The late 1980's were a period of extraordinarily low numbers of tornadoes and much of the United States had become complacent about the storms. That changed 25 years ago today as a tornadoes roamed the Great Plains. The two worst storms were the ones that struck Hesston and Goessel, Kansas (F-4 and F-5 intensity). The latter, according to Dr. Ted Fujita, was one of the worst storms he had ever documented (in terms of strength).
I wrote an essay about the storm on its 20th anniversary you can read here.