Was there a cloudless Bicentennial Day on July 4, 1976?

Dear Tom,

A recent column stated that it was virtually impossible to have a rainless day across Lower 48. I seem to recall that on July 4, 1976 weather reports touted a cloudless Bicentennial Day from coast to coast? Was there a rogue cloud somewhere?

Thanks,
Jim Holland

Dear Jim,
Despite the fact that a large high pressure system covered much of the northern half of the nation on its 200th birthday, not only were there rogue clouds, there was also quite a bit of precipitation. On July, 4 1976 precipitation fell in the Pacific Northwest, the Plains, the Ohio Valley, Deep South and across much of the Eastern Seaboard. Some of the heavier totals included nearly three inches in north central Texas, more than an inch in Kansas about two inches of rain across portions of southern Missouri. However, it was a totally sunny (100 percent possible sunshine) and warm day in Chicago, with a high of 83 and a low of 61.