The snow started on a Friday and kept falling for three days: 20 inches in all. By Saturday, Nov. 25, facing one of Cleveland's worst-ever winter storms, Gov. Frank Lausche called out 650 National Guardsmen to prevent looting and help the city dig out. A Sherman tank plowed through drifts on the Shoreway to free marooned drivers. Bill Randle of WERE stayed on the radio day and night, reading emergency announcements about missing people and the few stores still open.
By Tuesday, the day this photo was likely taken, downtown was inching back to normal. The big department stores reopened. At Playhouse Square, the show went on. A talent show spun off from TV and radio star Arthur Godfrey's variety programs staged five performances at the Palace Theatre on Wednesday, with a Mickey Rooney movie between each.
Still, Mayor Thomas Burke went on all the town's radio and TV stations to ask Clevelanders to ride buses and streetcars, not drive. "We all still have a tremendous job ahead of us before our city resumes its customary way of life," he said.