Berlin Wall Goes Up (15 Aug 1961)

In the aftermath of World War II, Berlin was divided into four Allied occupation zones. Although Berlin was deep inside Soviet held territory, this was the situation as the Allie powers decided on the future of Germany. Berlin, of course, had been the capital of Germany prior to and during World War II. Significant differences over that future caused major tensions between the United States, Britain, and France on one side, and the Soviet Union on the other. In 1948 the United States, Britain, and France decided to unite their zones into one entity that became the Federal Republic of Germany This would become West Germany and half of Berlin was in that zone.

The Soviet Union responded by launching a blockage of the city to try and force the Allies to leave. In response, U.S. President Harry Truman along with Britain organized a massive airlift to keep the West German part of Berlin stocked with food and fuel. The Soviets abandoned the blockade in May 1949. Berlin would become the gateway to the West as people would flee East Germany through Berlin. It soon became apparent to the Communists running East Germany they were losing significant portions of their society from intellectuals to skilled laborers. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev suggested that East Germany close off access to East and West Berlin.

Starting on the night of 12 August 1961, East German soldiers began placing 30 miles of barbed wire through Berlin and reduced the checkpoints where Westerners could cross into East Germany. Western governments protested but did nothing to stop and on 15 August, the barbed wire was replaced by concrete. East Germany declared that by sealing off their country to the west, the influence of decadent capitalist culture would be stopped. As the wall started going up, many made frantic moves to get across before it was completed. As time went on, the Berlin Wall would grow with walls reaching up to 15 feet high in some places. Streets were now walled up cutting off access to neighborhoods that before could be easily accessed by walking back and forth. The effect was grim as the top of the walls had barbed wire and watchtowers manned with soldiers with machine guns to deter anyone from trying to escape.

The system of walls, and later with electrified wires, would stretch 75 miles around West Berlin, separating it from East Germany. The East Germans also erected barriers on the entire border between East and West Germany. With the erection of this wall, it aptly fit Winston Churchill’s descrption of the Iron Curtain that had fallen in Europe between the democracies of Western Europe and the Communist dictatorships of Eastern Europe. The wall became the most visible symbol of Communist oppression. Many would still try to escape and 5,000 did succeed though many failed either being killed in the attempt or arrested and sent to prison. As the East Germans added even more fortifications, the successful escapes became rare. Checkpoint Charlie became the most visible border between the East and West.

East Berlin Death Strip as seen from Axel Springer Building, 1984
Photo by George Garrigues
Image credit: GeorgeLouis via Wikimedia Commons

By the late 1980’s, the Soviet Union was starting to collapse and many of its client states were starting to feel the pressure of people who resented the oppression they had been forced to endure. It would be on 12 June 1987 that a call would be made that would start a movement that would bring down the Berlin Wall. President Ronald Reagan, in Berlin to celebrate the 750th anniversary of the city, would stand 100 yards away from the concrete barrier and say to the world:

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

It electrified the crowd and was a major departure from the previous presidents who said nothing. While many in the State Department thought it unwise, Reagan looked at this most visible sign of Communist oppression and said it should come down. Gorbachev dismissed the comment, and many Western leaders thought it a reckless comment. Yet what began was a movement to challenge the Communist leaders in East Germany and elsewhere. And it began to bear fruit when, on 9 November 1989, East Germany announced citizens could  cross between East and West Berlin freely. Thousands on both sides went to the wall and began taking the wall down with hammers, chisels, and other tools. The wall would be dismantled in several weeks and 26 years of having a divided city was over. And on 3 October 1990, both East and West Germany were officially reunited ending the separation that had occurred at the end of World War II.

Today only historic signs, photos, and tour guides will point out where the infamous wall once stood. You can see the differences in some areas that have the old Soviet style buildings right next to the modern areas that were once part of West Germany. Rick Steves in his travel show about Berlin shows how much it has changed since those terrible days. The wall put up to keep people from moving from East Germany to the freedom of the west itself is now a memory, with people selling parts of the wall now to collectors.


YouTube Videos on the Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall Goes Up


The Building of the Berlin Wall in 1961 – Propaganda Documentary (1962)


President Ronald Reagan “Take Down This Wall “ Speech, 12 June 1987




Happy Sunday

Green Mountain Valley, New Mexico
Photo: Ken Kistler


Hard to believe we are almost at the middle of August. For many, this is summer vacation times with thousands crowding the beaches and tourist spots. It is also a time for getting ready to go back to school. Kids see it coming and try to get as much summer as they can before school reopens. Parents are also getting stuff for their kids as well, though with the difficult inflationary times we are in, only necessities are being bought. Everyone is being hit by high prices at retail and grocery stores. It does not look like it will get any better soon either.

