The post-Christmas snowfall of 1947 encroached with no inkling of a warning. Starting at 3:20 am on December 26th, the snow came in a steady, wind-less stream. The storm only lasted until the end of that same day, however, the storm brought a whopping total of 26.4 inches.

This 1947 snowstorm broke the record previously set by an 1888 snowstorm, also known as the Great White Hurricane, brought 20.9 inches to NYC over 18 hours. The 1888 snowstorm was considered apocalyptic because the telegraph wires emanating from New York were cut off by the snow. As the New York Times described, it was “as if Manhattan island was in the middle of the South Seas.”

Despite the fact that it virtually shut down the city, spirits seemed much lighter for the 1947 counter-part. Because really, if we could beat Hitler, we could survive some snow. The New York Times reported skiers and horse-back riding in Central Park. The day after the storm, The Times also claimed how the streets became “one huge playground…as holidaying children took over with almost no interference from autos and trucks.” LIFE Magazine also took stunning photos of the storm.

For more, check out Untapped Cities coverage of the 1888 snowstorm. Also, check out marvelous snow art in Savoy, France.