It’s too bad these wonderfully relaxing summer days can’t go on forever. First it’s good old June, then suddenly July makes the scene and then, shockingly, it's August. This last month of summer seems to burst upon us, rushing us prematurely toward fall before we’re really ready.
Anyway, to take your mind off the evaporating summer, here is some diversionary reading material. Sip a cool sarsaparilla under the shade of your favourite hammock-tree and ponder this calendar trivia about the new month of August.
August 1, 1916 — Anne Hébert was born in Sainte-Catherine-de-Fossambault, Quebec. After studying in Quebec City, Anne worked for Radio-Canada and the National Film Board. She spent most of her life in Paris, becoming an acclaimed poet, novelist and playwright.
August 6, 1890 — Murderer John Hart is the first person to be executed in an electric chair.
August 6, 1890 — Baseball pitching legend Cy Young pitched his first game and recorded a win.
August 9, 1930 — Animated cartoon Dizzy Dishes premiered with new star Betty Boop.
August 9, 1974 — U.S. President Richard Nixon got caught in the weird web of Watergate and became the first and only president to resign while still in office.
August 11, 1966 — The Beatles began their last U.S. concert tour.
August 12, 1898 — The U.S annexed Hawaii.
August 13, 1521 — The Spanish defeated the Aztecs and captured Mexico City.
August 14, 1953 — The Whiffle Ball was patented.
August 15, 1914 — The Panama Canal was opened.
August 16, 1896 — Gold was discovered in the Klondike.
August 20, 1866 — The U.S. Civil War was formally declared to be over by President Andrew Johnson.
August 21, 1841 — Venetian blinds were patented.
August 21, 1959 — Hawaii became the 50th state in the U.S.
August 22, 1911 — Da Vinci's Mona Lisa painting was stolen from the Louvre.
August 23, 1934 — Jessica Jarvis received her commercial pilot's licence, becoming the first woman in Toronto to gain this qualification. Jarvis Street in Toronto is named after her.
August 24, 79 BC — The infamous Mount Vesuvius eruption buried the city of Pompeii.
August 24, 1869 — The waffle iron was patented by Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York. Way to go, Cornelius!
August 25, 1530 — Ivan the Terrible, the first tsar of Russia, was born.
August 25, 1909 — Ruby Keeler was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Irish-Canadian parents. The family later moved to New York City where the talented girl began performing in stage shows. She married entertainer Al Jolson in 1928 and made her film debut in 1933 in 42nd Street. Ruby Keeler became a popular singer and actress.
August 31, 1941 — The Canadian Womens Army Corps was created to free men for combat roles in the Second World War. As a result, Canadian women could meet more of the army’s need for “manpower” at home. When the Canadian Women's Army Corp was dissolved in 1946, a total of 21,624 women had served, including about 3,000 who were stationed in the United Kingdom.