At least Sunday is a day one can at least relax. Enjoy the day and some nice music to go with it. Happy Sunday everyone.







Friday Titanic News-Visiting Titanic Wreck Poses Challenges, Titanic Memorabilia Gets Priced

Touring the Titanic wreck is no easy thing, unless you are doing it virtually. First you have to fork over a lot of money to go on an expedition. And if you are good health, you get inside a submersible craft that will slowly descend for 2 1/2 hours down to the wreck. The atmospheric pressure is immense and the craft small enough for 3 people and the equipment. The article is incorrect about there not being a toilet. Previous submersibles didn’t have them, but the OceanGate Titan does. However because of the tight space, using it is a last resource. According to their website,

“By limiting Mission Specialist’s diets before and during the dive, the need to use the bathroom is largely eliminated.”

Vintage News recounts how this journey goes leaving you at the end wanting to just watch a video of the wreck or a computer simulation of it.


The Public Can Tour the Wreckage of the Titanic – And It Might Be a Terrifying Voyage (Vintage News, 10 Aug 2022)

The two-and-a-half-hour trip down to the Titanic wreckage isn’t your standard vacation boat trip. The underwater pressure on the ocean floor is roughly 5,541.9 pounds per square inch, enough to explode the submersible vessels used in the expeditions if even a small hole or scratch occurs. The submersible vessels can only fit three people. Each expedition takes roughly eight to ten hours round trip, and with limited space, basic amenities like a private bathroom are out of the question.


I do not watch The Antiques Roadshow that much. Occasionally though they come upon a real prize. Many people have brought Titanic related items to such places, only to be disappointed. Not in this case according to the Express. The lucky person had some memorabilia that is worth some decent money. And something autographed by  a Titanic survivor is going to get a good valuation.


Antiques Roadshow: Titanic survivor relative blown away by items’ value ‘Didn’t expect it’(Express, 11 Aug 2022)

Antiques Roadshow expert Clive Farahar left one guest “amazed” when he explained the valuation of Titanic items she’d been left by her relative Millvina Dean, who was the last remaining survivor of the doomed passenger liner.


Wayback Machine:

Vintage Battlestar Galactica opening. The old BSG series, I think, had more heart and soul than the newer one. While it had many flaws (and I have written about it here and here.) it had something the newer one didn’t.



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Remembering History: Manson Cult Kills Sharon Tate, Others (8-9 Aug 1969)

Sharon Tate, 1967
Author Unknown
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Beginning near midnight on August 8 and in the early morning of August 9, 1969, Sharon Tate, the wife of movie director Roman Polanski, was killed along with four others in their Beverly Hills home. The murders made national headlines and two days later a second series of murders would occur. The savage murders were done by followers of Charles Manson and the murders would make him a criminal icon.

Charles Manson was born in 1934 to an unwed 16-year-old mother; he would never know his father. After his mother was imprisoned for armed robbery, he went to live with an aunt and uncle in West Virginia. He would spend much of his youth getting into trouble and being put into prison in his early adult years. He moved to California in 1967 after being released from jail. In San Francisco he used his charm and other things to attract a small group of followers from the youth rebelling the standards of the day. By 1968, he had become the head of a group who called themselves his “Family.”

While he was not present when the murders occurred, he certainly planned and directed it. Roman Polanski was not the target on 8 August, and he was out of town during that period of time. His intended target was Terry Melcher, a music producer that had been introduced to him through a chance encounter with Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. Manson was a singer-songwriter and one of his songs had been performed by them (though uncredited for it). Melcher considered and then decided to not produce a record by him. Melcher had leased the home that Polanski and his pregnant wife Sharon Tate now occupied.

Manson’s beliefs were an odd mix of religion, fringe psychology, and even science fiction. He believed in a coming apocalyptic race war that would devastate the country. Blacks would rise up to kill whites but would still need a leader after it was done. Manson would become that leader and his Family would be the nucleus of a new order. He would adopt the term “Helter Skelter,” taken from the Beatles’ record White Album, to refer to this order.

