[bksvol-discuss] For American history buffs - new book accepted into the collection

  • From: "Judy s." <cherryjam@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2007 14:27:56 -0600

My validation of "All It's Fury: The Story of the January 12th 1888 Blizzard by
W. H. O'Gara (Compiler), Ora A. Clement (Editor)" was just accepted into the
collection.  Many thanks to the scanner, who helped me when I ran into a missing
page, and who submitted the rtf file in a way that let me figure out where page
breaks occurred even though the scanning software/hardware hadn't put them in

It wasn't a book I ordinarily would have read, but it turned out to be an
absolutely fascinating account about the January 12, 1888 blizzard that struck
from North Dakota to Texas.  The book isn't some historian's dry text, although
the first score of pages give you scientific background on how this weather
event evolved.  Most of the book is written narratives that a group of
Nebraskans gathered in the early 1940s from hundreds and hundreds of the
remaining survivors that had lived on homesteads and ranches in 1888.  So you
get to read, in their own words, what happened to them, and they include all
kinds of great descriptions about what a pioneer life was like at that moment in

It's an amazing slice of history about an incredible storm that killed hundreds
of settlers and thousands upon thousands of animals, including cattle, sheep,
horses, dogs, hogs, poultry, enormous flocks of wild birds and all kinds of wild

It came so quickly and so furiously that horses and cattle froze to death where
they stood.  Many suffocated when the temperatures dropped 60 to 80 degrees in 4
hours, accompanied by winds of 60 to 100 mph and driven snow that literally
froze the animals nostrils and eyes shut in a matter of minutes in a casing of
ice that couldn't be broken with a sledgehammer.

Lots of stories about how people were saved by their teams of horses - and lots
of stories about how family members died alongside their horses, unable to even
find the barns that were one field away when the storm struck without warning.

One of the stories that really struck me.  One entire family was saved because
their old mare, who was pulling their sledge, was blind and didn't need to be
able to see to know where she was going to get them safely to shelter.
Interesting slice of life because no one seemed to find it unusual that this
family had a completely blind mare for their wagon horse!

If you're a history buff, or fascinated by stories of what really happens to
individuals in a natural disaster, I highly recommend this book.

Judy s.

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