Remembering Chicago’s 1979 Blizzard

It’s going to be a freezing cold weekend in Chicago, with temperatures dropping into the negatives. If you’re avoiding the outdoors at all costs, curl up with some of these videos from the archive about the 1979 blizzard. 

In January of 1979, a massive blizzard hit Chicago. While only 2 to 4 inches of snow were expected, the city was actually hit with approximately 21 inches. The snow remained on the ground until the beginning of March, which became a political issue during the 1979 mayoral race. 
“Helen Lishman for Mayor” by Warren Leming and Nate Herman
This short video is a spoof of the Chicago mayoral campaign that occurred after the blizzard of 1979. The short was inspired by mayor Michael Bilandic’s inadequate response to snow removal, which led to massive public transit delays. These issues with Bilandic led to Jane Byrne defeating him in the Democratic primary. Byrne eventually became the first female mayor of Chicago. 
“Chicago Snow Ball Warns Us All 1979”
Skippy the snowball was used to warn the public about towing and parking violations that go into effect during cold, winter nights. Scott Jacobs produced this animated PSA. 
“Chairs” by Nick Despota, John Mabey, and Bob Snyder
This short film was inspired by people saving their shoveled-out parking spaces with chairs in the aftermath of the 1979 Chicago Blizzard.

 

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