Five Things to Know Today, Jan. 12

Guaranteed to tell you something you didn't know yesterday.

Welcome to Thursday. Here are some things to know today.

The weather: Maybe a little wind, maybe some rain (30 percent chance), mostly some clouds. The high will be about 58, the National Weather Service says. But then: a low of around 28 degrees tonight. Put on your binoculars and maybe you can see some snow to the north; there's a good chance the Georgia mountains will get a little bit.

Gas prices: Less than $3.30 a gallon at some places in Lilburn, according to www.georgiagasprices.com. Here's the spread: $3.29 (for example at Kroger, 3050 Five Forks Trickum Road near Oak Road) to $3.39 (for example at Texaco 4785 Lawrenceville Hwy at Indian Trail Lilburn Road). Click here to see the latest list of reported prices for Lilburn.

You call this snow? With a dusting of snow forecast in north Georgia today, it’s worth remembering this is the anniversary of one of the deadliest winter storms in U.S. history. In 1888, a spell of unseasonably warm and sunny weather brought people out, without their winter coats and gear, across the Northern Plains from the Dakotas to Nebraska and Minnesota. In the afternoon, as farmers worked the fields and children were in school or walking back across the countryside, a fast, viscously cold front flew down from Canada, generating piles of snow and high winds that cut visibility to zero. Temperatures dropped as low as minus 40 degrees. The combination caught many people unprepared in an era before a national weather service or radio. In all, 235 people died in the one-day storm, many just a short distance from shelter but blinded and frozen by what came to be know as The Schoolchildren’s Blizzard, for the many young victims. The 2004 book “The Schoolchildren’s Blizzard” by David Laskin is a great history read, by the way.  

Dr. King. With Atlanta’s major role in the Civil Rights movement and in the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., you know there are lots of things going on for MLK Day on Monday. Nearby, the highlight looks to be the 11th annual Gwinnett County Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in Lawrenceville at the historic courthouse. There are also events in Buford and Decatur, and of course freedom will be ringing from the village of Stone Mountain, with a parade and a rally.

For one-day delivery, click here. It’s the birthday of Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who was born in 1964 in New Mexico and grew up there and in Florida. He founded Amazon in 1994 and more recently has been trying to leave the planet, founding a space company called Blue Origin that has been working since 2000 on how to fly people off Earth. You could order him something for his birthday, but even with express delivery, he already has everything.


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