Congratulations, everyone! We made it through July and now it is time to gear up for an exciting August! If you think that the next holiday season doesn’t really begin until October, we’ve got a surprise for you! August is absolutely bursting with conviviality. It’s almost too much, honestly. Thank goodness we get a break on the 10th, for National Lazy Day. From recipes to festivals, we have this summer’s scoop on all the hottest pastimes! Because it’s just around the corner, we especially want to share with you the decades long tradition of National Night Out!
National Night Out | August 3rd
National Night Out is celebrated on the first Tuesday in August and is a wonderful way to get to know your neighbors and help keep them safe. The aim of this event is to increase awareness through police-community partnerships in neighborhoods. It officially began as a campaign in 1984 when a coordinated effort was made by local neighborhood watches to serve their communities more effectively. At first, participating meant simply sitting beneath your front porch light and keeping an eye on the neighborhood, but it has since evolved into massive annual festivals. One of the largest of these festivals is the South Central Hilltop Block Watch in Columbus. Considering crime has been on a steady decline over the last several decades, it is safe to say National Night Out has been an enormous success! Check online for events in your city to get involved this year.
Bike-To-Work Day and International Beer Day | August 6th
Every year, thousands of people in the San Fransisco Bay area celebrate Bike-To-Work Day, but where did the bicycle originate? The widespread devastation that followed the Napoleonic Wars resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of horses. The need to supplant the work of those horses is what inspired Karl Drais to invent the first pedal-less bicycle, or “hobby horse,” in 1817. In 1886, the first automobile was invented and just in time too! The reliance on so many horses in the streets led to “Horse manure Crisis of 1894.” Today, the automobile is posing a pollution problem of its own and it is up to us to take up the mantle! Cycling to work is a fun, clean, and healthy way to give our modern mechanical mustangs a break! After generating all that horsepower, you might find yourself wanting to wet your whistle with an ice-cold beer on International Beer Day!
National Woman’s Day and National Book Lover’s Day | August 9th
National Woman’s Day, a South African public holiday, commemorates the 1956 march of some 20,000 women who were protesting “pass laws” which required South Africans who identified as “black” to carry an internal passport. These “pass laws” maintained segregation, controlled urbanization, and migrant labor during the apartheid era. The first National Woman’s Day was in 1995. In 2006, the march’s 50th anniversary, a reenactment was staged including many of the original marchers. The phrase Wathint'Abafazi Wathint'imbokodo!, literally meaning, “now you have touched a woman, you have struck a rock,” has since come to symbolize the strength and courage of South African women. Because of this holiday, representation of women in the national assembly has increased dramatically from 27% in 1993 to 48% today!
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one,” said author, George R.R. Martin. According to a Pew Research Center Survey, a whopping 27% of U.S. adults did not read a single book in 2018! Here are a few ways to get involved this National Book Lover’s Day:
- Get a library card and visit your local library!
- Find a “Little Free Library!” These are public “take a book, leave a book” stands. Click
- Start or join a book club! Book clubs are awesome ways to meet people with shared interests. You can even join a Facebook book club.
International Left-Hander’s Day | August 13th
Did you know that only about 10% of people are left-handed? Historically, lefties have been seen as unlucky and even evil by the right-handed majority. The Latin adjective, sinister, means “left” as well as “unlucky.” Black magic is also known as the “left-hand path.” Lefties must adapt to use many tools and objects specifically made for right-handed people. Even the lovable Ned Flanders had his “Leftorium” ransacked by a violent mob. So, find your south paw friends and give them a left-handed high five of support this International Left Hander’s Day!
National Rum Day | August 16th
Kill-Devil (slang for rum) is made from fermenting and then distilling sugarcane molasses or sugarcane juice. Rum quickly became popular in Colonial North America after its development in the Caribbean. The Sugar Act of 1764 passed by the Parliament of Great Britain may have helped cause the American Revolution. We can now see why George Washington insisted upon having a barrel of Barbados rum at his 1789 inauguration. So, if you like Pina Coladas...
Simple Pina Colada Recipe
- 1 once of heavy cream
- 6 ounces of pineapple juice
- 1 ounce of cream of coconut
- 2 ounces of rum
- Freeze pineapple juice beforehand
- Blend all ingredients together
- Garnish with a cherry or pineapple slice and enjoy!
But a Caribbean cocktail needs a Cuban counterpart!
National Cuban Sandwich Day | August 23rd
The first Cuban sandwich is believed to have originated from the Taino tribe over 500 years ago. The Tiano tribe were the first people that Christopher Columbus encountered in the New World in 1492. Enjoy this delicious traditional Cuban sandwich recipe (makes 2 sandwiches):
- ¼ cup of mayonnaise
- ¼ cup of mustard
- A pinch of Cayenne pepper
- 1 loaf of Cuban bread
- 8 slices of Swiss cheese
- 6 thin slices of fully cooked ham
- 1 ½ cups of cooked pulled pork (heated)
- 1 dill pickle (sliced)
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- Mix the mayo, mustard, and Cayenne in a bowl to make the sauce
- Trim and cut the loaf in half to make the tops and bottoms of 2 sandwiches. Spread sauce on both sides.
- On each bottom side place these ingredients in this order: 2 slices of cheese, 3 slices of ham, half of the hot cooked pork, half of the pickle slices, and two more slices of cheese.
- Place tops on sandwiched.
- Melt butter in a skillet with medium high heat. Place and press sandwiches in skillet cooking them for 3 to 4 minutes on each side
Women’s Equality Day | August 26th
Before 1776, women had a vote in several, but not all, of the colonies that would become the United States. Unfortunately, by 1807, every state constitution had denied women the right to vote. It was not until 1920 that the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted to give women equal representation. Over a century later, the fight for equality continues which is why this holiday is so important. Aug. 9th is National Woman’s Day and National Book Lovers Day. Aug. 26 is Women’s Equality Day. And Aug. 30th is Frankenstein Day! What better way to close the month and celebrate the contribution of women in literature than to curl up with this classic, spine-tingling horror novel, by Mary Shelley?!
National Beach Day | August 30th
Colleen Paige, a pet and family lifestyle expert, created National Beach Day in 2014 to celebrate beaches and the importance of keeping them clean. She knew she needed to create a day that helped to highlight the plight of sea birds and ocean mammals due to the deadly trash left on beaches around the globe. Colleen is urging everyone who loves their beach to plan a beach barbeque clean-up on August 30th and tag your photos with #nationalbeachday.
While enjoying your day at the beach safety always comes first. Check out the American Red Cross’s safety tips for swimming at the beach:
- Swim with a lifeguard present and only in designated areas
- Go with a buddy, never swim alone
- Watch for currents, moving water, and riptides
- Swim within your depth, don’t swim longer than you are physically capable of doing
- Take swimming lessons
- Learn CPR