On September 4, 476 AD, Odoacer captured the city of Ravenna and deposed Emperor Romulus Augustus, marking the Fall of the Roman Empire. What do we mean by the Fall of the Roman Empire?
You may have noticed that September sounds like the Latin word for Seven. And you’d be perceptive — septem is the Latin word for seven, and this month used to be the seventh month of the ancient Roman calendar.
This Latin numbering follows with the year’s remaining months, as highlighted below: eight/oct, nine/nov, ten/dec.
Labor Day is when we celebrate the process our mothers went through to deliver us at birth. Sorry, wrong holiday.
Labor Day in the U.S. is the day we celebrate the achievements of the American labor movement.
While it is still disputed whether Peter J. McGuire first proposed the holiday, the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters, or Matthew Maguire, a machinist, and secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York — observances of the holiday go back over a century in the U.S.
“Do you see that full moon in the sky tonight? That happens once in a blue moon.”
Scientifically, this happens 7 times in 19 years or about once in 3 years.
I first wrote about this on July 31, 2015. We had blue moons in January and March 2018 and October and November 2020. Blue moons never occur in February, which has only 28 days. The time between two successive full moons is approximately 29.5 days.
We had a full moon earlier this month, on August 1. Like the prior full moon, this is also considered a supermoon. This occurs when a full moon’s orbit is closest to Earth, as in August, in its elliptical orbit around the Earth.
You won’t see a blue moon again until August 2024; the last time was October 31, 2020. Technically, the full moon occurred at 8:43 AM ET today, about 20 minutes after it set for the U.S. East Coast, but it can still be again when the moon rises at 8:23 PM ET.
HISTORY OF ST AUGUSTINE
The Feast of Saint Augustine is August 28, the date of his death in 430 A.D. Augustine is the most influential bishop in history. He is the patron saint of brewers, printers, theologians, and several cities and dioceses worldwide.
Most of what we know about him is from his own writings: his Retractions in 428 A.D, which discusses his mental struggles in coming to faith, but more importantly, his Confessions (397 A.D.), an autobiography written to God in the form of a prayer about his spiritual struggles.
It was 60 years ago that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. It continues to echo down the halls of history six decades later.
On August 28, 1963, the occasion for his speech was the March on Washington at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Over a quarter of a million supporters gathered at the Mall in Washington D.C., where King delivered his public speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, looking over the Reflecting Pool.
Over a hundred years ago, on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted. This prohibited both the Federal and State governments from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States based on sex. Effectively, this meant that the right to vote could no longer be denied to women. The text read, in part:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
On August 19, 1848, the New York Herald reported the news along the American East Coast of the California Gold Rush. It was not new news to those further West, as the gold rush had started in January and was publicized in San Francisco in March.
However, the New York Herald was the most profitable and popular newspaper in the US. By the dawn of the American Civil War, the newspaper claimed a circulation of 84,000 copies and called itself “the most largely circulated journal in the world.” The news of the gold rush spread to a much larger audience than previously and circulated the gold fever much wider than before.
August 15 marks the anniversary of the “3 Days of Peace & Music” held in 1969 at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York, southwest of the village of Woodstock. This outdoor music event, despite thundershowers, gave voice to the counterculture youth generation of its time. A documentary film followed it in 1970 and a top-selling soundtrack album.
I want to share with you what it was like to be at the Woodstock Rock Festival — the music, the crowds “half a million strong,” the rain, the muddy roads, the traffic jams, the counterculture vibe, the media coverage, the movie film crew, the atmosphere, the awareness of its own importance, the sense of history in the making:
HISTORY OF THE IBM PC: 42 YEARS AGO
Forty-two years ago, the IBM PC was released.
On August 12, 1981, IBM announced its first “personal computer,” though it had previously been famous for its IBM System/370 mainframe computer. I operated one of these mainframes in a raised-floor data center in the early ’80s.
Infinity Day is also known as Universal & International Infinity Day. It is a commemoration held on the 8th day of the 8th month of each year to celebrate and promote Philosophy and Philosophizing for the ordinary person.
Why 8 is significant, apart from Infinity Day
- 8 planets in the Solar System — since Pluto got demoted.
- 8 is the atomic number of Oxygen.
- 8 is the maximum number of electrons that can occupy a valence shell in atomic physics.
- 8 people were saved in the Flood at the time of Noah.
- 8th day, Jesus was circumcised, as the brit mila is held for Jewish boys.
- 8 is the number of legs a spider or octopus has.
- 8 is 2 cubed.
- 8 follows 7 but stops before 9 making it the only non-zero perfect power that is one less than another perfect power.
- 8 is the basis of the octal system, each digit representing 3 bits. A byte is 8 bits.
- 8 displayed horizontally is the symbol of infinity
What’s in a name?
The name of this month wasn’t always August; previously, the Romans called it Sextilis. This was back in 753 B.C., in the days of the founding of Rome by its first king Romulus in 753 BC, when there were originally ten months (… Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec.) In 8 B.C., the Roman Senate decided to honor their first Emperor, Augustus Caesar, by changing the month’s name to Augustus.