Friday, June 30, 2023



Some facts and trivia about July . . .

July is the seventh month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and is the fourth of seven months to have a length of 31 days.

It was named by the Roman Senate in honour of Roman general Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., he having been born on July 12. Cesar lived 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC. Beware the Ides of March, Julius.

Before being renamed in his honour 
it was called Quintilis, being the fifth month of the calendar that started with March.

January and February were added to the calendar in 450 BC.

It is on average the warmest month in most of the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the second month of summer, and the coldest month in much of the Southern Hemisphere, where it is the second month of winter.

The second half of the year commences in July.

In the Southern Hemisphere, July is the seasonal equivalent of January in the Northern hemisphere.

It’s bloody cold here at the moment.

The most severe cold season on record happened in July 1983 near the South Pole. The temperature at Vostok Station in Antarctica saw an extreme temperature of -129°F/-89.6°C.

July's birthstone, the ruby, is often associated with contentment, love, passion, and integrity.

The flower symbol for July is the larksp[ur or water liliy:

Larkspur is a delphinium, a genus of about 300 species of annual and perennial flowering plants, native throughout the Northern Hemisphere and also on the high mountains of tropical Africa. All members of the genus Delphinium are toxic to humans and livestock.

Water lilies live in temperate and tropical climates around the world. The family contains nine genera with about 70 known species. Water lilies are rooted in soil in bodies of water, with leaves and flowers floating on or emergent from the surface.

The zodiac signs for July are Cancer and Leo.

By the way:

The Latin word ‘cancer’ is the generic word for 'crab'. According to Greek myth, the symbol of Cancer—often a crab, though sometimes a lobster—is based on the Karkinos, a crab crushed under the foot of Heracles, and whose remains were placed in the sky by Hera, forming the Cancer constellation.

The zodiac sign Leo corresponds to the constellation Leo. It is associated with fire and also with the mythological Nemean lion. The lion is an important and prominent symbol in Greek mythology.

Egyptians worshipped the constellation, which they referred to as "Knem", because it was present during the flooding of the Nile River. This event signified plentiful harvests for the upcoming year, and the people interpreted it as a gift from the earth. Ruler of Egypt, Tutankhamun's gold throne features lion heads where the seat and front legs meet, as well as clawed feet at the end of each leg, symbolizing power and royalty.


In the US the hot, long sultry days of July are called the "dog days of summer".

They were historically the period following the rising of the star system Sirius (known colloquially as the "Dog Star"), which astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck.

They are now taken to be the hottest, most uncomfortable part of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

It is sometimes called the Hay month because the grass dries out due to a lack of rain and can be made into hay.


Firsts in July:

The first rabies vaccine was administered by Louis Pasteur on July 6th, 1885.

Pasteur looks on as an early version of the rabies vaccine is administered in 1885. Image from "Harper’s Weekly" (December 19, 1885).

The first atomic bomb test was detonated in New Mexico on July 16th, 1945. The code name was “Trinity”. The test site was declared a National Historic Landmark district in 1965, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places the following year.

Trinity Site obelisk.

The black plaque on top reads: 
Trinity Site Where The World's First Nuclear Device Was Exploded On July 16, 1945 Erected 1965 White Sands Missile Range J. Frederick Thorlin Major General U.S. Army Commanding

The gold plaque below it declares the site a National Historic Landmark, and reads: 
Trinity Site has been designated a National Historical Landmark This Site Possesses National Significance In Commemorating The History of the United States of America 1975 National Park Service United States Department of the Interior

The first modern bikini debuted in Paris on July 5th, 1946 at the famous Piscine Militor swimming pool.

Micheline Bernardini wearing the first bikini, 1946.

Caption: The new 'Bikini' swimming costume (in a newsprint-patterned fabric), which caused a sensation at a beauty contest at the Molitor swimming pool in Paris. Designer Louis Reard was unable to find a 'respectable' model for his costume and the job of displaying it went to 19-year-old Micheline Bernardini, a nude dancer from the Casino de Paris. She is holding a small box into which the entire costume can be packed. Celebrated as the first bikini, Luard's design came a few months after a similar two-piece design was produced by French designer Jacques Heim.

Reard named his creation the bikini, launched four days after the Bikini Atoll nuclear tests began, and it was this event in the Pacific Ocean that dominated press coverage in Britain immediately afterwards, rather than the risqué fashion innovation of a Frenchman. “Bikini” thus had associations with nuclear explosions as well as a tropical paradise (its transliterated name means “surface of coconuts”).

He also initiated a bold ad campaign that told the public a two-piece swimsuit was not a genuine bikini "unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring."

Even after its debut, the navel-revealing bikini was slow to catch on. It was declared sinful by the Vatican and banned by countries including Italy, Spain, and Australia. After bikinis made their first appearance at the Miss World competition in 1951, most beauty pageants decided not to allow them. The suits became popular on the Riviera, due in part to a young Brigitte Bardot donning one during the Cannes Film Festival in 1953

The bikini extends back a lot earlier than 1946.

Artwork dating back to the Diocletian period (286-305 AD) in Villa Romana del Casale, Sicily, depicts women in garments resembling bikinis in mosaics on the floor. The images of ten women, dubbed the "Bikini Girls", show the women exercising in clothing that would pass as bikinis today, depicting the bikini girls weight-lifting, discus throwing, and running.

One of the earliest known images of a bikini, from the Ancient Roman Villa Romana del Casale

On July 16th, 1969 the crew of the Apollo 11 launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Four days later, on July 20th, 1969 Neil Armstrong was the first human to set foot on the moon.

Apollo 11's crew pictured in May 1969, the month before the launch. From left are Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. Collins piloted the command module that orbited the moon while Armstrong and Aldrin spent time on the surface.

The Apollo 11 spacecraft consisted of a command module, Columbia, and a lunar module, Eagle. This photo, taken from the Eagle lunar module, shows the Columbia command module pulling away near the lunar surface

Armstrong works outside the Eagle module shortly after becoming the first man to step foot on the lunar surface. There aren't that many photos of Armstrong on the moon, he was the one taking most of the photos.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin steps off the ladder from the lunar module and onto the moon, photograph by Neil Armstrong.

President Nixon spends time with the astronauts, who were in a quarantine trailer for their first few days back on Earth. From left are Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin. Since Apollo 11, only 10 other men have walked on the moon. The last was in 1972.

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