August 2022

If the first week of August is usually warm, the winter will be white and long!

Here comes August, the last month of summer in the northern half of the world! Named to honor the first Roman emperor (and grandnephew of Julius Cesar), August Cesar, it’s the eight month of the Gregorian calendar, and the fifth of seven months to have a length of 31 days. Its zodiac sign is Leo and was originally named Sextilis in Latin because it was the sixth month in the original ten-month Roman calendar under Romulus in 753 BC. with March being the first month of the year. In the southern hemisphere, August is the seasonal equivalent of February in the Northern Hemisphere and it falls in the season of summer. In many European countries, this month is a holiday month for most workers. Another interesting fact about August is that numerous religious holidays occurred during August in ancient Rome. This month also holds some interesting symbols, like its birth stones which are peridot, sardonyx and spinel, as well as the month’s flowers which are gladiolus, or poppy, meaning beauty, strength of character, love, marriage, and family.

It is said that August brings the best bounty of the season, including ripened tomatoes, ripe melon, sweet corn on the cob, and zucchini. With this being said, we recognize August 1st, traditionally known as Lammas Day, as the celebratory festival to mark the annual wheat and corn harvest. Lammas also marked the mid-point between the summer solstice and autumn equinox as a cross-quarter day. It is also a civic holiday in most parts of Canada, with celebrations and names for this holiday varying across the country. In Alberta it’s celebrated as Heritage Day, while in British Columbia, it is known as British Columbia Day. August 19th is the National Aviation Day, chosen for the birthday of Orville Wright who piloted the first recorded flight of a powered heavier-than-air machine in 1903. On August 26, we honor Women’s Equality Day, which celebrates the 1920 ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, which amended women’s right to vote in the United States.

August also hosts a variety of “Just for Fun” dates. As a matter of fact, there are at least two or more holidays and special days this month, do you have room on your calendar for them all? We hope you do. August 1 to 7th has interestingly been named International Clown Week, while August 3rd is National Watermelon Day, August 10th is National S’mores Day, August 12 is Vinyl Record Day, and August 13, is International Left-Handers Day. Astronomy was also a notable part of August as we had the opportunity to watch the full Sturgeon Moon which reached its peak illumination on the night of Thursday, August 11. It is also a wonderful month for stargazing as it’s the month of the Perseid meteor shower, which is one of the most prolific showers! If you like gardening, this is one of the best months to do it. In much of the country, it’s peak time for picking summer squash/zucchini, cantaloupe, watermelon, corn, eggplant, peaches, tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers.

There are very important historical events that also took place in this month, like August 1, 1838, which marked the abolition of slavery in Jamaica. On August 2, 1776, in Philadelphia, most of the 55 members of the Continental Congress signed the parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence. On the same date in 1939, Albert Einstein wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt concerning the possibility of atomic weapons. In August 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, with three ships, La Niña, La Pinta and Santa Maria, seeking a westerly route to the Far East.

Birthdays of well-known individuals in August:

August 29, 1958, Michael Jackson:

Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and philanthropist. Dubbed the “King of Pop” and regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century. He was born in Gary, Indiana, United States. Over a four-decade career, his contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture. He is the most awarded individual music artist in history. His album, Thriller, became the best-selling album of all time.

August 4, 1961, Barack Obama:

Barack Hussein Obama is an American politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017, a member of the Democratic Party and the first African American president of the United States. Obama previously served as a U.S. senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008 and as an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004. He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. As an incoming president, Obama faced many challenges, like an economic collapse, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the continuing menace of terrorism. Obama proposed unprecedented federal spending to revive the economy and hoped to renew America’s statue in the world.

August 5, 1930, Neil Armstrong:

Neil Alden Armstrong was an American astronaut and aeronautical engineer, and the first person to walk in the moon. He was also a naval aviator, test pilot, and university professor. He was born and raised in Wapakoneta, Ohio. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Apollo 11 Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin became the first people to land on the Moon, when Armstrong first stepped on the lunar surface, he famously said: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap of mankind.”

August 15, 1769, Napoleon Bonaparte:

Napoleon Bonaparte, also known by his regnal name Napoleon I, was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the Revolutionary Wars. He was the first emperor of France and one of the world’s greatest military leaders, as he revolutionized military organization and training, sponsored the Napoleonic Code, reorganized education, and stablished the long-lived Concordat with the papacy. He conquered much of Europe in the early 19th century.

August 16, 1958, Madonna:

Madonna Louise Ciccone is an American singer, songwriter, and actress, she is referred to as “The Queen of Pop”, and noted for her continual reinvention and versatility in music production, songwriting and visual presentation. She has had a social and cultural impact on the world since her early career in the 1980s. Madonna has built a legacy that goes beyond music and has been studied by sociologists, historians, and other social scientists.

August 26, 1918, Katherine Johnson:

Katherine Johnson was an American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights. She figured out the paths for the spacecraft to orbit Earth and land on the Moon. Her math helped astronauts to the Moon and back!

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