The Great Blizzard of ’88
For New Yorker’s who were able to obtain a newspaper on March 13, 1888, this is what they saw:
Starting very late in the evening of March 11 and continuing throughout March 12 and into March 13, 1888, modern New York City was paralyzed with its first stupendous blizzard. The weather forecast for March 12 called for mild weather!
Over a little more than a 24 hour period mostly between March 12 and 13 New York City received 25 inches of snow, bringing virtually everything to standstill. It took a week before services returned to normal.
The storm was henceforth forever known as “the Blizzard of ’88.” There have been several books written about this particular storm which not only affected New York but much of the Northeast. The best of these books is Irving Werstein’s The Blizzard of ’88 (Thomas Y. Crowell; 1960). Other books worthy of checking out include Mary Cable’s The Blizzard of ’88 (Atheneum; 1988) which focuses on the storm’s effect on the entire east coast, not just New York and Judd Caplovich’s excellent Blizzard! The Great Storm of ’88 (Vero Publishing; 1988) which is an oversized pictorial depiction of the storm.
Here is the front page of The New York Times and their coverage of the storm. Lots of words and no graphics! (Click on the image to read the whole page)
Although no one alive today experienced it firsthand, it is still referred to as one of the worst storms to ever hit the city.