Sharon Tate was a fledging actress who had come to fame in Valley of the Dolls (1967) and also in the British horror-comedy The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967). While her husband Roman was off in Europe shooting a movie, Tate, now eight months pregnant, was living in the home with his friend Wojciech Frykowski and his girlfriend Abilgail Frykowski (coffee heiress). On 8 August Manson ordered Charles “Tex” Watson and several other members of the family to go there and kill everyone as gruesome as possible. They would arrive near midnight or just a little after and encounter Steve Parent, an 18 year old boy visiting the caretaker, in his car and kill him. Then Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Linda Kasabian entered the main house. There were four people in the home-Tate, Frykowski, Folger and celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring. They were assembled in the living room.

Sebring was both shot and stabbed to death. Frykowski and Folger managed to escape but were tracked down and killed by Krenwinkel and Watson. Sharon Tate was stabbed to death after being hung from a ceiling beam. The rope was found wrapped around her neck and there were no post mortem injuries found. Her blood was used to write the word “PIG” on the front door. The following night Manson ordered that grocery store executive Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary be murdered. Manson was involved in this action as he and Watson tied up and robbed. He then left with three others of his Family leaving Watson, Leslie van Houten, and Patricia Krenwinkel in the home. They stabbed the couple to death and left words written in blood on the walls.

The murders shocked Los Angeles considering that Frykowski had been stabbed fifty times as well as shot. The police were baffled as to the motives and who the assailants were. The two crimes were not connected at first. There was a belief that a drug transaction gone bad may have led to the gruesome deaths at the Polanski home. What broke the case and connected both murders were the arrests of Manson’s family at the Spahn Ranch in Death Valley for vehicle theft and burning equipment. One of those arrested would implicate Susan Atkins in a murder. Atkins apparently boasted of the Tate murders to cellmates. All of the killers would be arrested including Charles Manson. Although he did not personally commit the murders, he ordered his Family to do them. All were brought to trial in June 1970. Linda Kasabian was given full immunity and was the main prosecution witness. All were convicted of murder and given the death penalty. However those sentences were changed to life imprisonment when capital punishment was abolished in 1972. Although eligible for parole at various times, none of their requests were granted. Charles Manson would die in prison in 2017 at age 83.


Tate murders
Charles Manson
Charles Manson cult kills five, including actress Sharon Tate


Sunday Titanic: Titanic Survivor Shipwrecked Again; Remembering Young Titanic Victim

Collapsible lifeboat D photographed by passenger on Carpathia on the morning of 15 April 1912.
Public Domain(Wikipedia)

Feeling Lucky? This Lady Survived The Titanic And Then Went Down On The Rohilla Off Whitby (Darlington & Stockton Times, 6 Aug 2022)

Mary worked as a stewardess on the large vessels belonging to the White Star Line and, on April 15, 1912, with her youngest daughter Daisy aged six back home, she was on the Titanic when it struck the iceberg. Mary quickly clambered aboard lifeboat 11, was picked up by Carpathia after a few hours bobbing around, and was dropped off at New York on April 18, 1912. Before the year was out, she was working aboard another White Star liner, Majestic, and in 1914 when war broke out, she was transferred to HMHS Rohilla. Two-and-a-half years after surviving the sinking of the Titanic off the coast of America, she survived the wreck of the Rohilla off Whitby.


Young Victim Of Titanic Tragedy Remembered (Tavistock Times Gazette, 6 Aug 2022)

At the time, Harry’s death was reported by the Western Morning News in 1912 describing Rogers as a ‘smart and steady young fellow’, whilst also stating that ‘both mother and grandmother are in much distress, fearing the worst.’ Harry’s mother remained living in Devon until 1955 when she died. Unfortunately, Harry’s body was never recovered and his death is now remembered on the Tavistock grave. The family vault is situated in Plymouth Road Cemetery with Harry’s name listed on his father’s tombstone.


The 110-Year-Old Titanic Violin That Miraculously Survived The Sinking Ship (, 5 Aug 2022)

Despite some reports to the contrary, there is no evidence that his violin was found strapped to his chest in its case. We do know, however, that it must have been recovered, along with a satchel embossed with Hartley’s initials, as a telegram transcript from Maria Robinson to the Provincial Secretary of Nova Scotia reads, ‘I would be most grateful if you could convey my heartfelt thanks to all who have made possible the return of my late fiancé’s violin’. When Robinson died in 1939, her sister gave the violin to the Bridlington Salvation Army, who passed it on to a violin teacher. The teacher passed it on further, and in 2004 it was rediscovered in an attic in the UK.


