By the morning of Friday, January 13, hundreds of people lay dead on the Dakota and Nebraska prairie, many of them children who had fled – or been sent home from – country schools at the same time the wind shifted and the sky was exploding. There is an account of a schoolhouse in Nebraska that lost its roof during the storm. Protecting Lives and Property for 150 Years, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Nicknamed "The Children’s Blizzard," this devastating storm resulted in the deaths of many children on their walk home from school. Enter your e-mail address for things to do, restaurants to try and much more! In the end, the storm took between 200 and 300 lives, many of them children. Minnie Freeman was a schoolteacher who saved the lives of 13 pupils in an act of extreme courage. Nebraska’s history is full of tales of heroism and bravery. On January 12, 1888, a sudden fierce blizzard slashed across the Midwest. The Great Blizzard of 1888 is also known as The Schoolchildren's Blizzard because it struck with almost no warning in the middle of the day on January 12th. Minnie’s bravery was immortalized in a song called “Thirteen Were Saved,” in which she was called “Nebraska’s Fearless Maid.” She was a shy woman and did not appreciate all the fuss made over the story, but her bravery made national news and she became something of a folk hero. Photo 778 -- Alice Covault, long-time grade school teacher, only child of Avis Dopp. Some were successful, some not. Interested in more Nebraska history and trivia? Rural Nebraska 70, Ord, Valley County, Nebraska, View this marker's location 41.498138, -98.9817, View a map of all Nebraska historical markers, Browse Historical Marker Map. The Children’s Blizzard, the Schoolhouse Blizzard, the Schoolchildren’s Blizzard. Some teachers let their students go home, when the temperature first began to drop, but others r kept their children in the schools and tried to keep them warm. Delana's work has been featured on more than a dozen websites and in. As a lifelong Nebraskan, Delana loves discovering the many hidden treasures of her state. The temperature fell to between 30 and 40 degrees below zero. The temperature fell to between 30 and 40 degrees below zero. 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The Blizzard of 1888 By The Explore Nebraska History team One of the most spectacular and harrowing events in the history of the Great Plains was the Blizzard of January 12, 1888. When the wind tore the roof off the sod schoolhouse, Miss Freeman saved her pupils by leading them through the storm to a farmhouse a half mile away. Over the next two hours the front picked up speed as it spread inexorably over the most populated … I ran across an account -- which I cannot now find -- that when it came, it was moved so fast and fierce that it ripped up the prairie sod and threw it in the air as it came forward. That winter's tragedies didn't end there. 68310, The blizzard hit on January 12, 1888, catching people off-guard on an otherwise pleasant winter day. It describes the Dopp family's experiences, those of 11-year-old Avis and her father Seymour, a school teacher in Pawnee City. The blizzard of January 12, 1888 had an immense impact on the lives of all who remembered it. This blizzard was one of the most destructive and devastating in Nebraska history for a number of reasons: its … While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. She has worked as a writer and editor since 2007. This is in front of the frame school building, built in 1874, which was used until a brick school was built in 1902. I recently ran across a very nice local history on the website www.PawneeCountyHistory dot com. Not only was the wind ferocious, but also. [1] David Laskin. It goes and went by many names, but whatever it’s called, it’s widely acknowledged to have been one of the most severe weather events to strike the Great Plains. A howling northwest wind swept the plains. In three minutes, temperatures in every region dropped more than 18 degrees. On January 12, 1888, the so-called “Schoolchildren’s Blizzard” kills 235 people, many of whom were children on their way home from school, across the Northwest 8523 West State Highway 4 On January 12, 1888, a sudden fierce blizzard slashed across the Midwest. David Laskin, author of. The temperature fell to between 30 and 40 degrees below zero. Come Monday morning, the rain changed to snow and the warm breezes transformed into powerful gusts of at least 50 miles per hour. It is copyright 1991 by Dick Taylor and titled the Brash Blizzard of 1888. David Laskin, author of The Children’s Blizzard, notes that by 1 PM the storm had “covered almost all of the Dakota Territory, the western two-thirds of Nebraska, and the northwestern fringe of Minnesota. New York: Harper Perennial, 2004. More than 400 people died from this storm, 200 in New York City alone. Thank you for visiting a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website. I do. And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now: The above mural in the state capitol building depicts Minnie leading the children through the blizzard. I am pretty sure that the person who made such an impression on my young mind was my teacher, Alice Taylor Covault. Fortunately, the teacher was able to lead the children to shelter. The blizzard was preceded by a snowstorm on January 5th and 6th, which dropped snow on the northern and central plains, and was followed by an outbreak of