134th Anniversary of the ‘Children’s Blizzard’ in Minnesota
UNDATED -- The winter of 1887 - 1888 was a particularly bad one for the new settlers to Minnesota. The winter included one especially strong storm that has come to be known as the "Children's Blizzard".
The morning of January 12th, 1888 actually started out very mild, which had people going outside and getting some work done. What they did not know is that a massive blizzard was racing toward them from Canada. During the 17 hours between January 11th and January 12th the storm covered 780 miles.
It eventually blanketed Iowa, Nebraska, and southern Minnesota.
The Minnesota Historical Society says between 250 and 500 people died in the blizzard. Some bodies were not found for days or even months. It's called the 'Children's Blizzard' because most of the deaths were those of schoolchildren. Six siblings died trying to make it home from school.
It was reported that besides the white-out conditions, many people could not see because of microscopic bits of ice froze their eyes shut.
Climate historians don't believe the January 1888 blizzard was the most extreme to ever strike Minnesota, but it was one of the most deadly. A lack of warning from the Signal Corps and the mild morning were contributing factors.
Experts say the storm happened at the tail end of a six-year run of extreme weather called the "Little Ice Age".