Armistice Day Blizzard at Gustavus

Posted on November 11th, 2010 by

Today is the anniversary of the Armistice Day Blizzard of November 1940. The Monday started much like today with unseasonably warm temperatures that had climbed to the low 60s during the afternoon. However, the weather changed quickly and temperatures dropped by 40 degrees over the next several hours. A large and powerful winter storm rolled across the Midwest bringing strong winds, sleet, and snow.

In Minnesota, forty-nine people died as a result of the storm. Most of the dead were duck hunters. There were no deaths at Gustavus, but the storm hit campus hard. According to an account in the Gustavian Weekly, many faculty couldn’t get down the bluffside to return to their homes, and students, lacking proper winter attire, were donning wild combinations of clothes in their efforts to keep warm. Let us hope that the rain forecast for this evening does not turn to snow.


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