How HOT Was It?

Remembering record-breaking heat in “the good old days” before electricity came to the farm.

| August 2020

 Photo by Adobe Stock/Martin Bergsma

The summer of 1936 was considered one of the warmest on record. The extremely hot July was the hottest on record. The archives of the National Weather Service show that during the period of July 4, 1936 to July 17, 1936, daytime temperatures in Burlington, Iowa, averaged over 106 degrees, with temperatures of 111 degrees on July 14-15.  My mother, Marcella Vittetoe, kept a daily diary of her life here in Washington, Iowa. Excerpts from that stretch of days:

June 29: Got very hot and windy, burning everything up.

July 2: Went to celebration, not quite so hot today.

July 4: Went to town for parade. Large crowd. Hot as usual.

July 5: Very warm again. Went to church, then home for the day.


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