So you thought it was cold last week? Well, it wasn’t the first time the United States has experienced a Polar Vortex and it probably won’t be the last.
At least it didn't last as long or cover as much territory as the one in February of 1899.
Back then, The United States experienced what was later labeled The Great Arctic Outbreak of February 1899, and believe me, that one was a doozy!
It started on the west coast during the first week in February when temperatures in Los Angeles dropped to 33 degrees Fahrenheit, and by Feb.  4, the temperature in Portland, Ore., was 9 F.
By the 6th, the entire country as far as North Carolina was covered with zero degree temperatures.
On the 10th 0f the month, the temperature in Fort Logan, Mont., had reached 61 degrees below zero and that was the actual temperature, not the wind chill!
The entire eastern third of the United States was covered with snow and ice as a roaring blizzard with hurricane force winds followed the extreme cold.  
In Washington D.C., already tucked under a heavy blanket of snow, another 21 inches fell, turning the White House into what one newspaper called a “snow palace.”  
In Brooklyn, N.Y., the bitter temperatures and 36 hours of snow left so many of the mail carriers with frost bite that the postal system had to cancel some of its mail delivery.
Even Miami, Fla., fell to an all time low of minus 2, with orange growers trying desperately to save the orange trees by burning smudge pots and wrapping the tree trunks, but to no avail.
No amount of snow or cold temperatures was going to cancel Mardi Gras, however.
The day after, the temperature in New Orleans hit an all-time low of  7 F, the parade went on as scheduled and the carnival was as raucous as ever.
All barge traffic was stalled on the Mississippi as ice jams formed on  the river and ice formed at its mouth.
In Nebraska,crops and livestock were destroyed and many buildings damaged.
Some of the temperatures around the state were as follows: Lincoln and Omaha, minus 26, Alliance, minus 40, North Platte, minus 35, and Bridgeport, minus 47.
Valentines Day, Feb. 14, saw the last of the bitter cold.
Within a few days, Washington, D.C. hit 61 degrees Fahrenheit, a 71 degree rise in temperature.
The great Arctic Outbreak caused millions of dollars of damage to crops and cooled the economy.
The human toll also was recorded by the Weather Bureau as 105 persons who died between Jan. 29 and Feb. 13.
February 1899 is recorded as the second coldest ever recorded, with February 1936 as the coldest.
The range in temperatures and territory covered, however, has never been matched.