brutally cold temperatures from January 7th to 11th. I have found no picture of her father, Seymour Dopp, whose experiences are recounted in more than  one article. It’s remembered in mosaic near the ceiling of the Great Hall in the State Capitol Building in Lincoln, it’s recalled in books and plays, and it’s an indelible part of our cultural memory here on the Great Plains. (2009, November 13). South Dakota was frozen as children were finishing their morning recess at school and in Nebraska, school clocks were nearing the time for dismissal. E.i. No accurate count of the total deaths from the storm is possible, but estimates for Nebraska have ranged from 40 to 100. Other storms had produced colder temperatures and greater amounts of snow. Additionally, the winds were so fierce that more than 200 vessels were destroyed up and down the eastern seaboard, resulting in the death of 100 seamen. For more technical details, check out the Wikipedia  entry, inserted below: Argus Museum -- Newspapers and Photographs. The pioneers who braved the untamed prairie land to turn it into a lovely, productive home faced innumerable hardships. Among the most destructive of natural disasters were the sudden prairie blizzards. of Agriculture was signed by President Benjamin Harrison on October 1, 1890. On this date, January 11, 1888, an unseasonably warm current of air moved out of the Caribbean and surged north into the American Great Plains. However, in another instance, a teacher in Plainfield, Nebraska tried to lead children to her home less than 90 yards from the schoolhouse. Get the big picture before reading about the Dopp family of Table Rock. By the morning of Friday, January 13, hundreds of people lay dead on the Dakota and Nebraska prairie, many of them children who had fled – or been sent home from – country schools at the same time the wind shifted and the sky was exploding. No accurate count of the total deaths from the storm is possible, but estimates for Nebraska have ranged from 40 to 100. In 1967, a Venetian glass mural of The Schoolhouse Blizzard of 1888 by Jeanne Reynal was installed on the west wall of the north bay in the Nebraska State Capitol building in Lincoln, Nebraska, for the 1967 Centennial Celebration. AMERICAN WEATHER STORIES. My 3rd grade teacher Alice Covault told it. Avis told Glee, and Glee tells schoolchildren each year, just as her mother-in-law Alice Covault once did. Do you remember learning in school about the Schoolchildren's Blizzard of 1888? Sometimes called "the school children's storm," the blizzard caught many children away from home. Fortunately, the teacher was able to lead the children to shelter. The territorial pioneers looked back on the winter of 1856-57, which began with a life-taking storm on December 1, as the most terrible they had spent in Nebraska. the temperature had dropped to 40 degrees below zero. In the whiteout, between 250 and 500 people perished. Nebraska State Historical Society The Children’s Blizzard. The storm cut off and immobilized east coast cities, crippling transportation and affecting one quarter of the U.S. population. The storm raged for 12 to 18 hours and is probably the most severe single blizzard to … Other storms had produced colder temperatures and greater amounts of snow. 125 years ago, deadly 'Children's Blizzard' blasted Minnesota. On January 12, 1888, a sudden fierce blizzard slashed across the Midwest. Over the next two hours the front picked up speed as it spread inexorably over the most populated section of the prairie.”[1] Because it hit in the middle of the afternoon, it caught a great many schools in session across the states it struck. But there is one story that embodies the pioneer spirit perfectly. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/blizzard-brings-tragedy-to-northwest-plains. Perhaps the blizzard was only ten years behind her? The storm raged for 12 to 18 hours and is probably the most severe single blizzard to have hit Nebraska since the settlement of the state. However, the warmth didn't last: within a few hours, temperatures plummeted as low as -40 F and icy winds ripped through the air at almost 60 miles per hour. As night fell, the temperature kept dropping steadily, hour after hour, deluged by the cold from the northwest. NOAA is not responsible for the content of any linked website not operated by NOAA. On January 12, 1888, an unexpected blizzard swept across the prairies and claimed 235 lives, most of them children. Sadly, children were still in school. Before long, the snowfall amounts reached 40 to 50 inches with snow drifts between 30 and 40 feet deep. The storm raged for 12 to 18 hours and is probably the most severe single blizzard to have hit Nebraska since the settlement of the state. Marker Text. There was bad weather in January 1888, and then it became warm. Many other teachers performed similar acts of heroism, and at least one lost her life in the attempt. For full functionality please enable JavaScript in your browser settings. (2018, January 11). It was the first in a series of events – a perfect storm that would create a blizzard that would change the face of American history forever. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! The storm raged for 12 to … Nebraska Historical Marker: The Blizzard of 1888 (Valley), http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Nebraska_Historical_Marker:_The_Blizzard_of_1888_(Valley)&oldid=13407.

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