The winter of 1880–1881 is widely considered the most severe winter ever known in parts of the United States. Many children—and their parents—learned of "The Snow Winter" through the children's book The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder, in which the author tells of her family's efforts to survive. The snow arrived in October 1880 and blizzard followed blizzard throughout the winter and into March 1881, leaving many areas snowbound throughout the entire winter. For the most part the snow by passed the big cities on the East coast that winter. The cold was only sporadic but on December 30, 1880 bitter cold hit the east coast the mercury dropped to 3 below in Washington D. C. the earlier below zero reading there ever, records were also set in Charlotte North Carolina at 5 below and in Philadelphia the temperature also dropped to negative 5 and the afternoon high temperature despite bright sunshine only reach 5 above zero.
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