Straus Memorial Park, New York City, 1915. This memorial and park was dedicated on 15 April 1915.
Photo:Public Domain (U.S. Library of Congress, Bain Collection,call number LC-B2- 3446-4)

The Heartbreaking Story Of Ida Straus, The Woman Who Went Down With The Titanic Rather Than Leave Her Husband Behind (, 3 Aug 2022)

The couple married in 1871. Isidor worked for his father’s business — L. Straus & Sons — which was a pottery brand that later integrated into the glass and china department at Macy’s. He worked hard, eventually all the way up to being a co-owner of the entire Macy’s chain. Ida Straus was both a housewife and a very busy mother, as the couple had seven children together. (One son, Clarence, died around the age of two.) Even though Isidor also had his hands full with work — in addition to his duties serving as a member of the U.S. Congress for a year — the couple was said to be particularly close.


Find books  on Wallace Hartley Titanic Musicians

The Case of Lizzie Borden (4 Aug 1892)

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks;
And when she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.


The sensational murder trial of Lizzie Borden would galvanize the nation but ended up in her acquittal in 1893.

Lizzie Borden
Circa 1889, photographer unknown
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Lizzie Borden and her older sister Emma were the daughters of a well-to-do businessman Andrew Borden of Fall River, Massachusetts. Their mother died when they were young, and he married Abby Gray who ended up raising them to adulthood. Their father, though wealthy, was not liked by a lot of people in the community. He was seen as both parsimonious (a fancy word meaning excessively frugal) and dour. Both daughters grew to dislike their stepmother believing she was trying to enrich herself over their father’s money. Lizzie was well liked in the community and involved in charitable works. Both daughters helped manager their father’s properties.

On Thursday 4 August 1892, Andrew Borden left home to conduct business. In the home was the maid Bridget Sullivan, his wife Abby, and his daughter Lizzie. Emma was out of the home on business of her own. Andrew would return later than morning and lie down on the couch to take a nap. Lizzie would him dead on the couch around 11:15 am. His head had been repeatedly hit by a sharp object and there was considerable amount of blood. Police were summoned and it was during this time it was discovered the stepmother was found dead face down in the guest room. Her head had been horribly mutilated. Police interviewed Lizzie but she gave conflicting statements. A search of the basement found two hatchets, two axes, and a hatchet-head with a broken handle with the latter the suspected murder weapon. It appeared to have been coated with ash and other things to make it look like it had not been used for a while.

The police failed to make a full search of the house at the time. Lizzie went to stay with a friend of her sister. Later she was seen by a police officer detailed to guard the house entering the cellar with this friend and seemed to be hunched over a sink. The police learned that Lizzie had tried to get hydrocyanic acid in a diluted form from a drugstore. There had been a recent mysterious illness in the home that raised the possibility of poisoning. Both bodies were tested and found no poison in them. The illness may have been food poisoning from contaminated meet rather than a deliberate poisoning. However, since Andrew Borden was not well liked, his wife had suspected that perhaps someone in Fall River had poisoned them.

The police focused on Lizzie Borden as the likely suspect due to her contradictory statements, the attempt to purchase a poison, the burning of a dress, and the hatchet-head that was found during a more through search later on. She would be arrested and formally indicted in December 1892. However, her trial would not begin until June 1893. Just before her trial started, another sensational murder done with an axe occurred. It bore striking similarities to the Borden case but a suspect was caught and arrested. It was on the minds of many in the courtroom when the trial started.

Unfortunately for the prosecution, all the evidence they had was circumstantial. There was no direct proof she had handled the axe that killed the Borden parents. Nor was the burning of a dress she said had been covered in paint as well proof she committed murder as well. While everyone knew she and her sister did not like her stepmother much, proving she had done the murders was hard to do. The police had failed to gather any fingerprints. This had become more common especially in Europe, but the local police didn’t believe in its use. So, they lacked any fingerprint evidence that might have helped in prosecuting Lizzie Borden. And the jury as a result acquitted her on 20 June 1893 since the evidence was not strong enough to convict on.

