You know that Post Office creed, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds"? The same used to be said of school buses -- except for the "gloom of night" part because schools are closed at night. However, the slogan didn't quite work for school buses because there were many accidents on the road caused by snow and ice.
After many school bus accidents due to inclement weather in Washerst, Dickinson finally convinced the Washerst City Public Schools' School Board that they should cancel school on particularly dangerous days -- and with that, the idea of the "snow day" was born!
Dickinson wrote about his idea in his now-classic poem "The longest wait that God appoints" (below on the left). His poem inspired third cousin Emily to pen her poem "The longest day that God appoints" (below on the right).
By Emmett Lee Dickinson:
The longest wait that God appoints
Starts after it has snowed.
Anguish as we hold our breath
To learn if schools are closed.
By Emily Dickinson:
The longest day that God appoints
Will finish with the sun.
Anguish can travel to its stake,
And then it must return.