Looking back through July in summers past, we find:
July 5, 1946 — It was on this day in Paris, France, that the bikini was displayed for the first time. Men have been grateful ever since. This momentous event also produced the first bikini joke. Credit goes to Louis Léchér, who said: “I think that I shall give a bikini to my girlfriend. It’s the least I can do!”
July 11, 1986 — Sometimes you overlook the obvious. That’s what happened to pro golfer Bill Kratzert when he ran out of golf balls and had to withdraw from a PGA tournament. His caddy found Bill’s bag too heavy and removed all but three golf balls. Unfortunately, as often happens in golf, Bill got into some trouble and lost all three balls. End of story and end of tournament for Bill. His caddy must have felt great, eh?
July 11, 1936 — Hot stuff weather-wise. Winnipeg recorded its highest ever temperature. How hot was it? The pavement was melting that day in 108°F heat! It was so hot, people couldn’t think straight and were unable to convert 108°F to Celcius. Of course, they didn’t have to in those days. Later, we came to know that temperature as 42°C. That same day, it was 44°C (111°F) in Treesbank, near Wawanesa, giving that community the honour of having Manitoba’s highest-ever temperature.
More summer weather trivia at no extra charge:
• Canada’s highest-ever temperature is 46°C, or 115°F, recorded in Gleichen, Alberta, on July 28, 1903.
• The highest-ever U.S. temperature is 57°C, or 134°F, recorded in Death Valley, California, on July 10,1913.
• The highest-ever temperature in the world -s 58°C, or 136°F, recorded in Libya, Northern Africa on September 13, 1922. Just a typical fall day.
July 12, 1970 — Another golf blunder, this one from Lee Trevino at the British Open’s fifth hole with its unusual double green with two cups for two different holes. Lee hit to the wrong flag, leaving himself an 80 footer to the correct cup. It takes three putts for abogey. Oops!
July 15, 1861 — Inventor Pierre Michaux put pedals and a chain drive on a velocipede and told his friends, “Look! I’ve made a ‘pedo-foot-wheel-thinga-ma-jigee!’
His friends said, “No Pierre, just call it a ‘bike.’”
July 15, 1928 — On this day in Constance, Saskatchewan, hundreds of ranch animals were killed when hailstones the size of tennis balls crushed their skulls. Frightening thought, eh?
July 15 — St. Swithin’s Day. There’s a very long and boring story about the history of all this. Would you like me to go into excruciating detail?
I didn’t think so. In short, it means that the weather on July 15 will predict the weather for the following 40 days. Thanks, Swith!
July 16, 1983 — This month is full of golf blunders, and not all of them from you or me for a change. This one would fall into the immortal golf category of “horrendous.” Hale Irwin made a slip-up that cost him the British Open. It was one of those little three-inch tap-ins that you don’t even think about. Hale backhanded it the usual way, but it didn't drop.
Significantly, he later lost the tournament by one shot — maybe that one.
We hackers cringe when we hear stories like that, as in, “There, but for the grace of the Golf God, go I.”
July 18, 1874 — The game of tennis was introduced in North America. Shortly afterward, the first tennis joke was heard. Seymour Slazenger got the credit when he said, “You know, in tennis, ‘love’ means nothing.”
July 23, 1904 — In St. Louis, Missouri, ice cream vendor Charles Menches invented the ice cream cone when he folded a wafer into a scoop to gouge out a sample of ice cream. Clever!
July 30, 1975 — Former U.S. Teamsters president, Jimmy Hoffa, disappeared amid mysterious circumstances. His body was never found, but there were reports that he was seen having lunch with Elvis at Burger King.
July 31, 1840 — Belgian musical instrument maker Adolf Sax completed work on his latest creation which he wanted to call the “der-tooter-blowen-puffer-thingee.”
His friends said, “No Adolf, just call it the ‘saxaphone.’”