Month: June 2020

July 1, 2020 – NATIONAL POSTAL WORKER DAY – NATIONAL CREATIVE ICE CREAM FLAVORS DAY – NATIONAL GINGERSNAP DAY – NATIONAL U.S. POSTAGE STAMP DAY

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The Giant Weta

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One of the heaviest insects in the world, the giant weta is an example of island gigantism—the phenomenon in which isolated species evolve to become unusually large in the absence of restraints such as predators. Giant wetas are found primarily on New Zealand's offshore islands, having been driven almost to extinction elsewhere in New Zealand by introduced mammalian predators. They are fairly tame, passive insects that resemble giant grasshoppers. How heavy are the largest wetas? Discuss

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The Great Blondin Crosses Niagara Falls on Tightrope (1859)

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Best known as "The Great Blondin," Jean François Gravelet was a French tightrope walker and acrobat famous for making multiple crossings of Niagara Falls on a tightrope on several occasions. Balancing 160 feet (48 m) above the water on a 1,100-foot (335-m) tightrope, Blondin dazzled crowds by using a different theatrical variation each time he crossed, performing the feat blindfolded, in a sack, pushing a wheelbarrow, on stilts, carrying a man on his back, and sitting down to do what? Discuss

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Guatemala Army Day

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Guatemala's Liberal Revolution, which called for the end of the dictatorship of Vicente Cerna, culminated with a revolt in Guatemala City on June 30, 1871. Originally known as Revolution Day, the anniversary of the revolt became Día del Ejército (Army Day), an official holiday recognizing the service of the armed forces. It has been marked over the years by annual parades, usually in Guatemala City. In 2007, protests against the parade spawned violence in the streets, and the ongoing resistance compelled the government to cancel the official parade the following year. Discuss

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Michael Phelps (1985)

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Phelps is an American swimmer who has won 16 Olympic medals, 14 of them gold. He started swimming as a child and competed in his first Olympics at 15. A year later, he became the youngest male ever to set a world swimming record, doing so in the 200-meter butterfly. In 2008, he set a record for most gold medals won at a single Olympiad—eight—while setting as many swimming records. Phelps has several unusual physical characteristics that may give him an edge in the sport. What are they? Discuss

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NEW DAY PROCLAMATION | NATIONAL HAND ROLL DAY – July 6

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NATIONAL HAND ROLL DAY July 6 ushers in National Hand Roll Day with the freshest flavor and style! Japanese sushi hand rolls delight the senses with vibrant color, taste, and texture. Every delicate hand roll is masterfully designed and presented as a work of art, while also deliciously dipped in soy for the perfect bite. […]

Algerian Leader Muhammad Boudiaf Assassinated (1992)

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Boudiaf was an Algerian political leader and a founder of the National Liberation Front, which directed the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962) against France. Boudiaf was captured in 1956 and imprisoned. He was freed after Algeria gained independence, but his opposition to the new regime led to a 27-year exile. In 1992, he was invited back to head the government and deal with rising religious influence in politics. Months later, he was assassinated by a bodyguard while doing what? Discuss

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Sts. Peter and Paul Day

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It is said that St. Peter and St. Paul were both martyred on June 29, and for this reason their names have been linked in various observances around the world. In Peru, the Día de San Pedro y San Pablo is celebrated in fishing villages because St. Peter is the patron saint of fishermen. Processions of decorated boats carrying an image of the saint are common, and sometimes a special floating altar is set up, with decorations made out of shells and seaweed. Discuss

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The Dissolution of the Monasteries

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Between 1536 and 1541, English King Henry VIII disbanded hundreds of monasteries and convents in England, appropriating their lands and stripping them of everything of value—including their roofs. Henry carried out this program of dissolution as head of the Church of England, transferring a massive amount of land, wealth, and income to the crown. The monks and nuns were absorbed into their orders, but the dissolution of the monasteries led to the loss of what culturally valuable institutions? Discuss

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Giacomo Leopardi (1798)

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Leopardi was an Italian poet and scholar who suffered throughout his life from chronic physical ailments and dashed hopes. Despite these challenges, he was devoted to philosophy and the classics from early childhood and became one of the most formidable linguists and writers of his time. His pessimistic poetry is admired for its brilliance, intensity, and musicality. He is considered among the great Italian poets of the 19th century. What are some of his most famous works? Discuss

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High-Speed Photography

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High-speed photography allows fast moving phenomena to be recorded with precision and clarity. While in 1948 high-speed photography was defined as a set of at least 3 photographs taken by a camera capable of recording a minimum of 128 frames per second, today’s equipment can shoot as many as 1 million frames per second.

High-speed photography was first put to practical use in 1878 to investigate whether or not a trotting horse ever has all 4 feet off the ground at once. What did the images show?
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June 29, 2020 – NATIONAL CAMERA DAY – NATIONAL WAFFLE IRON DAY – NATIONAL ALMOND BUTTERCRUNCH DAY

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Lily Festival (Festa dei Giglio)

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The week-long Lily Festival in Nola, Napoli, Italy, honors San Paolino (St. Paulinus), the town's patron saint, with eight giant sticks covered in lilies. Over the years the lily sticks (gigli in Italian) grew longer and more ornate; today they are from 75 feet to nearly 100 feet high. After a traditional blessing is given, the crowd throws flowers into the air and begins a costumed procession that meanders through the narrow streets of the town, led by a boat carrying a statue of San Paolino and featuring the eight huge gigli, each of which is surrounded by its own symphony orchestra. Discuss

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Stonewall Riots Begin (1969)

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In 1969, gay rights in the US were virtually nonexistent, and discrimination was routine. On June 28, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular Mob-run gay bar in New York's Greenwich Village, and began arresting patrons for cross-dressing. A crowd gathered outside, taunting police and throwing debris. The police responded with violence. Protest rallies and further riots followed, marking the awakening of the US gay rights movement. At one point during the riot, where did police officers hide? Discuss

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