Your goose is cooked son
May 21, 2012 3:00 PM   Subscribe

PlotFilter: I'm researching heat waves in the 1970s (with the sweet spot being between 1972-1976) that would have led to fatalities in the Washington, DC area.

I know there was a major heat wave in 1972 in NYC but for the life of me, I can't find anything to tell me if that heat wave also led to deaths in DC. (I suspect part of the research problem is the noise created from governmental reports being PUBLISHED in DC). So I throw it out to ya'll. Where I can find hard numbers/old news reports/etc. that verify deaths from heat waves during this time period in DC? Something that would stand out in the memory of a seven-year-old boy living in DC at the time.
posted by ilikecookies to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried checking with the Washington Post? Surely they'd have news stories about the heat wave, as well as reports of any deaths it caused.
posted by easily confused at 3:13 PM on May 21, 2012

easily confused: It's a good suggestion, but I have. Their online (free) archive only goes back to 1995 (sad trombone noise).
posted by ilikecookies at 3:17 PM on May 21, 2012

I lived there then, and don't recall major heat waves in the early 70s, only the usual summertime hazy, hot & humid.

Suggest you do some research in the microfilm section of your biggest local public library.
posted by Rash at 3:25 PM on May 21, 2012

If you also want hard numbers for the temperatures, Wunderground has an easily usable almanac for many cities including Washington, DC. DC associated link is to information on July of 1972.

This will narrow down your time frame if nothing else.
posted by sciencegeek at 4:10 PM on May 21, 2012

My library lets me search the Washington Post archives online and a quick search for the 70s decade brought up this article:

5 Deaths Blamed On Heat: Smog Alert Is Canceled After 7 Days
By Claudia Levy Washington Post Staff Writer
25 July 1972
Page C1
At least five Washingtonians died over the weekend as a direct result of the week-long, oppressive heat, the D.C. medical examiner's office reported yesterday. That heat is expected to continue today, but the smog alert in effect here for the past seven days has been canceled.

The article title and first paragraph also appeared on the front page of the paper. I can send you the article PDF if that would help.
posted by hoppytoad at 7:29 PM on May 21, 2012

Hoppytoad!!! Thank you so much. I would love a PDF of the article, but truly just having this confirmation is all I need.
posted by ilikecookies at 8:28 PM on May 21, 2012

Glad to help! Here's a download link to the article.
posted by hoppytoad at 5:34 AM on May 22, 2012

Thanks, hoppytoad! I think I must've been in Ocean City that week.
posted by Rash at 9:04 AM on May 25, 2012

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