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January 18th, 2010
03:16 PM ET

A Young MLK Reports on Atlanta’s Record Snow

By Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider

The winter of 2010 is off to a powerful start. Earlier this month, arctic air gripped much of the country bringing snow to many places that hardly ever see it. In Atlanta, over half an inch of snow was recorded on January 7th. That’s a lot for one day, considering the average for this southern city is just over two inches of snow a year.

According to NOAA, the most snow ever recorded in Atlanta was on January 23, 1940. That’s when 8.3 inches of snow blanketed the city. In the days that followed, young children were particularly delighted with this extreme weather event. For many of them, this was the first time they ever had the opportunity play in the snow. One of those children in 1940 was then 11-year-old Martin Luther King, Jr.

In a letter to his father, who was in Ohio at the time, the young King talked about the heavy snow that fell the day before. This letter is included in the fourteen-volume edition of King's most significant correspondence, sermons, speeches, published writings, and unpublished manuscripts, known as The King Papers Project.

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