Has Or­lando had a white Christ­mas?

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE -

Whit­ley: Florida is not a com­plete stranger to snow, ice and cold.

Since it has sold more than 50 mil­lion copies, it’s safe to say Bing Crosby’s “White Christ­mas” is the most pop­u­lar sin­gle of all time.

It’s also safe to say it wasn’t play­ing over the Ga­tor Bowl’s pub­lic ad­dress sys­tem on Christ­mas 1989. If it was, Crosby’s but­tery voice was drowned out by the sound of 503 toi­lets be­ing sys­tem­at­i­cally flushed.

A 23-mem­ber crew spent three days flush­ing away in or­der to keep pipes from freez­ing and burst­ing be­fore an up­com­ing bowl game. Which brings us this week’s Ask Or­lando ques­tion.

COM­MEN­TARY

“Has Or­lando ever had a White Christ­mas?”

That might strike you as a silly ques­tion. This is Florida. Our state seal fea­tures a Semi­nole In­dian woman scat­ter­ing flow­ers into a river, not an Eskimo fish­er­man cut­ting a hole in the ice.

That said, Florida is not a to­tal stranger to the white stuff.

You can find a photo of men hav­ing a snow­ball fight on the steps of the state capi­tol in 1899. They were prob­a­bly leg­is­la­tors de­bat­ing a bill.

AN­DREW J. HICK­MAN/OR­LANDO SEN­TINEL FILE

Kim In­gram plays with the snow on the wind­shield of a car in Al­ta­monte Springs on Jan. 19, 1977. That’s the last time it snowed in Or­lando, which has never had a white Christ­mas.

AMER­I­CAN MOVIE CLAS­SICS/COUR­TESY

Bing Crosby sang “White Christ­mas” — the big­gest-sell­ing sin­gle of all time — in “Hol­i­day Inn.”

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