Hello August – what’s special about this month?


By Vickie Rhodehamel

Arcanum News

What is so special about the month of August? It is officially the last month of summer, and it is known for the dog days of summer and various other national/international holidays, and celebrations.

Here are some fun facts about the month of August — Did you know that it is named after Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of the Roman Empire? Before it was renamed it was called Sextillis. It is often thought that the change occurred as Augustus experienced many victories during the month and decided to “toot his own horn” by renaming it after himself in the year 8 BC.

Did you know that on August 6, 1762, the first-ever sandwich was created, at least with such a name? It was named after the Earl of Sandwich when he requested a dish involving meat between two pieces of bread. As the story goes, he requested it as he was in the middle of a gambling game and did not want to interrupt it.

Did you know that in Sweden, the name August is the most popular boys’ name? There are also many famous people that have birthdays in August – these include Peter O’Toole, Mila Kunis, Usain Bolt, Sean Connery, Jennifer Lawrence, Whitney Houston, and Ben Affleck, as well as jazz-giant, Louis Armstrong, wrestling legend Hulk Hogan, and former U.S. presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

August is famous for being the ‘harvest month’ in many cultures – as it is likely the best time to bring up crops from fields having spent the summers growing solidly. Scandals are known to abound in August—it was during August that US President Richard Nixon resigned because of the Watergate scandal.

August was a big month for the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. It was on August 28, 1963, that Martin Luther King Jr gave his famous “I have a dream” speech to 250,000 people on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. Considered to be one of the most iconic speeches in the history of the US, King’s speech called for the end of racial discrimination and for equal rights to all.

Then there are others who find August to be lucky — August 1896 saw the start of the Gold Rush in Alaska, as the precious metal was found in the Klondike River, up at Rabbit Creek. The weather is also to different extremes during the month -in the US, there have been several natural disasters which have taken place in August – from droughts and tornadoes to flash floods and forest fires. Despite August being amazingly sunny for much of the Northern Hemisphere, it is also the most humid month, which often makes breathing hard for many people.

Celebrations abound with not only national events but also local events —did you know that August 3rd is Watermelon Day? Or that the 5th through the 11th is National Smile Week? Here in Darke County, we have multiple events including the Brickstreet Block Party here in Arcanum on August 11 and 12th. The Great Darke County Fair will begin on August 18th and then before we know it school and football season is upon us.

So, there you have it, that’s August in a nutshell! No matter where you are in the world, August is a pretty wonderful time of the year. Make sure you set your plans for all the last-minute summer things that you want to experience before the last month of summer comes and goes…

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