On January 12, 1888, a historic blizzard hit the mid-West United States. It was one of the deadliest blizzards in U.S. history, causing 235 fatalities. The timing of the storm was very sudden, catching thousands of people off guard, including many children attending school. Relive that terrible day and hear about the heroics of a few people who saved dozens of children’s lives.


In the middle of January, the weather across the U.S. plain states turned unexpectedly mild. On January 12, many children headed off to school without heavy jackets. Later in the day, a fast moving cold front dropped temperatures dramatically. Some areas claimed temperatures dropped 18 degrees in three minutes. By mid-day, high winds and heavy snow created blinding conditions. Many school children were trapped by the snow. One Nebraskan teacher refused to release his students home and kept them warm and safe overnight in the school house. Another teacher in Nebraska tied her students in twine and led them to safety. Despite the heroics of many people on that day, 100 school children never made it home.