Children of the WPA

Recreation: Summer Showers

For a number of years beginning in the mid-1930s, the Recreation Project of the WPA also sponsored the "Summer Showers" program in conjunction with the New Orleans Fire Department. Several days a week throughout the summer, firemen closed off a street, opened the hydrants and attached special nozzles to their hoses so the children of New Orleans could frolick and beat the heat.

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Opening day of the Summer Showers program was traditionally celebrated with a certain amount of pomp and circumstance. City and WPA leaders gathered at Engine House 26, 231 S. Broad, for the ceremonial turning on of the showers. These photographs were taken on opening day, July 1, 1941.
Two photographs taken on opening day on Broad Street, July 7, 1939.
Advance publicity photographs for the opening of Summer Showers, June, 1938.
Kids keeping cool in front of Engine House 26, July 27, 1936.

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