Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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January 19th
U.S. Weather Extremes
Is it cold outside? Today begins the fifth week of winter. In Anchorage, Alaska, the average high for January 19 is 22° F. The average low is 9° F. In Honolulu, Hawaii, the average high for today is 77° F, and the average low is 62° F. It’s a big country, with lots of weather. Here are a few U.S. weather records.

Lowest recorded temperature:
-80° F, Prospect Creek, Alaska, Jan. 23, 1971

Coldest spot (lowest average yearly temperature):
Barrow, Alaska, 9.3° F

Highest recorded temperature:
134° F, Death Valley, California, July 10, 1913

Warmest spot (highest average yearly temperature):
Key West, Florida, 78.2° F

Driest spot (lowest average yearly rainfall):
Death Valley, California, 1.63 in.

Wettest spot (greatest average yearly rainfall):
Mt. Waialeale, Kauai, Hawaii, 460 in.

Most rainfall in 24 hrs:
43 in., Alvin, Texas, July 25–26, 1979

Most snow in 24 hrs:
76 in., Silver Lake, Colorado, April 14–15, 1921*

Maximum snow depth:
451 inches, Tamarack, California, March 11, 1911

Strongest recorded wind:
231 mph, Mount Washington, New Hampshire, April 12, 1934

Largest hailstone:
7 inches in diameter, 18.75 inches in circumference, Aurora, Nebraska, June 22, 2003

Most tornadoes:
Tornado Alley, the wide belt stretching through the central U.S., especially Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa.

* A reported 77 inches of snow fell in 24 hours on January 11-12, 1997, in Montague, New York. Due to the way measurements were taken, however, the National Weather Service ruled that it was not a new national record.

American History Parade
1807
Confederate general Robert E. Lee is born at Stratford Hall, Virginia.

1861
Georgia secedes from the Union.

1953
Seventy percent of U.S. homes with a TV tune in to watch an episode of I Love Lucy, in which Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) gives birth to a son.

1955
Dwight D. Eisenhower gives the first presidential news conference filmed for TV.

1977
Snow falls in Miami for the first and only time.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
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