Today might be freezing, but it’s not record-breaking. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Franklin was -22 degrees Fahrenheit on January 22, 1985. This arctic outbreak affected every state east of the Rockies. President Reagan’s inauguration parade was cancelled in Washington. D.C., and Florida’s citrus industry suffered $1.2 billion in losses. A wind chill of -77 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded in Chicago. At least 165 weather-related fatalities occurred.

Being unaccustomed to such low temperatures, the Southern states bore the brunt of the century’s coldest storm, which included heavy snowfall. The Tennessean reported power and telephone outages, dead car batteries, frozen and burst water pipes, car fires, auto accidents, and freezing deaths of pets. Plumbers were swamped with calls, and Nashvillians set an all-time peak demand for electricity. Metro police and fire officials responded to about 1,800 calls for service, including more than 200 car accidents within a two-day period.

Photo 1: Tommy Frist, Todd Cato, and Brad Fuson share a sled ride down Chickering Road in Nashville. From The Tennessean

Photo 2: Harry McCullom rides a four-wheeler on Thompson’s Station Road. From The Tennessean

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