August is National Inventors Month. Established in 1998 by the United Inventors Association of the USA (UIA-USA), the Academy of Applied Science, and Inventors' Digest magazine, it was dedicated to helping to promote the positive image of inventors. The Edison 2.0 Essay Contest for middle school and high school students assigned for this year's celebration is "What will the world look like in 2059?"
The Lincoln head penny celebrates its 100th birthday this month. On August 2, 1909, the first Lincoln head penny was issued in order to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth. The minting of this particular coin caused controversy and debate among many Americans. Many felt that he was far too important to be on such a small denomination. There were also many who were outraged at the fact that the image of President Lincoln replaced the very popular Indian Head penny. There are more pennies minted than any other denomination of American money.
On August 21, 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state in the United States. Encompassing almost all of the volcanic Hawaiian Island chain, the state consists of eight main islands in Polynesia. It contains 3 national historic parks, including the former leper colony on Molokai, as well as the national memorial erected in honor of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Known officially as the Kingdom of Hawaii until its overthrow in 1893, after which it remained an independent republic for 4 years. It became a U.S. territory in 1900, and 59 years later was admitted into the Union. Statehood Day, observed on the third Friday of August, is a state holiday in Hawaii.
National Mustard Day is the first Saturday in August; which makes it August 1 this year. The observance was first declared by the National Mustard Museum in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, and if you were forward-looking enough to save a hot dog from National Hot Dog Day in July, you've got a lunch!
August 7 is National Lighthouse Day, which commemorates the date in 1789 that Congress approved the Act for the Establishment and support of Lighthouses, Beacons, Buoys, and Public Piers. It has been celebrated since 1988, when it was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.
The 17th annual Left Handers Day is August 13, on which day the Lefthander of the Year will be chosen from nominations which have been whittled down to 5. Those nominees include American Idol winner David Archuleta, famed movie star Angelina Jolie, former Beatle Paul McCartney, Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal, and Barack Obama, the President of the United States.
Musicians who were born in the month of August include the late Jerry Garcia, founder of the Grateful Dead, trumpeter Louis Armstrong, Jethro Tull flautist Ian Anderson, Madonna, Cream drummer Ginger Baker, the late "King of Pop" Michael Jackson, and singer/songwriter Van Morrison.
August-born authors include Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, prolific poet and writer James Baldwin, and Frankenstein author Mary Shelley.
X-File stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were both born in August, as were Alfred Hitchcock, Steve Martin, Ben Affleck, and Robert De Niro.
American Presidents Herbert Hoover, Benjamin Harrison, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Barack Obama were born in the month of August, as were Neil Armstrong, the first man to step foot on the moon, the late Reverend Jerry Falwell, evangelist and co-founder of the Moral Majority, and celebrity homemaker and entrepreneur Martha Stewart.
Additional Resources for August 2009:
National Mustard Day – Promotes the annual National Mustard Day to be held at the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum in Wisconsin.
National Lighthouse Day – Includes a brief history of the origin of Lighthouse Day and information on preserving America’s Lighthouses.
Left handers Day – Features information on how the brain’s of lefthanders is organized, some quirky facts on lefthanders, and distinguishes lefthanders of the year.