April 18, 1915: Hottest April day, except for one, in 40 years causes historic event

On this day in Duluth in 1915, the Duluth News Tribune reported that “for the first time in the history of Duluth, a man was prostrated by the heat in April.” The victim of the heat was carpenter Nick Czakomal, who was overcome in front of an unnamed theatre on Superior Street. Czakomal’s misfortune was all part of a sensational story about the remarkably warm day. It reached 81 degrees at 2:30 in the afternoon. By then thousands of Duluthians had “shed light coats and strolled about town in July garb.” They first flocked to the parks and then, seeking to cool off, the theaters and soda fountains of downtown. The paper reported that only once in the past 40 years—April 14, 1908—had it ever gone to 82 degrees. On that day Duluth was the hottest spot in the entire country outside of Jacksonville, Florida, which tied Duluth at the 82-degree mark. Reporters told of the unmistakable signs of summer in 1908: “Yesterday the girls appeared upon our streets wearing their pretty white dresses. Tan oxfords were seen by the score. Some of the men ventured forth with straw hats. ’Twas just like ‘the good old summer time.’” Duluth has hit the 80-degree mark in April many times since, but only surpassed 1908’s 82-degree mark a handful of times. The warmest April day in Duluth ever? That would be April 27, 1952, when the mercury reached 88 degrees. It was a hot week: on the 28th it reached 87 degrees and temps rose to 85 on the 30th. Here’s a list of days Duluth topped 80 degrees in April: April 18, 1915, and April 25, 1990: 81 degrees; April 14, 1908, April 17, 1987, and April 24, 1990: 82 degrees; April 29, 1965: 83 degrees; April 10, 1977: 84 degrees; April 30, 1952: 85 degrees; April 31, 1959: 86 degrees; April 28, 1952: 87 degrees; April 27, 1952: 88 degrees.