Dubuque’s Frog Rain Explained by “The History Guy”
We could use rain -- but I think we're good on frogs.
Dubuque's history has always been an area of interest for me. Knowing that we both enjoyed local legends & stories, well known radio newscaster Gordon Kilgore once gave me a file full of notes on various quirky bits of Dubuque history. That was about 25 years ago, but I still remember laughing with "Gordie" about the freak weather phenomenon in 1882 which broght a hail of frogs to Dubuque.
As I've found occasion to share the story over the years, it is generally met with skepticism - it is pretty hard to believe, after all -- but it's quite well documented. Although I've never seen any photos from the event, there are lots of newspaper reports and quotes from Dubuque citizens who witnessed it on June 16, 1882.
Recently someone forwarded this Youtube video to me. It's a very detailed piece from "The History Guy" with lots of good background on the weather phenomonon itself, and a healthy amount of scene setting which frames the story nicely. It was posted on the anniversary of the event last month and appears on schooltube.com.
If you'd like to skip the weather lesson and go staright to the Dubuque story, it begins at about the 6:26 mark: https://youtu.be/AFv_gS1rAqc?t=386
You may also recall the Dubuque frog-hail story as an answer on Jeopardy last April. Take a look here to see how Alex Trebek presented it: 103wjod.com/at-least-it-isnt-raining-frogs/.
Here's an entry on strange rains from the U.S. Library of Congress which includes details about the the amphibian rain in Dubuque: loc.gov/rain-frogs.
So while we hope for some good healthy rain to ease the dry conditions in the area, let's remember rain is only one form of precipitation. If you see anything unusual falling from the sky, please let me know.