Telegraph and telephone lines went down, cutting off communications and complicating the task of reporting the big story. (Originally posted in August 2005.) Forecast Gives No Hint of Letup; 7 Die as Zero Wave Rides Blizzard Motor Traffic Paralyzed; Scores of Towns Isolated Gale Hits Hard at Telegraph and Telephone Services — Auto Mishaps Trap 100 Near New Brighton – Blocked Streets Send Hundreds to Hotels The weather bureau offered little comfort with a forecast for today of partly cloudy in the south and west parts of Minnesota, with occasional light snow in the northeast portion; Wednesday; fair and continued cold. Blanketing out visibility by the storm caused a train wreck on the Soo line at Watkins, Minn., in Meeker county, west of Minneapolis. Fireman Strom on the freight train was killed and Engineer Floyd Terpening, 2408 Central Av. Under the direction of Fred Bjorck, general superintendent of the Twin City Lines, an all-night fight was made to open up street car traffic.
In the end, 49 people died in the Armistice Day blizzard in Minnesota, many of them duck hunters trapped in remote bottom land along the Mississippi when the blizzard hit. The storm, which passed through stages of rain and sleet to a blinding gale of snow, hit telegraph and telephone services hard. Not only did motorists pack ice into the streetcar tracks, but in some instances, motorists who got stalled on tracks locked their cars and abandoned them.
In 1920, George Green and other Anoka civic leaders suggested the idea of a giant celebration.
The idea was adopted by the Anoka Commercial Club and the Anoka Kiwanis Club; both giving their full support.
Anoka’s Halloween celebration continues to be world class.
When Anokans awoke to find their cows roaming Main Street, their windows soaped and their outhouses tipped over, they decided something had to be done.Anoka has always worked to keep a family spirit alive in its Halloween festivities.Activities have included pillow fights, a kangaroo court, fireworks displays, royalty coronations, concerts, dances, window painting contests, house decorating contests, celebrity appearances, costume contests, style shows, story-telling, races and, in the 1960s, a snake dance that took long lines of participants in and out of area businesses and homes.It was estimated that 20,000 spectators lined the streets to watch this night-time spectacle.In 1937, 12-year-old, Harold Blair, donning a sweater embellished with a Halloween Capital insignia, carried with him to Washington, D. a proclamation naming Anoka the Halloween Capital of the World.