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Change the Weather

Posted in: Reading

Besides typing into pop-culture phenomena such as James Bond mania, Moses had another idea how to increase traffic at the Fair: have the Weather Bureau take a more “positive” approach in its forecasts for the area. Rather than saying there was a “20 per cent chance of precipitation”, Moses asked Anthony F. Tancreto, head of the New York division of the bureau, in a letter, why not say there was an “80 per cent chance of fair weather”? Amazingly, and as a testament to the power Moses wielded, the bureau agreed to use the phrase “variable sunshine” in place of “variable cloudiness”. The God-like Moses could, it appeared, even change the weather.

Taken from “End of the Innocence: The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair” by Lawrence Samuel.