Lizzie Borden would continue to live in Fall River for the rest of her life, though in a different home with her sister Emma. Both sisters, after all the probate was concluded, received their inheritance from their father’s estate. Lizzie changed her name to Lizbeth A. Borden. The new home they moved into was more modern and they also have live -in servants and a coachman. Fall River mostly ostracized her and apparently had little involvement in the community afterwards. Her sister Emma would move out in 1905 after they argued over a party Lizbeth held for an actress. Emma would never see her sister again. Both sisters remand reclusive until they both died. Lizbeth died of pneumonia on 1 June 1927. Emma died 9 days later at her home in New Hampshire from chronic nephritis as a result of a fall she suffered ironically on the day her sister died. Both are buried in the family plot at the Oak River Cemetery in Fall River.

Speculation over the murders continues to this day with Lizzie the prime suspect. Motivations for the murders, aside from disliking the stepmother are many. Highly speculative theories exist without much or any proof offered. There is an unproven allegation that the maid on her death bed many years later that she had changed her testimony to help Borden. John Morse, Lizzie’s maternal uncle, was sleeping in the house the night before, was also considered a suspect by the police but had an alibi that disproved in their eyes he was the murderer. The maid Bridget Sullivan is considered a suspect as well. It is thought she may have gotten angry with them over tasks they asked her to do and killed them. One author has suggested it was William Borden, Andrew Borden’s illegitimate son who had tried to extort money from his father Emma too is considered a possibility as she secretly snuck into the house, killed her parents, and then quickly returned to Fairhaven to receive the telegram of her parents’ murders.

The Borden House still stands as both a museum and a bed and breakfast. The Fall River Historical Society has pieces of evidence used in the trial at the Fall River Historical Society.



Etiquette in Titanic movie; Tacky Titanic Alert;Titanic Wreck Footage


Poster Advertising Vinolia Otto Soap for Titanic
Image:Public Domain

Expert: “Titanic” Shows 1912 Era Etiquette Accurately
TechnoTrenz, 31 Jul 2022

In June 2022, Meier spoke with V?nity F?ir ?bout the ver?city of the m?nners depicted in well-liked movies ?nd TV shows like Tit?nic. Be?umont Etiquette, ? business owned by Meier, provides ?dvice ?nd instruction in proper Continent?l Europe?n, British, ?nd Americ?n m?nners. When it comes to depicting m?nners of the er?, “Tit?nic is one of my f?vorite movies,” Meier s?id. It tr?nsports us to 1912, The m?nners you displ?yed in public ?nd in society reve?led your fin?nci?l status ?nd level of education, as well as whether you were wealthy or not.


Video-It’s Back! Giant Titanic Inflatable Slide
Daily Mail, 31 Jul 2022

There are no words adequate to describe what I think about this.


Vessel Sinks But Not Spirits At Cardboard Boat Regatta
Yahoo News, 31 July 202

A small vessel sunk in Lafayette on Sunday, flanked by pirates and a small whale watching craft. The captain, Carter Aram, 20, and his first mate, Harper Arenson-Pie, 16, never abandoned their ship, despite only a mangled duct tape hull left to cling to by the time they returned to the ladder at the shallow end of the pool. “I sunk with pride,” said a breathless Aram, after competing against two other teams during the maiden cardboard boat regatta at the Great Outdoors Water Park. The lifeguard knew the irony of naming his boat “Titanic 2.”


Titanic Wreck Bow
Image: Public Domain (NOAA-

Footage Shows How Different The Titanic Looks After Over A Century Of Erosion By The Sea
TimesNowNews, 31 July 2022

The eerie footage, posted on TikTok and other platforms, showed the vessel’s rusted icicle shapes that have formed on the hull. Background voices of the expedition members suggest even they were both happy and pleasantly surprise by what they saw. “Wow. Did the lights just go off? It didn’t sound like anything, but it went darker on the right side. Starboard side,” a man is heard saying.


Titanic Explorers Lose Light As They Search Through Wreck In Terrifying New Footage
LadBible, 30 Jul 2022

After a short while, the video begins to make more sense and we see what looks like the top portion of the boat accompanied by a central anchor. All of a sudden, the light begins to change and a strange fog appears at the left hand side of the video. One of the voices can be heard saying: “Wow. Did the lights just go off?” to which someone else replies: “It didn’t sound like anything, but it went darker on the right side. Starboard side.”


Unique Titanic Collectors’ Items On Sale At Torquay Museum
Torbay Weekly, 29 Jul 2022

Meanwhile, the Titanic exhibition will allow visitors to see artefacts from the ship, explore Torquay’s connection to the Titanic and learn about the people that travelled on board. Alongside these latest exhibitions comes brand new stock in the gift shop.


