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Something about snowstorms brings out the kid in most of us. Memories of those blessed, almost always unexpected reprieves from the drudgery of school — “Snow day!” — undoubtedly plays a part in the collective excitement, and whether it’s in a vast metropolis or a remote, small town, the prospect of a blizzard elicits something nearly primal in those in the storm’s path.
There’s concern, for sure — about our families, our neighbors, our power and heat, our ability to get out and about once the snow stops falling. But for a good number of us, there’s something more: something like pure, primal excitement.
In December 1947, a huge, historic storm dumped record levels of snow on the northeastern United States. In New York City, where the snow fell quietly, and steadily, for hours and hours, several LIFE photographers stepped out of the magazine’s offices, cameras in hand, and recorded the scene. Here, we remember the Great Blizzard of 1947 with some photos that ran in LIFE, and many others that were never published in the magazine.
As LIFE put it to its readers in its Jan. 5, 1948, issue:
Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.