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Dog Days of Summer
The Maundy Monday Newsletter - This Week in History July 31 - August 6.
Good Maundy Morning, Okay History, friends! I hope you didn’t melt over the weekend.
We are nearing the end of the Dog Days of Summer, which is an actual thing, not just a saying.
Before we dive into the Dog Days, I’m here to suggest that if you are not a subscriber, go ahead and subscribe to Okay History, a reader-supported newsletter. Thanks!
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the Dog Days of Summer lasts forty days, beginning on July 3 and ending on August 11. It’s the period immediately after the summer solstice, which begins the time of year when it’s boiling.
The reference dates back to ancient Rome and Greece and similar places that spent a lot of time looking at the stars. Sirius, the Dog Star, and his companions rise into our view. Sirius is the second brightest star in our solar system, after the Sun, making it easier to see.
I got a space app on my phone a few months ago, so I can look up and see all of the constellations, and Sirius is the main star in the Canis Major constellations.
Here’s an outline of Canis Major and where Sirius is:
When you tilt to the right, it looks like this from the sky:
It looks just like Blue, who, by the way, hates the Dog Days of Summer because it is so hot.
But thankfully, we only have another week.
Okay, let's highlight what else happened this week. Here's what I got:
1. President Warren Harding died on August 2, 1923. The 29th President felt ill on a west coast trip, complaining of stomach pains. Having canceled a trip to Portland, Harding arrived at San Fransisco, where attending doctors determined he had a heart condition. After showing some improvement, Harding died while his wife read him a favorable review of him from a newspaper. He was 57.
2. President Kennedy’s patrol torpedo boat was sunk on August 2, 1943. Then-Lieutenant Kennedy commanded an 80-foot PT-109 boat when it was rammed by a Japanese destroyer near the Solomon Islands during World War II. Kennedy managed to save most of his crew himself, but the incident messed up his back, an issue he dealt with for the rest of his life.
3. The Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed on August 5, 1963. Former LT Kennedy, now President Kennedy, signed the treaty prohibiting nuclear bomb testing on land, air, or sea. We could still test underground. Not sure why that provision was okay.
Okay, I’ll be back this Friday with another ranking, but as I mentioned last week, I am interested to learn if there are US History topics, institutions, or anything that you would like me to rank. I’m reviewing a few ideas and just curious about what my wonderful readers think.
Until then, it’s back to work. I hope it’s a good one.