Monday, June 1, 2015

June Is Bustin' Out All Over

Dear George,
Today is June First.  That’s a happy event.  I sometimes find myself wondering which month is the best.  Gallup polls find that Americans by and large agree that spring is their favorite season, but there's no consensus about a favorite month.  May, June, October, and December are just about tied for the highest ratings. (7)  [Note: numbers in parentheses refer to sources listed at end.]  June is definitely special.  That’s because it’s the end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation.  For myself, that’s involved not only grade school through college, but grad school, a 43-year teaching career (when I was eager for summer vacation every year), and, even today, the academic year’s end to the OLLI courses for seniors that Katja and I are taking at the university.  In childhood June also meant the first month of the year in Menominee without snowfall, beginning of the serious swimming and boating seasons, regular camping outings to Mason Park and Pig Island, my mother’s garden coming into full bloom, and the brand new lushness of the forest.  Here are a few important facts about the month of June.

JUNE’S NAME:  “June”, from the Latin name Junius, is named for Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage and the wife of Jupiter.  Wherever Juno went, she was accompanied by her messenger, Iris (the Rainbow).  Iris moved so quickly that she was rarely seen, but she left behind a radiant trail of her brightly colored robe in the sky.  (13)

JUNE BIRTHSTONES AND BIRTH FLOWERS: Pearl, alexandrite, and moonstone; honeysuckle, rose.  (18)
SUMMER SOLSTICE:  The summer solstice in the northern hemisphere occurs on June 21 (or sometimes on June 20 or June 22).  The solstice is the day on which the earth is tilted most directly toward the sun.  Daylight hours are the longest of the year on the summer solstice in the northern hempisphere (and, conversely, the shortest in the southern hemisphere).  (21)

SOME OTHER NOTEWORTHY JUNE OBSERVANCES: Rebuild Your Life Month; National Adopt-A-Cat Month; International Sex Workers Day (June 2); Donald Duck Day (June 9); Flag Day (June 14);  Juneteenth Day (June 19); Father’s Day (third Sunday in June); LGBT Pride Month; Black Music Month; Eat Your Vegetables Day (June 17); Go Skateboarding Day (June 21); and Torture Awareness Month.  (4, 11, 19)

JUNE HOLIDAYS FOR THOSE WITH A SWEET TOOTH: June 1, National Doughnut Day; June 2, Rocky Road Ice Cream Day; June 4, National Frozen Yogurt Day; June 7, National Chocolate Ice Cream Day; June 9, National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day; June 11, National German Chocolate Cake Day; June 14, National Strawberry Shortcake Day; June 16, National Fudge Day; June 21, National Peaches and Cream Day; June 22, National Chocolate Éclair Day; June 26, National Chocolate Pudding Day; June 30, National Ice Cream Soda Day.  (16)  

HISTORICAL EVENTS IN JUNE: Chinese troops opened fire on unarmed protesters in Tiananmen Square (June 4, 1989); Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in L.A. (June 5, 1968); the D-Day invasion began in Normandy (June 6, 1944); Medgar Evers was assassinated in Jackson, MS (June 12, 1963); (June 12, 1924); five Watergate burglars were arrested (June 17, 1972); civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were murdered in Meridian, MS (June 21, 1964); the Korean War began (June 25, 1950).  (10)

SELECTED BIRTHDAYS IN JUNE: Marilyn Monroe (June 1, 1926); Marquis de Sade (June 2, 1740); Paul Gaugin (June 7, 1848); Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867); Cole Porter (June 9, 1893), Judy Garland (June 10, 1922); Jacques Cousteau (June 11, 1910); Vince Lombardi (June 11, 1913); Ann Frank (June 12, 1929); Harriet Beecher Stowe (June 14, 1811); Jean-Paul Sartre (June 21, 1905); Jack Dempsey (June 24, 1895); Helen Keller (June 27, 1880); Peter Paul Rubens (June 28, 1577).  (10)

JUNE BIRTHDAYS IN OUR FAMILY: Ingrid L. Burke, June 5; Peter L., June 9;  Jacob Levenson, June 13;  Margie L., June 30.

SUPERMAN’S TWO JUNE BIRTHDAYS:  According to Action Comics #241 (1958), Superman celebrated his birthday on June 10, the day that he landed on earth; but, as Clark Kent, his birthday was on June 18, the day that he was adopted by the Kent Family.  (12)
SONGS WITH JUNE IN THE TITLE:  “June Hymn” (The Decembrists),”June in January” (Bing Crosby; Dean Martin), “June is Bustin’ Out All Over” (from Carousel), “June Night” (Jimmy Dorsey), “Memphis in June” (Julie London),  “The Last Day of June 1934” (Al Stewart), “Waiting on June” (Holly Williams) (8, 14)

FAMOUS WOMEN NAMED JUNE: June Carter Cash (1929-2003), country singer; June Lockhart (1926-), TV actress; June Allyson (1917-2006), movie actress; June Pointer (1953-2006), R&B singer; June Havoc (1912-2010), stage actress; June Christy (1925-1990), jazz singer; June Haver (1926-2005), movie actress; June Taylor (1917-2004), dancer.  (20)

FAMOUS MEN NAMED JUNE: June Jones (1953-), former head football coach at Southern Methodist U.; June Mar Fajardo (1990-), Filipino professional basketball player; June James IV (1962-1990), NFL football player. (6, 20)

A dripping June brings all things in tune.
He who bathes in June will sing a merry tune.
If June be sunny, harvest comes early.
A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay, but a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon.
June damp and warm, does the farmer no harm.
Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you’ll go.  (1, 2, 17, 15)


Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June.  (Al Bernstein)
To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June.  (Jean-Paul Sartre)
It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.  (Maud Hart Lovelace)  (3, 4)

MIDSUMMER’S DAY:  Midsummer’s Day (June 24) comes shortly after the longest day of the year and is associated with magic, witches, fairies, and dancing.  In Britain tradition held that young girls, in order to get their true love to visit them, should scatter rose petals and say:
Rose leaves, rose leaves,
Rose leaves I strew.
He that will love me
Come after me now.   (15)  

SOME THINGS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO IN JUNE:  NBA Finals, French Open, Wimbledon; sheepdog hikes at Eden Park and Miami Whitewater Forest; first camping outings of the season; summer TV premieres (including True Detective and Poldark); Bellevue community yard sale; Esquire and Mariemont movies; chocolate sundaes at Putz’s Creamy Whip.  

(1), “Seasonal advice for June”;
(2), “Wedding and Marriage Superstitions”;
(3), "June"
(4), “Month of June Fun Facts, Quotes, and Trivia”;
(5), "Horoscopes: Gemini, Cancer";
(6), “Celebrities with first name: June”;
(7), "Most Popular Season Coming to an End" (June 20, 2005);
(8), “Song Titles with Months in Them”;
(9), "Quotes About June";
(10), “This Month in History: June”;
(11), “Special Months: June”;
(12), “Superman Secrets”;
(13), “June Trivia”;
(14), “9 Songs About The Month of June”;
(15), “Facts About June”
(16), “June Food Holidays”;
(17), “The folklore of June”;
(18), “All About June”;
(19), “June”;
(20), “June (given name)”;
(21), “Summer solstice” 

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