The Friesen Family 1883: Front: Anna (mother), Issac, Peter, and Jacob (father). Back: Jacob, Anna, Katharina, John. Peter, Katharina and Issac were the three children rescued.
Jacob Friesen and the Blizzard
of 1888: Children Connection
This project was created by fourth-graders at
Heartland Community School as part of an innovative curriculum of
place-based learning. The children conducted in-depth historical
research into their local history and, in the process, discovered a
local hero. Jacob Friesen was a German Mennonite immigrant who
braved the blizzard of 1888 to rescue his three children who were
lost in the storm. The children wrote and produced an original play
based on this story. A videotape of the performance is included as
part of the project. The project is supported by the rural network
for Nebraska schools, "Schools at the Center," which fosters
The project is documented with a report "Jacob
Friesen and the Blizzard of 1888: Children Connecting to their
Community's Stories"; a video of the Blizzard play and a video
entitled "Making Waves," a School at the Center production; two
reports "Living and Learning in Rural Schools and Communities" and
"Curriculum Invention in Rural Places" and six other miscellaneous
reports of the Teachers College, University of Nebraska - Lincoln;
the typescript of the Blizzard local history play; 12 color photos
of Heartland Community School's fourth grade class; 10 historic
photos; copies of miscellaneous family papers and the Friesen
family tree, maps of the area and newspaper clippings.
Originally submitted by: J. Robert Kerrey, Senator.
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.