Historic Photos of Rainy Days as April Showers Hit the United States

Photos of rain

With plenty of rain falling across the Eastern Seaboard of the United States this week and more forecast, the Library of Congress put out a timely selection of historic photos of precipitation.

“As one might expect given the season, April has arrived in the nation’s capital with substantial rain showers. Inspired by what I see outside and curious to see what kinds of rainy weather images I could find in the collections, I searched the online catalog,” writes Melissa Lindberg, reference specialist in the Prints and Photographs Division at the Library of Congress.

Lindberg had no problem finding historic photos of rain falling in Washington D.C. where the Library of Congress is located. In one fascinating photo, the famous dome of the U.S. Capitol building is reflected in a puddle on the damp streets outside.

Rain hits the U.S. Capitol building in 1919
Rain hits the U.S. Capitol building in 1919. | Paul Grenbeaux

In a historic photograph taken at President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s second inauguration in 1937, a sea of umbrellas can be seen facing the stage as attendees braved the freezing temperatures.

Roosevelt second inauguration
President Roosevelt is sworn in for a second time on January 20, 1937. | Harris & Ewing

But of course, rain isn’t exclusive to D.C., New York City gets its fair share. This week the Big Apple saw a thunderstorm roll in and lightning struck the torch of the Statue of Liberty.

Labor Day parade in New Yor
A very wet Labor Day parade in New York, May 1, 1909.
Wet New York City
The soaked streets of 110th Street from Park Avenue on April 25, 1947. | Al Aumuller
Modern view of 110th street
The same view of 110th Street today. Many of the buildings are now gone. | Google Street View

PetaPixel delved through some of the Library of Congress’ remarkable archives to find some of our own rain photos and found a photo of President Coolidge greeting a crowd in Washington D.C. “against his physician’s orders.”

President Coolidge meets doctors
President Calvin Coolidge greets thousands of doctors at the White House who are attending the annual Convention of the American Medical Association, May 18, 1927. | Harris & Ewing
Rains falls on Army Day parade
Rains falls on Army Day parade in D.C. on April 6, 1939. | Harris & Ewing
Rain falls at the Memorial Day Services
Rain falls at the Memorial Day Services in Arlington Cemetery in Virginia as spectators put up their umbrellas, May, 1943. | Esther Bubleey
 bride crosses St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, Rome, Italy
It even rains in the Mediterranean: a bride crosses St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, Rome, Italy, December 9, 1959. | Thomas J. O’Halloran

Image credits: Library of Congress