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John Magill -Freezes- Photo

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Interview date: 1.12.15


John Magill is curator and historian at The Historic New Orleans Collection. In this interview, John talks about freezing weather in New Orleans over the last hundred plus years. John notes that “We (New Orleans) didn’t have a weather bureau until 1871”. As a result, the only early records of freezes were whatever information individuals recorded in their diaries and whatever articles the newspaper wrote. John points out that many plantation owners would write about freezes because the freezes adversely affected their crops. The winter of 1899 was the coldest on record, and the most bitter cold weather occurred during the Carnival season when temperatures fell as low as 6 or 7 degrees F. John recounts how Rex, King of Carnival, was affected by the freezing weather and explains how that winter of 1899 changed Canal Street forever.


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