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Kind Miss Beadle dismisses her students early on Christmas Eve as soft snow flurries begin to fly, unaware that the children will soon be caught walking home in a deadly, howling blizzard.


William F. Claxton


Blanche Hanalis (developed for television by), Laura Ingalls Wilder (based upon the series of books "Little House" by) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Landon ... Charles Ingalls
Karen Grassle ... Caroline Ingalls
Melissa Gilbert ... Laura Ingalls
Melissa Sue Anderson ... Mary Ingalls
Rachel Lindsay Greenbush ... Carrie Ingalls (as Lindsay Sidney Greenbush)
Sidney Greenbush ... Carrie Ingalls (as Lindsay Sidney Greenbush)
Richard Bull ... Nels Oleson
Kevin Hagen ... Dr. Hiram Baker
Katherine MacGregor ... Harriet Oleson
Charlotte Stewart ... Eva Beadle
Karl Swenson ... Lars Hanson
Victor French ... Isaiah Edwards
John Carter ... Ted McGinnis
Luana Anders ... Lottie McGinnis
Bonnie Bartlett ... Grace Snider Edwards


Kind Miss Beadle dismisses her students early on Christmas Eve as soft snow flurries begin to fly, unaware that the children will soon be caught walking home in a deadly, howling blizzard.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

3 January 1977 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The plot of this episode, a sudden and unexpected snowstorm turning into a blizzard, trapping schoolchildren outside and people getting lost because of no visibility, parallels the real life events of the blizzard of January 12, 1888 in the great plains states area of Nebraska and the Dakotas. This blizzard, known as the Schoolhouse Blizzard, came up suddenly on a warm day, children left school without coats, and got lost during the furious blizzard. The death toll from this blizzard was estimated to be 235 dead and hundreds of others suffering frostbite and other injuries and sickness. See more »


Despite it being late December in Minnesota, Charles and Isaiah - as do several other characters - spend the first portion of the episode wearing only shirts, without any winter or cold weather gear whatsoever. See more »


Grace Snider Edwards: They've been gone a long time. It's gonna be pitch black before long.
Caroline Ingalls: They could be on their way back here by now.
Grace Snider Edwards: I had the strangest feeling when Henry came in. I watched Lottie hold him and I was angry. I was angry because it wasn't me holding my children. I know it was wrong of me to think that, but I couldn't help it.
See more »

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User Reviews

Bitter Sweet
24 May 2013 | by mitchrmpSee all my reviews

We've all heard how quickly blizzards can pop up in the west back in the 1879's. Laura Ingalls Wilder even wrote about it in her novels. But watching this one still makes you cringe and glad that modern technology helps in situations like these.

Miss Beadle thought she was being nice when she let the children go home from school early. Snow was falling, but it didn't seem anything dangerous. But like so many other things in nature, things can change in a second. And they did.

Most of the children were still on their way home when the full-blown blizzard struck. Parents fretted. Mothers waited for fathers to bring back their children safely. People teamed up together, because it's not safe to be out there alone.

I don't know how many times I've watched this episode, but for the first time I noticed just what Jim Bowers did when he found his son. He ignored Mr. McGinnis and pushed him aside, desperate to get his son back. I'm sure many a parent would have done the same thing, but I'm sure in the aftermath, Mr. Bowers thought about this and may have even blamed himself for the death of this man.

The episode is suspenseful enough, and keeps you interested wondering what the outcome was going to be. And of course, you gotta love Mr. Edwards!

You can even ALMOST like Mrs. Olsen in this one as well. In the time of tragedy, she's actually nice...

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