dacy, director of Mayo Clinic’s Heritage Hall.

The five-minute film titled, Born in A Storm, chronicles the events and shares the memories of those who lived through it.

“Staff and patients help to feel connected when they see these films, it reminds us that we are part of a greater cause than ourselves individually,” Dacy said, “and there is a sense of reassurance that Mayo and the community have been through tough times before, if we work together we will get through this.”

The video was produced by Mayo Clinic Heritage Films, which Dacy said was a 20-year-old company. You can see the full video here ahead of Sunday’s birthday.

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