Still recovering from the flood that was the worst disaster experienced in the United States up to that time, the new year, 1938, started with what many feared was a prelude to another debacle. At Paducah, the Ohio River froze solid. The riverfront quickly took on the look of a playground for Hans Brinker of legend. Citizens cautiously tested the ice. Seeing how deep the freeze penetrated, others followed. Finally, cars, bicycles, skates, and sober citizens made frolic. The public schools had been dismissed, and migrated toward the foot of Broadway. All barge traffic stopped at this bustling port, until the might Ohio thawed.