Historic heat wave

"It's always the univited guests...," editorial cartoon by Ding Darling, Aug. 27, 1936 | Editorial Cartoons of J.N. "Ding" Darling

“It’s always the uninvited guests…,” editorial cartoon by Ding Darling, Aug. 27, 1936 | Editorial Cartoons of J.N. “Ding” Darling

Recent temperatures in the 100s here in Iowa have us cowering in our climate-controlled offices, but a browse through past heat waves documented in the Iowa Digital Library helps to put things in perspective. Worst of these was the summer of 1936, the hottest on record, marking the end of the Dust Bowl years. A July 16th Daily Iowan story  put heat-related fatalities in those pre-air-conditioning days at 3,500; according to government figures, the death toll rose to 5,000 by the end of the summer.

Despite the heat, some Iowa Citians still found the strength to indulge their intellectual curiosity, as shown in this D.I. investigation of whether it really is hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk. (Answer: Not really.)

"Will it or won't it?" The Daily Iowan, July 10, 1936 | The Daily Iowan Historic Newspapers

“Will it or won’t it?” The Daily Iowan, July 10, 1936 | The Daily Iowan Historic Newspapers