Stuck In Time: Inside An Abandoned Castle Owned By Titanic Victims
New York Post, 27 Jul 2022

Ramy Awad, an urban explorer living in New York City, set out to central France to document an abandoned 19th-century castle, which he claims was once home to victims of the Titanic disaster. The result? A TikTok video that has already garnered more than 10.2 million views in which Awad gives viewers a tour inside the castle, which features fully furnished rooms with vintage rugs and furniture, wooden panels, built-in bookshelves and bed covers.


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Remembering History: Warsaw Uprising Begins (1 Aug 1944)

Rare Agfacolor photo (invention from 1936) dated August 1944 taken in Warsaw, Poland in the Old Town Market Place during Warsaw Uprising in August 1944
Ewa Faryaszewska (1920-1944)
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

On 1 Aug 1944 Poles in Warsaw launched a major uprising against the Nazi occupation. The Soviet Army had advanced to the Vistula River on the eastern suburb of Warsaw prompting the revolt. Polish General Tadeusz Bor-Komorowski, commander of the Home Army (an underground resistance group of around 40,000). The Home Army had ties to the government-in-exile in London, which was anti-communist. The hope was to gain at least partial control of Warsaw before the Soviets arrived.

By this time, the German Army had been pushed back considerably from its gains in Russia. And their taking Warsaw seemed likely. Despite this, Adolf Hitler ordered that the uprising be suppressed at all costs. The Nazi SS directed the defense force and engaged in brutal street fighting. The Polish Home Army fought back hard despite having limited supplies and no support from the Soviet Army (which cause friction between Poland and the Soviet Union for years).

The Red Army did capture several bridgeheads across the Vistula River in preparation to take Warsaw but held back doing anything more. Only under intense pressure from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American President Franklin Roosevelt did Stalin relent and allow Allies to drop supplies to the rebels. But it was too late as by that time, both the rebels and the citizens ran out of food, supplies, and medical supplies. The uprising came to an end on 2 October when the remaining forces surrendered. The revolt had lasted 63 days but the cost for both sides was high. An estimated three-fourths of the Home Army died along with 200,000 civilians. The Germans suffered 10,000 dead, 9,000 wounded, and 7,000 missing. In keeping with their dislike of the Polish people (they were seen as just a notch above the Jews but were slated for either slavery or death by the Nazis) the survivors were deported.

Deploying demolition squads, most of the remaining intact buildings in Warsaw would be destroyed over the next several months. All of Warsaw’s treasures were looted, burned, or destroyed. Meanwhile the Red Army sitting outside Warsaw did nothing to stop the Germans. They would not move until January 1945 when their final offensive was launched. On 17 January 1945, the ruins of Warsaw were liberated by the Soviets who faced little or no opposition. Thus, making it easy for them to establish a Communist state in Poland. After suffering from Nazi occupation, the Polish people would suffer a longer one under the Communists.



Welcome to August

Medieval illustration of men harvesting wheat with reaping-hooks
Circa 1310
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

August is the eight month on the Gregorian and Julian calendars. One the old Roman calendar this was the sixth month called Sextilis since that calendar start in March. It is named for the Roman emperor Augustus and this month was chosen as many important battles he won were done during this month. It is the last full month of summer in the Northern Hemisphere but in the southern the equivalent of February. In Europe, it is often the month where many workers take vacations.

August in the Northern Hemisphere is also when the first harvest and harvest festivals begin. The dog days of summer end officially on August 11. The Perseid Meteor shower which began in July continues to August 24. Usually the best viewing days are between August 9-13th. The August full moon is sometimes called Sturgeon Moon but since harvesting begins in the Northern Hemisphere it has also called Grain Moon, Fruit Moon, and Barley Moon.. For the people that live in the town of Ny-Ålesund in Norway, August is very important. As the northernmost town in the world, the summer has been one long day. The sun has been staying above the horizon since April and finally during August Polar Day occurs. That often occurs on August 24 though it can vary year to year. Tourists often visit between May-August. The sun does not rise between late October to mid-February.

The symbols for August are:

  • Gladiolus(Gladiolus imbricatus)
    Photo: Christer Johansson(via Wikipedia)

    Birthstores: peridot, sardonyx, and spined.

  • Flowers: Gladiolus or Poppy