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July: Holidays, fun facts, and everything else you should know

Welcome, July! We’re almost midway through this hottest month of our year. July is the month of American Independence Day (July 4). Enjoy learning a little history—and raise a toast to freedom!

The month of July

July is named after Roman dictator Julius Caesar (100 B.C.–44 B.C.), who developed the precursor to the Gregorian calendar used today.

Interestingly, July seems to be the month dedicated to freedom, independence, and celebrations of country and culture.

July calendar

July 1 is Canada Day, a Canadian federal holiday that celebrates the creation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867.

• July 4 is Independence Day in the U.S. This holiday celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, so don’t forget to raise the flag!

• July 14 is Bastille Day, which commemorates the storming of the Bastille and the start of the French Revolution.

“Just for fun” days

• July is National Watermelon Month.

• July 7–13 is National Farriers Week.

• July 8 is International Town Criers Day.

• July 17 is World Emoji Day.

• Jul 20–28 is National Moth Week.

• July 22 is Spooner’s Day.

• July 25 is National Day of the Cowboy.

• July 27 is Take Your Houseplants for a Walk Day.

July quiz

Which space mission happened in the month of July?

A. Lunda 9

B. Surveyor 6

C. Apollo 11

D. Perseverance

July astronomy

July’s full moon, the full Buck Moon, will rise Friday, June 23, reaching peak illumination at 10:37 p.m. Eastern, rising above the horizon just after sunset.

July moon phases are as follows:

• Last quarter: July 1, 5:12 p.m. EST

• New moon: July 9, 9:17 p.m. EST

• First quarter: July 17, 6:11 a.m. EST

• Full Buck Moon: July 23, 10:37 p.m. EST

• Last quarter: July 31, 9:18 a.m. EST

Also, July 5 is the time of aphelion, the time when Earth is the farthest it will get from the Sun for the entire year. Specifically, we’ll be 94,510,886 miles away from the bright star in the solar system.

July’s birth flowers

July’s birth flowers are the larkspur and water lily.

The larkspur, in its white forms, generally indicates lightheartedness. In its pink form, the Larkspur indicates fickleness. In purple, it indicates first love.

The water lily symbolizes purity of heart.

July’s birthstone

The July birthstone is the ruby, which is believed to protect its wearer from evil.

• “Ruby” is derived from the Latin rubeus, which means “red.”

• This gem is a red form of corundum; all other colors are sapphires. The ruby’s color is due to the presence of chromium, which also makes the gem subject to cracks. High-quality rubies are a transparent, vibrant, purplish red; cloudier samples, or ones containing brown, orange, or pink tones, are less valuable. Many rubies nowadays are heat-treated to improve color saturation and transparency.

• The ruby, along with the related sapphire, are the second hardest natural gemstones, with only the diamond being harder.

• The gem was once thought to protect warriors if worn on their armor or embedded in their skin.

Considered the king of gems, the ruby symbolizes love, passion, energy, and success.

Quiz answer

C., Apollo 11. The first crewed mission to the moon, the Apollo 11 Mission, launched July 16, 1969. Four days later, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong made history by taking the first step on the moon while declaring, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!”

Luna 9 landed February 3, 1966; Surveyor 7 landed November 7, 1967; and Perseverance landed February 18, 2021.

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