Blizzards and President Franklin Roosevelt’s 56th birthday cake: Kids Corner for the week of 1/25/21 | VailDaily.com
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Blizzards and President Franklin Roosevelt’s 56th birthday cake: Kids Corner for the week of 1/25/21

Editor’s note: The Vail Daily’s weekly kids section is chock full of activities and fun to keep the young and the young at heart entertained during the pandemic. If you have an idea for the section or would like to get involved, email Entertainment Editor Casey Russell at crussell@vaildaily.com.

Outside Scoop

Special to the Daily

It’s right about mid-January when winter has its grip on the Vail Valley. And this year, many are probably thinking, we need more snow. It’s cold, but where are the massive piles of powder? Be patient, as the snowiest periods are yet to come.



What is a blizzard? A blizzard is a storm with “considerable falling or blowing snow” in addition to winds that exceed of 35 miles per hour and visibility (the amount of landscape in front of you) of less than 1/4 mile for at least three hours. This is very typical in the valley.

It doesn’t take a blizzard to get a nice snowfall; rather, snow can fall slow and continuously, amounting to feet. Over the last ten years, there have been an average of 7.5 days of snow in January with an average of 22.9 inches of snow. February and March are almost even with nearly ten snow days each; however, March has recorded nearly 4.7 more inches of snow than February.



What is the most snow measured in 24 hours? 75.8 inches, here in Colorado.

Silver Lake, Colorado, April 14-15, 1921, recorded 6.3 feet of snow in a single day at an elevation of 10,220 feet.

What are different snow conditions?

  • Snow Flurries
  • Snow Showers
  • Snow Squalls

Outside Scoop is submitted by freelance journalist Julie Bielenberg. Contact her at jbielenberg@mac.com.

Word of the Week

Special to the Daily

Learn new words in English and Spanish each week.

Happy birthday! / ¡Feliz cumpleaños!

Riddle me this

Test your wits and smarts with these riddles. Answers are at the bottom of this article.

Riddle: You are stuck in a cabin after a snowstorm. You have a candle, a fireplace with wood, a gas stove, but only one match. What do you light first?

Riddle: In a one-story igloo in Canada, the bedrooms were yellow, the kitchen was blue, the living room was orange and the entry hall was red and the sitting room was purple. What color were the stairs?

Riddle: A blue man lives in a blue house. A green man lives in a green house. But I live in the white house. Who am I?

Riddle: What was the President of the United States’ name in 1980?

Time Travel

Learn about Eagle County history each week.

The cake that Minturn resident Ruth Jackson made for President Franklin Roosevelt’s 56th birthday. The cake was shipped by train to Washington, D.C.
Courtesy ECHS/EVLD

When United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned 56 years old on Jan. 30, 1938, Eagle County was involved in the celebration.

Specifically, a Minturn woman named Ruth Jackson spent a month making and decorating a magnificent cake as a token of her respect for the president.

Jackson, a divorcee with a young son, worked as a private housekeeper and lived in a boardinghouse just east of Minturn. The white fruit cake that she prepared for Roosevelt was a community effort. The cake batter included 10 dozen eggs and 15 pounds of dried fruit and nuts. The round layers of cake weighed over 40 pounds, and when stacked, iced and decorated stood about five feet tall.

The cake was assembled in a room at Minturn’s Eagle River Hotel, isolated from the general public. Every utensil used to bake the cake was sterilized before use. Only Mrs. Jackson touched the cake.

The cake top featured a perfect sugar replica of the federal capitol building, flanked by Uncle Sam figures drawn with icing. The cake sides were decorated with frosting flowers representing each of the 48-states, true to color and form. Jackson had written to every governor in the continental U.S. requesting a color photo of their state flower — and all 48 states responded.

A photographer from Eagle was summoned to snap photos that would be used for souvenir postcards.

The completed cake was packed into a special wooden crate, loaded onto an eastbound Denver & Rio Grande train, and shipped express to Washington, D.C., accompanied by a guard who stayed with the cake until it was delivered to FDR.

Whether the president actually ate the cake is unknown. But a week after his birthday, Roosevelt sent a gracious note to Jackson, thanking her for “the especially fine birthday cake” and expressing his appreciation for her effort and friendly thoughts.

Time Travel is researched and written by Kathy Heicher, president of the Eagle County Historical Society. Learn more about ECHS at eaglecountyhistoricalsociety.com.

Coloring page

This week’s coloring page is submitted by local illustrator Jasmine Valdez. Follow her on Instagram at @artgirl_studios. Jasmine Valdez
Special to the Daily

Riddle me this: Answers

Riddle: You are stuck in a cabin after a snowstorm. You have a candle, a fireplace with wood, a gas stove, but only one match. What do you light first? The match.

Riddle: In a one-story igloo in Canada, the bedrooms were yellow, the kitchen was blue, the living room was orange and the entry hall was red and the sitting room was purple. What color were the stairs? There are no stairs: it’s a one-story igloo.

Riddle: A blue man lives in a blue house. A green man lives in a green house. But I live in the white house. Who am I? The President.

Riddle: What was the President of the United States’ name in 1980? Joe Biden, he was still Joe Biden in 1980.


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