1967 (Day 2) : Worst Snowfall in Lansing’s History?

January 27, 2018 all-day

By noon on January 27, 1967, 24 inches of snow had accumulated on the ground in Lansing, and the U.S. Weather Bureau was predicting from two to four more inches before night. Lansing Mayor Murninghan declared a state of emergency. He urged all residents to stay in their homes or work in their neighborhoods to shovel out fire hydrants and move stalled cars from the streets. He asked all businessmen to close their businesses today, except those whose services were considered vital.

Various roofs around town collapsed due to the weight of the snow.

State Police, National Guardsmen and Delta Township firemen rescued 27 passengers stranded on a Greyhound bus at the Saginaw Highway and I-96 interchange since 11 p.m. Thursday. Passengers were carried to the fire station by snowmobile one at a time.

MSU Students brave the elements during the snow storm of 1967. (Photo: Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections)

All classes and university operations were cancelled on campus.  This was the first time that the university was completed closed due to snow.

Fortunately, restaurants on Grand River provided food for students.

Approximately 75-100 students braved the snow, carrying suitcases and crates, or pushing sleds and toboggans, to ferry alcohol from Tom’s Party Store back to fraternities and dorms.

Addendum : Top Six MSU Closures Due to Snow, Cold, or a Combination

Number 1.  The first time the campus  was closed was on January 27, 1967, when 26 inches of snow fell on campus.

Number 2.  A freak snowstorm on April 3, 1975 dumped 15 inches of wet snow, making roads and sidewalks impassable. Many people weren’t prepared for that kind of weather so late in the spring. It later led to one of the biggest floods in mid-Michigan history about 2 weeks later.

Number 3. The blizzard of ’78 also forced the university to suspend classes, after 24 inches of snow closed MSU for 2 days on January 26 & 27.

Number 4.  Cold weather was the reason why MSU suspended classes on January 19, 1994. Temperatures were 18 degrees below zero, with a wind chill of 51 degrees below zero, the second coldest temperature recorded this century. While classes were suspended, the university stayed open.

Number 5.  On February 2, 2011, classes were suspended for blizzard conditions that brought nearly a foot of snow, high winds and frigid temperatures. University critical functions were maintained, while electronic services and business operations were done remotely. The National Weather Service called this a “top 10 storm” for Michigan.

Number 6.  January 6-7, 2014.  After nearly two days of suspended operations, classes at MSU are expected to resume at 5pm Tuesday, marking the sixth time in university history it had to close to due to weather.


Recent MSU Closure Marks 6th Time in University History“, WILX News, Channel 10, January 7, 2014.

Eve Adoulos and Hillary Gatlin, “A History of Snow Days at MSU”, Tales from the Archives: Volume One, Campus and Traditions, 1917.

Lansing State Journal, January 27, 1967.

Vicki Dozier, “The snow storm that ‘paralyzed the city‘”, Lansing State Journal, January 8, 2018.