August: There are yet still plenty of summer things to celebrate

Published 11:08 am Friday, August 4, 2023

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August is generally known as the “back-to-school” month and the wind down of summer. It’s the time to celebrate a good harvest and a good summer.
August, now the eighth month on the calendar, was once the sixth month of the year. In the original ten-month Roman calendar, the month went by the name of Sextilis, meaning “the sixth month” in Latin. It wasn’t until around 700BC that August was rudely shoved back in the order of months when January and February were added to the beginning of the year by King Numa Pompilius.
August is also a little bit unique, most of the time at least. In a standard year, there is no other month that begins on the same day of the week as August. In a leap year, however, August begins on the same day of the week as February.
Summer is in full swing in August. Come the eighth month of the calendar year, temperatures outside tend to be especially steamy and individuals and families are doing all they can to make the most of the last full month of summer. As summer winds down, individuals can ponder these facts – some fun – about the month of August.
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 didn’t want to interrupt it.
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 U.S., King’s speech called for the end of racial discrimination and for equal rights to all.
Rock music lost a living legend on August 6, 1977, when Elvis Presley left the world behind. The King of Rock’s health had been going downhill for some time, but his death was a shock to the world.
Some days we celebrate in August include National Dollar Day, National Underwear Day, National Watermelon Day, National Girlfriends Day, Lazy Day, Bowtie Day, and Senior Citizens Day, just to name a few.
One of the most enduring motion pictures in Hollywood history premiered in August nearly 85 years ago. “The Wizard of Oz” starring Judy Garland premiered at the Orpheum Theatre in Green Bay, Wis., on August 10, 1939. The Hollywood premiere at the famed Grauman’s Chinese Theatre occurred just five days later.
This year August will see two suprermoons. There was a full moon August 2, which will be followed by a blue superman on August 30. It is called a “blue moon” as it will be the second full moon in a calendar month.
Even though school has started back and summer is winding down, there is still plenty to do, especially in downtown Elizabethton. There is music every Saturday evening in the Covered Bridge Park. The downtown car show continues on Saturday evenings through October, and there are plenty of shopping opportunities in downtown stores.
It is also a good time to take a bike ride or a walk on the Tweetsie Trail or spend the evening or weekend fishing in the Doe or Watauga rivers.
August offers plenty of outdoor and fun opportunities. There’s just as much waiting you this month as June and July offered. Take advantage of it.

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