July 12, 2006 was a remarkable day in Salem, Oregon. Since record keeping began in 1892 no measurable (i.e. at least .01 inch) amount of rain had fallen on the state capital on the twelfth day of July. In 2006, however, the official rain gauge at McNary Field recorded .02 inch of precipitation.
The meteorological anomaly was noticed in 1967 by the night city editor of the Oregon Statesman, Russell Bieraugel.
After Bieraugel’s discovery, July 12 was proclaimed Rainmaker Day. The day was celebrated with parades, a rainmaker princess, and a variety of promotional contests and prizes. Although it is commonly accepted that you are more likely to rust than get sunburned in Oregon, sponsorship for the event waned after five years, and the celebration ended.
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