5 fun facts about the month of August
FOR THE WAUSAU TIMES
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 fun facts about the month of August.
- Not unlike July, August is named after a notable individual associated with ancient Rome. Augustus Caesar, also known as Octavian and sometimes referred to as Caesar Augustus, was the first Roman emperor. Augustus’s reign was a lengthy one, beginning in 27 B.C. and lasting until his death in A.D. 14. Augustus’s maternal great-uncle was Julius Caesar, who happens to be the namesake of July.
- August weather can make some people uncomfortable, and that has made the month part of what’s become known as “The Dog Days of Summer.” The Farmer’s Almanac indicates that the moniker is linked to the rising of Sirius, the Dog Star. Ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks believed that the rising of Sirius in mid- to late-summer caused the temperatures to rise and conditions to become less comfortable. Though temperatures remain hot and conditions humid in many parts of the northern hemisphere throughout the month of August, the dog days officially end on August 11.
- Millions of adults feel there’s no more refreshing beverage on a warm summer evening than a cold beer, and that may be even more so on the first Friday of August. That day marks International Beer Day®, which began as a local event in the western United States in 2007 but has since spread globally. More than 200 cities in 80 countries and across six continents now celebrate International Beer Day®, and celebrants can take part by enjoying a cold one and/or giving a loved one a beer. This year’s celebration will take place on Friday, August 4.
- 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, Wisconsin, on August 10, 1939. The Hollywood premiere at the famed Grauman’s Chinese Theatre occurred just five days later.
- August is a notable month for one of the world’s most accomplished athletes. American swimmer Michael Phelps took center stage at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing when he won a total of eight gold medals, setting a record for the most gold medals by an athlete in a single Olympic Games. Phelps won his eighth gold medal in Beijing on August 17 in the 4 x 100-meter medley relay, officially eclipsing fellow American swimmer Mark Spitz, who had won seven gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.