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Topics in Chronicling America - The Great Blizzard of 1888

“Blizzard was King. The Metropolis Helpless Under Snow,” reported the March 13, 1888 Sun (New York). Over a three-day period, a huge, destructive blizzard roared across the east coast, dumping upwards of three feet of snow in an area stretching from Delaware to Montreal. Supplies of fuel and food dwindled, power lines snapped, trains were buried, with an estimated 800 people killed in New York City alone. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.


Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • March 11, 1888 Newspapers report significant rain storm that developed on the 11th that turned into snow at 4 am the following morning.
  • March 12, 1888 Washington, D.C. reports the severance of most telegraph wires, effectively isolating the city from much of the northeast.
  • March 13, 1888 Reports from all over the northeast inform citizens of train stoppages and traffic accidents. 15 inches of snow is reported in Saratoga and Albany new York. News of the snow storm from Connecticut is reported. New York Stock Exchange closes for the day.
  • March 14, 1888 Snow finally dissipates around midday.
  • March 15, 1888 Some trains begin moving around parts of New York, yet most remained stranded or lost. The Stock Exchange resumes.
  • March 22, 1888 First major reports of fatalities due to the storm. Many died after losing electricity and the cold temperatures.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] blizzard, snow, ice, storm
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event in order to narrow your results.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  July 16, 2014
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