Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Month of July: Cumulus Clouds and Hot Dogs With Relish

Dear George,
There are so many excellent months, it’s hard to know which one is best.  In October the forest changes from greens to yellows and reds.  December, everything is bathed in pure white and you can see your own breath.  In April and May the trees and the spring flowers burst into bloom.  In June the long school year comes to its end.  At this moment, though, I think that July tops them all.  It’s absolutely the best for sunshine and warm weather, swimming, baseball, fireworks, Grand Slam tennis, and yard sales.  It’s also way up there for parades, hours of daylight, playing tennis and golf, picnics, camping, drive-in movies, dog walking, bicycling, jazz at Clifton Plaza, zoo outings, and strawberry ice cream.  Here are some of the other things about July that make it a special month.  

JULY FLOWER:  The Water Lily, symbolizing joyfulness, fickleness, and sweetness.  (10) (Note: numbers in parentheses refer to sources at the end.) 
JULY GEM: The ruby, guaranteeing health, wisdom, wealth, and success in love.  (10)  
JULY COLOR: Red.  Red party foods for July include apples, red jello, watermelon, red velvet cake, and red beans.  (13) 
JULY ZODIAC SIGNS: Cancer (June 21 - July 22) and Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22).  (15) 

  • July was named after Julius Caesar who was born on July 12, 100 BC.  Before that, this was the fifth month in the Roman calendar and was named Quintilis (“Quint’ meaning five in Latin).  (11) 
  • July is the warmest month of the year in the Northern hemisphere and the coldest month of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.  (15) 
  • Up until the 1700’s the word “July” in English rhymed with “duly” or “truly”, with the stress on the first syllable.  (5) 
  • July is sometimes called the Hay Month because the grass dries out due to a lack of rain and can be made into hay.  (3) 
  • Seven U.S. presidents have died in July — more than any other month.  These were: Thomas Jefferson, July 4, 1826; John Adams, July 4, 1826; James Monroe, July 4, 1831; Zachary Taylor, July 9, 1850; Ulysses S. Grant, July 23, 1885; Martin Van Buren, July 24, 1862; and Andrew Johnson, July 31, 1875. (5) 
  • More countries celebrate their Independence Day in July than in any other month: July 1 in Somalia and in Surinam, July 3 in Belarus, July 4 in the United States, July 5 in Venezuela, July 9 in Argentina and South Sudan, July 10 in the Bahamas, July 20 in Colombia, July 21 in Belgium, July 26 in the Maldives, July 28 in Peru, and July 30 in Vanuatu.  (6)
  • Americans eat approximately 150 million hot dogs on the Fourth of July. (7) 
  • A study of 62 million death certificates found that fatal medication errors peak in the month of July at U.S. teaching hospitals.  This is the month that new medical school graduates report for their residencies.  (1)
  • In 2010 fireworks in the U.S. caused 15,500 reported fires, 8 deaths, and $36 million in property damage. (7) 
  • Each July the Tour de Donut, a 30-mile bike race, is held in Stanton, Illinois.  Riders take 5 minutes off their time for each donut that they eat along the route.  (11) 

Larry David, comedian, writer, producer, July 2, 1947
Louis Armstrong, jazz musician, July 4, 1900
Frida Kahlo, painter, July 6, 1907
Arthur Ashe, tennis player, July 10, 1943
Henry David Thoreau, author, July 12, 1817
Ingmar Bergman, film director, July 14, 1918
Ginger Rogers, actress, dancer, July 16, 1911
Ernest Hemingway, author, July 21, 1899
Carl Jung, psychoanalyst, July 26, 1875
Jacqueline Kennedy, First Lady, public figure, July 28, 1929. (4, 10) 

THE FOURTH OF JULY.  The Fourth of July holiday, as we know, celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.  Through it, the Continental Congress declared the 13 American colonies a new nation, no longer part of the British Empire.  Massachusetts in 1781 was the first state to recognize July 4 as a state celebration.  In 1938 Congress made it a paid federal holiday.  In my childhood our families shot off fireworks at the Caley’s home on the shore of Green Bay.   (15) 

World UFO Day (July 2) 
Sidewalk Egg Frying Day (July 4)
International Kissing Day (July 6) 
Teddy Bear Picnic Day (July 10) 
Cheer Up the Lonely Day (July 11) 
Embrace Your Geekness Day (July 13) 
Cow Appreciation Day (July 15) 
Yellow Pig Day (July 17) 
National Talk in an Elevator Day (July 26)
National Sleepy Head Day (Finland) (July 27)  (9, 15) 

FULL MOONS IN JULY: The Full Moon in July is called the Buckmoon in the Northeast, the Ripe Cherry Moon in the Great Plains region, the Giant Cactus Moon in the Southwest, the Killer Whale Moon in Western Canada, and the Hay Moon in Great Britain.  (16)

July 6, 1942.  Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in Amsterdam.  
July 7, 1947.  An alien spacecraft was reported to have crashed near Roswell, New Mexico.  
July 12, 1962.  The Rolling Stones performed their first concert in London.  
July 16, 1951.  The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger was published. 
July 20, 1969.  Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the surface of the Moon. 
July 24, 1974.  The Supreme Court ordered Richard Nixon to surrender the Watergate tapes. 
July 26, 1941.  President Roosevelt ordered the seizure of all Japanese assets in the U.S. 
July 26, 1948.  President Harry Truman signed an executive order ending segregation in the U.S. armed forces.  
July 29, 1981.  Lady Diana Spencer and Charles, Prince of Wales, married at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.  
July 30, 1965.  President Johnson signed the Social Security Act of 1965, establishing Medicare and Medicaid.  (11) 

TEN CHEERY SONGS ABOUT JULY:  Fourth of July, Asbury Park (Bruce Springsteen); Goodbye July (Shayna Leigh); July Flame (Laura Veirs), July Morning (Uriah Heel); July, July (The Decemberists); Mississippi In July (Charlie Worsham); On the Fourth of July (James Taylor); Summer Night In July (Robbie Rivera and Kay); Sunset in July (311); Winter in July (Bomb the Bass)  (12, 14) 

JULY FOLKLORE:  If ant hills are high in July, a hard winter is coming.  (16) 

JULY QUOTE: “My life, I realize suddenly, is July.  Childhood is June, and old age is August, but here it is, July, and my life, this year, is July inside of July.”  (Rick Bass, fiction writer)   (2)

WHAT I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO IN JULY.  Having spent five weeks not walking much because of a strained Achilles tendon, I hope to become fully healed in July which means that I will: take hikes at Miami Whitewater Forest, resume line dancing, do the treadmill, walk to and from my office, and go to the Brookville Flea Market.  I also expect to watch lots of Wimbledon in July, celebrate a big birthday, go to the last opera of the season, and maybe even take a trip.  July looks like a great month.  

(1), “The ‘July Effect’”
(2), “July Quotes” 
(3), “July in History”
(4), “Facts about July” 
(5), “Top 10 facts about July” 
(6), “Facts About the Month of July” 
(7), “Top Five Fun Facts: July”
(8), “This Month in History: July” 
(9), “17 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in July” 
(10), “Fun Facts about the Month of July” 
(11), “July Trivia” 
(12), “Songs with Months in the Title” 
(13), “Fun Facts About July”
(14), “Month Songs: July” 
(15), “July”
(16), “July”

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