Did June Know?

The month of June is named for the goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter in Roman mythology. The traditional June birthstone is the pearl, and the birth flower is the rose.

The first day of summer is June 20 this year in the northern hemisphere. Summer is associated with swimming, surfing, camping, and the Olympic summer games.

It is National Dairy Month, the time when the National Dairy Council urges us to make it a point to drink and cook with milk and milk products. Dairy products, they tell us, help to rid the risks of osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and colon cancer. Whether it's milk, cheese, butter, or ice cream, it might be fun to celebrate National Dairy month.

It is also Adopt A Shelter Cat month, which is sponsored this year by the "9 Lives Morris' Million Cat Rescue". Morris was a famous cat who was rescued from a Chicago animal shelter in 1968 by the cat food company which made him a star in their commercials. The American Humane Society points out that cat owners are less prone to depression than non-cat owners.

Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19. In June of 1865, two years and a half years after Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, with the news that the Civil War was over and that the slaves had been freed. Early Juneteenth celebrations were a time for prayer and gathering of family members in Texas, and decades later, many ex-slaves and their descendants made an annual pilgrimage to Galveston to celebrate. It is recognized as either a state holiday or observance in Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming, as well as the District of Columbia. It is traditionally celebrated with an all day outdoor meal in a park or other outdoor setting.

June 14 is Flag Day in the United States. It is a national observance, not a federal holiday, and is an official holiday for only one state: Pennsylvania. The On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution adopting Betsy Ross' flag as the flag of the future United States of America. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing the observance, and finally, in 1949, an act of Congress established it as National Flag Day.

On June 6, we observe D-Day, the anniversary of the World War II Invasion of Normandy in 1944, which was the beginning of the Allied liberation of Europe from Nazi occupation. The invasion was originally scheduled for June 5, but incredibly bad weather caused travel delays for the troops, who arrived by ship, and General Eisenhower had to put it off for a day.

Father's Day is celebrated in the United States on the third Sunday in June, having been recognized by Congress in 1956, but not established as a permanent national observance until Richard Nixon did so in 1972. But it started long before that. A woman named Sonora Smart Dodd began fighting for such a holiday after listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909. She organized the first Father's Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on her father's birthday, June 19th, 1910.

June 25 is the birthday of several famous Georges. Phyllis George, a beauty pageant winner, was born in 1949. Phyllis was Miss Texas and Miss America in 1971. Boy George, lead singer of Culture Club, was born in 1961. George Michael, half of the duo Wham!, was born in 1963. And George Orwell, author of 1984 and Animal Farm, was born in 1903.

June is a popular month for Donald’s as well. Donald Duck will be 74 on June 9. Donald Trump will be 62 on June 14. And Donald Sutherland will be 74 on June 17.

Other celebrities born this month include Marilyn Monroe, Jerry Mathers of "Leave It To Beaver" fame, Michael J. Fox, and Paul McCartney. Before he was famous for his recent divorce from Heather Mills, Paul McCartney was with a band called the Beatles.

Additional resources for June:

  • Kaboose.com: Father's Day - Find gifts, crafts, recipes, and ideas for a fun Father's Day.
  • Juneteenth.com - Promotes unity, freedom, achievement and self-esteem through the celebration of Juneteenth; the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
  • Beijing 2008 Olympic Games - The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
  • ReadWriteThink: Summer Activities - Offers a variety of summer activities to help children and teens explore reading and writing.
  • USFlag.org: Flag Day - Provides a brief history of Flag Day, images of what historic and current flags of America looked like, as well as patriotic writings such as "I Am The Flag."
  • PBS: D-Day - Includes participant descriptions of the planning and execution of the Normandy invasion during World War II, and the battle for the French beaches as well as a timeline and maps of the invasion.