circa 1880: A train passing through the snow near Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Otto Herschan/Getty Images)
We have a few Christmas topics in the archive: There’s Who was Good King Wenceslas, the Christmas Truce and whether Oliver Cromwell really canceled Christmas. For Christmas this year, we continue on in the theme of Monday’s Laura Ingalls Wilder episode with an exploration of the winter of 1880-1881. At the time, people called it the Hard Winter or the Starving Winter – “Hard Winter” was what Laura originally called “The Long Winter,” her novel about the experience. In the book, her Christmas is a meager one, but they get a do-over in the spring after everything finally, finally thaws.
Barbara Mayes Boustead has done some awesome fact-checking of the novel vs. reality.
Our listener mail is from Emma about our Audre Lorde episode (part 1 and part 2).
For more knowledge: 10 Biggest Snowstorms of All Time
Episode link: I’ve written this before that link exists to allow for some holiday vacation time. I’ll add it when I return! In the mean time, here’s our RSS feed, or you can find the episode iTunes or Stitcher.
- Donner Rails. “Rotary Snow Plow SPMW #207 & 8207 rebuild 4/2012.” http://donnerrails.com/rotary-plow-rebuilding-update/
- Koerth-Baker, Maggie. “The Meteorology of Little House on the Prairie.” BoingBoing. 12/11/2012. http://boingboing.net/2012/12/11/the-meteorology-of-little-hous.html
- Mayes- Boustead, Barbara. “Laura’s Hard Winter: Putting the Hard Winter of 1880-81 Into Perspective.” http://www.bousteadhill.net/lauraslongwinter/
- National Endowment for the Humanities. “Sans Arc Lakota Ledger Book: 1880-1881.” http://picturingamerica.neh.gov/downloads/pdfs/Resource_Guide_Chapters/PictAmer_Resource_Book_Chapter_8B.pdf
- Northwest Railway Museum. “Collection: Northern Pacific Railway Steam Rotary Snowplow #10.” http://www.trainmuseum.org/index.php/northern-pacific-railway-steam-rotary-snowplow-10
- Plains Indian Ledger Art. https://plainsledgerart.org/plates/view/169
- Potter, Constance. “Genealogy Notes: De Smet, Dakota Territory, Little Town in the National Archives, Part 2.” Prologue Magazine. Winter 2003, Vol. 35, No. 4. http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2003/winter/little-town-in-nara-2.html.
- Robinson, Doane. “History of South Dakota Vol. 1 (1904). http://files.usgwarchives.net/sd/history/robinson/liii.txt
- Vergano, Dan. “’Little House’ Author Right on 1880s Winter.” USA Today. 8/21/2011. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/science/columnist/vergano/story/2011/08/Little-House-author-right-on-1880s-winter/50065682/1
- Wilder, Laura Ingalls. “The Long Winter.” HarperCollins. 1940.
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