Science of the Strawberry Moon

full moon rising behind chasseral during sunset photo by giles laurent

Science of the Strawberry Moon Strawberries emerge in May and ripen in June, giving their name to June’s Full Moon. This Strawberry Moon, which often coincides with the Summer Solstice, will reach peak illumination in the United States on Friday, June 21, at 9:08 p.m., E.T. It also goes by other names: Green Corn Moon,…

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Science of the Summer Solstice: Start of Summer

Summer Solstice

SCIENCE OF THE SUMMER SOLSTICE Solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning “Sun, standing still.” The Summer Solstice occurs on June 20 at 20:51 UTC, Coordinated Universal Time, Zulu Time, or roughly Greenwich Mean Time. Greenwich, England, is the prime meridian — the zero point for longitude lines. Why is UTC the abbreviation for Coordinated…

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History of Juneteenth: and the Emancipation Proclamation

Juneteenth

HISTORY OF JUNETEENTH: and the Emancipation Proclamation June Nineteenth, or Juneteenth, historically marked the celebration of the emancipation of African-American slaves in Texas in 1865. While the annual celebration started in Texas the following year in 1866 – and became an official Texas state holiday there in 1980 – this formerly obscure holiday is now…

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History of Father’s Day: the Beginning

Fathers Day

HISTORY OF FATHER’S DAY: the Beginning [NOTE: I wrote a more extended and serious version of this article for CBS.com several years ago. It has been published on their network of sites for major cities nationwide. You can find that article here.]   Origin of Father’s Day The celebration of Father’s Day goes back to…

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History of Flag Day

Flag Day

HISTORY OF FLAG DAY June 14 is Flag Day in the United States. While it may not be as widely celebrated as other American holidays, it is one of the oldest. It was resolved by the Second Continental Congress in 1777, even before the conclusion of the American War of Independence, the Revolutionary War.

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History of Shavuot: The Feast of Weeks

Shavuot poster, late 1940s

HISTORY OF SHAVUOT Tonight at sunset, June 11, begins the Jewish holiday Shavuot, also known as the Feast of Weeks, and continues until sundown on June 13. The holiday, also known in Greek as Pentecost, is on the sixth day of the Hebrew lunarsolar calendar month of Sivan, which means that in the Gregorian solar…

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History of D-Day: 80 Years Ago

D-Day

HISTORY OF D-DAY Why has D-Day captured the imagination of American consciousness for over three-quarters of a century?   Eighty years ago, on June 6, 1944, the Allies launched an offensive on the Normandy coast of France to liberate continental Europe from the Nazi German occupation. On Twitter/X, the hashtag is #DDay80 D-Day was the…

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History of the Summer of Love – 1967: Part 4, Rock & Roll

sgt pepper

HISTORY OF THE SUMMER OF LOVE – 1967: PART 4, ROCK & ROLL   It was twenty years ago today Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play They’ve been going in and out of style But they’re guaranteed to raise a smile   Rock & Roll in the late ’60s was exemplified when The Beatles…

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History of June

junona, ny carlsberg glyptotek, copenhagen

HISTORY OF JUNE June represents the year’s halfway point, the sixth of the twelve months of the Gregorian calendar, which we currently use in the West, and the earlier Julian calendar, named for Julius Caesar, the namesake of July. Where do we get the name for June?   What’s In A Name? Ovid, author of…

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History of the Golden Gate Bridge: 87 Years Old

golden gate bridge

HISTORY OF THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE This week, we celebrate the 87th anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. On May 27, 1937, the bridge opened to traffic after taking over five years to build. I remember asking my father when I was young: “Why isn’t the Golden Gate Bridge golden?” He didn’t…

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History of Memorial Day: Where did it Begin?

HISTORY OF MEMORIAL DAY: BOALSBURG, PA The city of Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, an American village on the National Historic Register, claims to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, as do at least 24 other towns in America. I first visited this hamlet near State College, home of Penn State University, decades ago. Boalsburg’s claim goes back…

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History of Towel Day: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Towel Day

HISTORY OF TOWEL DAY May 25 celebrates Towel Day to honor Douglas Adams, the author of the five (or six) book trilogy Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Created in May 2001 to mark the passing of English science fiction humor author Douglas Adams, the day is set aside for fans of his writings to carry a…

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