Profile America — Monday, March 26th. With spring here, a device that's been around since time immemorial is being honored — it's National Umbrella Month. No one knows who invented the umbrella or exactly when, but it's estimated that it was being used as much as 4,000 years ago. It's thought the original purpose of the umbrella was to provide a shield from the sun — noting the name comes from the Latin word for shade — "umbra." However, in many U.S. cities, trusty umbrellas will be popped open to keep people from being drenched. Mobile, Alabama has the highest annual rainfall at more than 66 inches. New Orleans is next at 64 inches, and Miami registers over 58 inches a year. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at www.census.gov.
Sources: Chase's Calendar of Events 2012, p. 151 Statistical Abstract of the United States 2010, t. 392
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