In the original Roman calendar, the month of August was called Sextilis, meaning “the sixth month” in Latin. In 700 BC, January and February were added to the calendar, moving Sextilis to eighth place. The month was later renamed Augustus in honor of the first emperor of Rome, Caesar Augustus.
Here are ten more interesting facts about August:
1. The Anglo-Saxons called August “Weod Monath,” (Weed Month). During this month, weeds and plants grow the fastest in the northern hemisphere.
2. Most vegetables are ready to be harvested during this month. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and peas are at their freshest and most bountiful in August.
3. In a standard year, no other month begins on the same day of the week as August. In a leap year, August begins on the same day of the week as February.
4. August has two birth flowers: gladiolus and deep crimson poppy. The vibrant gladiolus flower represents generosity, strength of character, and deep sincerity, while the poppy flower is a sign of imagination, eternal sleep, and oblivion.
5. August has three birthstones: peridot, spinel, and sardonyx. Sardonyx, a stone that ranges from amber to bright green in color, was the original August birthstone. Due to its similar coloring, peridot was often mistaken for sardonyx, and was eventually adopted as the second August birthstone. Spinel was added as an alternate gemstone in 2016.
6. People born between August 1 and August 22 fall under the sign of Leo, while those born later in the month fall under Virgo. Leos are proud and display leadership qualities while Virgos are analytical and hardworking.
7. Famous people born in August include Barack Obama (August 4, 1961), Neil Armstrong (August 5, 1930), Lucille Ball (August 6, 1911), Viola Davis (August 11, 1965), Coco Chanel (August 19, 1883), and Warren Buffett (August 30, 1930).
8. August has been designated as National Panini Month, Peach Month, Sandwich Month, Harvest Month, National Water Quality Month, National Immunization Month, and Get Ready for Kindergarten Month.
9. The first sandwich was created on August 6, 1762. In the middle of a gambling game (he did not wish to interrupt), the Earl of Sandwich requested a dish involving meat between two pieces of bread.
10. On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech to 250,000 people on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Dr. King called for the end of racial discrimination and equal rights for all.