Snap MapJuly 6, 2017
#MediaMonday – Rabbi Robert Kravitz, D.D.July 10, 2017
It’s nearly impossible to not think about Independence Day when you think about the month of July. The two go hand-in-hand, as they should. And while the Fourth of July is my absolute favorite holiday, I think it’s time we highlight the other things that July has to offer! And let’s not overlook the historic happenings that have taken place in this beloved month.
With this in mind, we’ve dedicated this week’s #FunFactFriday to celebrating July, in all of its glory! Here’s a modest sampling of what makes this month so special:
- The month of July is named after Julius Caesar by a decision of the Roman Senate in 44BC as July was the month of his birth. Before that, it had been known as Quintilis (fifth) as it was the fifth month in the old calendar.
- The word July used to have a different pronunciation—up until the 18th century, the word in English had the stress on the first syllable, rhyming with duly or truly.
- July 1881 was the month in which President Garfield was shot. Do you know by who (answer below)? Seven other presidents have died in July, more than any other month.
- U.S. postage stamps went on sale for the first time in July 1847.
- Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk the moon in July 1969.
- The Tour de Donut—a 30-mile bike race in Illinois where riders take five minutes off their time for each donut they eat along the way—takes place each and every July.
- July 5 is National Bikini Day, a fitting holiday considering that the bikini made its debut at a Paris fashion show in July 1946.
- July holds a number of designations, including National Blueberry Month, Unlucky Month for Weddings, National Cell Phone Courtesy Month (yes, this is a thing) and National Hot Dog Month.
- Spoiler alert—for you Hamilton fans, former Vice President Aaron Burr killed Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a duel in July 1804.
And because I refuse to fully accept that yet another Fourth of July weekend has come and gone, I’ve selected my four favorite Independence Day facts:
- It was actually on July 2, 1776, that America gained its independence. Congress didn’t accept Thomas Jefferson’s declaration until the fourth.
- Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, which also happened to be the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the declaration. What an extraordinary coincidence!
- An estimated 150 million hot dogs are consumed on the Fourth of July. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (again, this is a thing) states that this is enough hot dogs to make a line from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles more than five times.
- Being the Michigander I am, I feel the need to include this! In 2012, Bay City, Mich. (my home town) put on the largest fireworks display that the entire state has ever seen. To celebrate the Bay City Fireworks Festival’s 50th anniversary, 50,000 fireworks shells were shot off in 50 minutes, surpassing the previous record of a 30,000-shell show at the Detroit-Windsor International Freedom Festival.