Year
1950
Month Day
November 25

"Storm of the century" hits eastern U.S.

The so-called “storm of the century” hits the eastern part of the United States, killing hundreds and causing millions of dollars in damages, on November 25, 1950. Also known as the “Appalachian Storm,” it dumped record amounts of snow in parts of the Appalachian Mountains.

Forming over North Carolina just before Thanksgiving, the storm quickly moved north, striking western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and West Virginia. These areas were blanketed with several feet of snow for several days and travel was impossible for nearly a week in some places.

An accompanying windstorm covered a far greater area. New York City recorded a 94 mile-per-hour wind gust. At Bear Mountain, just north of the city, a 140 mph gust was recorded. The winds throughout New England were of hurricane-like force. In addition, high tides and wind-driven surf battered the coastline. On the south edge of the storm, record low temperatures were recorded in Tennessee and North Carolina even without the wind chill. In Mount Mitchell, North Carolina, a temperature of 26 degrees below zero was recorded.

The storm was unique, however, because it featured not only extremely strong winds and heavy snow, but both record high and low temperatures. In Pittsburgh, 30 inches of snow fell in a blinding snowstorm. Further north, Buffalo saw no snow, but experienced 50 mile-per-hour winds and 50-degree temperatures. Paul Kocin, a Weather Channel expert, has said that this storm “had the greatest contrast of weather elements in probably any storm, including the 1993 March Superstorm.”

The extreme weather was deemed responsible for the loss of 160 lives over several days.

WATCH: Extreme Weather Mysteries

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Japanese author Yukio Mishima dies by suicide

World-renowned Japanese writer Yukio Mishima dies by suicide after failing to win public support for his often extreme political beliefs. Born in 1925, Mishima was obsessed with what he saw as the spiritual barrenness of modern life. He preferred prewar Japan, with its austere ...read more

People around the world mourn the death of the thirty-fifth president of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

JFK buried at Arlington National Cemetery

Three days after his assassination in Dallas, Texas, John F. Kennedy is laid to rest with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, was shot to death while riding in an open-car motorcade with his wife and ...read more

Iran-Contra connection revealed

Three weeks after a Lebanese magazine reported that the United States had been secretly selling arms to Iran, Attorney General Edwin Meese reveals that proceeds from the arms sales were illegally diverted to the anti-communist Contras in Nicaragua. On November 3, the Lebanese ...read more

Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge sinks to the bottom of Lake Washington

After a howling wind- and rainstorm on Thanksgiving Day, Washington state’s historic floating Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge breaks apart and sinks to the bottom of Lake Washington, between Seattle and its suburbs to the east. Because the bridge’s disintegration happened ...read more

"The Mousetrap" opens in London

“The Mousetrap,” a murder-mystery written by the novelist and playwright Agatha Christie, opens at the Ambassadors Theatre in London. The crowd-pleasing whodunit would go on to become the longest continuously running play in history. When “The Mousetrap” premiered in 1952, ...read more

U.S. Army retaliates for the Little Bighorn massacre

U.S. troops under the leadership of General Ranald Mackenzie destroy the village of Cheyenne living with Chief Dull Knife on the headwaters of the Powder River. The attack was in retaliation against some of the Native Americans who had participated in the massacre of Custer and ...read more

First International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

The United Nations General Assembly passes a resolution designating November 25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The resolution, which was introduced by the Dominican Republic, marked the anniversary of the death of three sisters, Maria, Teresa ...read more

Last British soldiers leave New York

On November 25, 1783, nearly three months after the Treaty of Paris was signed ending the American Revolution, the last British soldiers withdraw from New York City, the last British military position in the United States. After the last Redcoat departed New York, U.S. General ...read more