One of Boston's worst snowstorms was also a bit of a surprise. The Blizzard of 1978 dumped 27.1 over the course of two days in February, which at the time was the most snowfall in the city's recorded history.
The first day of the storm – February 6 – was also the date of the Beanpot Hockey Tournament. That afternoon, 11,666 spectators gathered at Boston Garden to cheer on Harvard, Northeastern, BU, and BC for the annual event. Although the forecasters predicted some snowfall, nobody expected a blizzard.
During the BU/BC game, as the snow continued to pile up, an announcement was made to the Garden:
"Boston is under a state of emergency and anyone taking mass transit should make plans to leave early."
Most of the crowd left, but the game went on. Several fans decided to stay and ended up stranded. About 100 of them were forced to spend the night in the Garden, eating hot dogs, concessions, and drinking beer. Some slept in the skyboxes while others stayed in the locker room.
There ended up being so much snow, that a few spectators didn't make it home until 3 days later.
(The record for the worst blizzard was broken in 2003: we got 27.5 inches over the course of two days.)
Until 1888, the idea of an underground transit system was considered ludicrous. After the "Great White Hurricane" that year, however, the subway started sounding like a necessity.