Blizzard!: The Storm That Changed America

by Jim Murphy

When it started to rain on Sunday, March 11, 1888, no one suspected it would become... read more

When it started to rain on Sunday, March 11, 1888, no one suspected it would become a blizzard of mammoth proportions. More than 400 people perished in the four‑day storm, which brought the East Coast to a complete standstill. Jim Murphy weaves together more than a dozen personal stories of survivors to provide a dramatic firsthand account of the various responses individuals had to the blizzard of 1888. These accounts are combined with (often hyperbolic) reports from many newspapers. Documentary photographs and line drawings from the time also give readers a sense of the enormity of the storm, which went on to have a great impact on public policy in both local and national government. The blizzard inspired city governments to create plans for snow removal and other future emergencies. It also helped push through plans for New York City’s subway system. On a national level, the huge snowfall led to the establishment of the modern‑day United States Weather Bureau. But the blizzard of 1888 left individual memories of both heroes and scoundrels, as ordinary folks tried to carry on with their day‑to‑day lives amidst mountains of snow. (Ages 9‑14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001

show less