Seeding the clouds with gunfire??
By November of 1870, the scars of one of the most damaging summer droughts of the last hundred years in both the United States and parts of Europe, were finally starting to heal.
France seems to have exceeded even the U.S. in impact from this world-wide drought. Headlines gave equal attention to both countries. (See my previous blog posting for more...)
From June 20th, 1870: the Baltimore Gazette reports the state of the drought in France:
|"No rain for three months!" Luasanna, France|
Much as the way we respond today after a troubling event of such epic proportions and suffering, attention now turned to finding a human-induced solution to any future drought that might visit itself upon a now very stressed-out population.
HEADLINES: Can Rain be Produced Artificially??
"The Effects of Artillery Fire Upon the Weather.
|Vicksburg, April 16th 1863|
This article published by the Columbian Register, New Haven, CT on Saturday 26, 1870, is lengthy and full of wonderful examples supporting the theory that artillery fire brings about rain. One of my own ancestors, Alexander Henderson, who survived the battle drowned during the intense rains and swelling river that followed.
Another excerpt, in regards to France:
"In the month of June, the great drought prevailing in France led a number of scientific men to suggest to the Minister of War, Leboeut, that cannonading should be instituted in order to bring about rain."
Speculation? Truth in science? Humankind striving to make order of an unruly, unpredictable universe? I am sure we've made a few advances on this theory.
But still...I find it endearing.
Click here to download full PDF version of the article:
(Source Information: www.GenealogyBank.com; historical newspaper archives.
For Civil War Image: Currier & Ives lithograph, 1863; Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Beverley R. Robinson Collection. Accessed at their website:http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/images/h76000/h76557kl.htm)