Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cold Enough for You?

Karissa in TX snow

Snowy tree in Texas

Kayla and Alicia's Snowman
Little Elm, TX

This winter has brought us all some pretty cold days. Last week it even snowed in Texas -- up to 9 inches in some places. But that's nothing compared to the olden days.

I'm talking really old days -- 1888! And okay, it wasn't Texas, but it was cold!

On the plains in January, an unexpected snowfall turned into the Schoolhouse Blizzard. The temperature dropped 20 degrees in a matter of hours. Over 500 people lost their lives due to hypothermia and freezing. Read the heart-wrenching stories of children stuck in one-room schoolhouses.

Why am I thinking about that today? The Schoolhouse Blizzard was only the beginning. Just when the country was beginning to get over that catastrophe, it started snowing again on March 11.

On this day in 1888, the Great Blizzard was in full force and would continue for two more days. Some areas of the northeast experienced 50 inches of snow! That's not drifts, that is the actual snowfall. Over 200 ships were grounded, telegraph, railway and fire stations were disabled. Once again, hundreds died. Cities were immobilized for days. This may have speeded up the subway system which opened in Boston in 1897, but I did not find documentation of that cause and effect. It sounds good.

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