● Songxia, a town of Shangyu city in the Zhejiang province, is often called China’s Umbrella City. With more than 1,200 manufacturers employing 40,000 workers, they make more than 500 million umbrellas a year.
● Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang started building his terra cotta army in 221 B. C. After Pit 3, the army’s command post, was opened in 1980, it revealed two chariots, one with a mounted stationary umbrella.
● Surprisingly, March – not April – is National Umbrella Month.
● A sturdy long umbrella can be a lethal weapon. Hold the pointed end and swing the handle to hit the mugger’s jaw, face or neck or hold the handle and use the brolly’s point to hit him in his solar plexus, the soft spot in the center of the body, just below the sternum He will stop and gasp for breath. Run!
● Famous umbrella songs include “Let A Smile Be Your Umbrella,” recorded by Bing Crosby in 1957. Baby Boomers know these lyrics from the 1966 Hollies’ release “Bus Stop” – ‘Bus stop, wet day, she’s there, I say Please share my umbrella . . .’ ” Rihanna’s 2007 song “Umbrella” brought her multiple awards, including her first Grammy in 2008.
● In 2011, the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy took high tech protection up to the next level. His bodyguards wielded Kevlar-coated “Para Pactum” parapluies (umbrellas) which can withstand thrown objects, absorb some of a bullet’s impact and even take on knives and acids.