Corn Resident One of First to Capture Tornado on Motion Pictures 59 Years Ago
By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9
CORN, Oklahoma -- Fifty-nine years ago on June 8, 1951, a tornado hit the small town of Corn in Washita County, and the world saw one of the first displays of nature's power on film.
The tornado destroyed the south side of Corn, and one man was killed by lightning.
Corn resident John Gossen grabbed his motion picture camera that day and became one of the first people ever to capture a tornado on motion pictures. His daughter, Joan Franz, still lives in Corn with her husband Archie. Before today she had never seen her father's tornado footage, which is available on YouTube.
"We lived six miles south of corn, and my dad ran for his movie camera, and we videoed that," Joan Franz said.
The next month the Corn tornado was featured in the Saturday Evening Post, but it was that early footage shot by Gossen that makes the tornado famous.
The National Weather Service says Gossen was the first person in the United States to capture a tornado on moving pictures. The first motion pictures of a tornado in the world were shot in Cuba in the 1930s, which is also available on YouTube.