Interesting Facts About August

The birthstones for August are the peridot and the sardonyx.

The flower for August is the gladiolus which symbolizes remembrance, sincerity and strength of character.

August in the Northern Hemisphere is similar to February in the Southern Hemisphere.

August was originally named “Sextilis” in Latin because it was the sixth month in the original ten-month Roman calendar. It became the eight month when January and February were added to the year before March. At this point it was renamed in honor of Augustus Caesar.


August Observances

Wednesday, August 11th is the end of the Dog Days. "Dog Days" refers to the hot sultry days of summer. In the Northern Hemisphere, the dog days of summer are mostly in the months of July and August. The Romans considered Sirius to be the “Dog Star” and believed Dog Days to be an evil time.

Sunday, August 15th is the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church this was the bodily taking-up of the Virgin Mary into heaven at the end of her earthly life. In the churches which observe it, the Assumption is commonly celebrated each year on August 15 with a major feast.


Historical Events

The National Parks System consists of over 400 designated areas in every state, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. In 1872 President Ulysses S. Grant signed a bill into law creating Yellowstone National Park, which would be the first of many to come. Since then there have been 60 more protected areas that have undergone the process to become formally designated as National Parks, with the most recent being established in February of 2019. These areas are operated by the National Parks Service, an agency of the Department of Interior, which was created in August of 1916 by the Organic Act. The National Parks Service was created to “conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

National Parks can only receive their formal designation by an act of the United States Congress, but many had been previously protected as National Monuments before being officially designated as National Parks. There are 16 different designations inside the National Parks System; some of those included are National Seashores, National Preserves, National Heritage Areas, and National Memorials. Criteria for the selection of National Parks include natural beauty, unique geological features, unusual ecosystems, and recreational opportunities. It must also retain a high degree of integrity as a true, accurate, and relatively unspoiled example of these resources. This differs from other National Parks System designations. For example, National Monuments are frequently chosen for their historical or archeological significance.

The 63 National Parks are located in twenty-nine states, as well as, the territories of American Samoa and the United States Virgin Islands. California has the most (nine), followed by Alaska (eight), Utah (five), and Colorado (four). The largest national park is Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska: at 13.2 million acres, it’s larger than Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Switzerland combined. The smallest park is Gateway Arch National Park, Missouri, at approximately 192.8 acres. The total area protected by national parks is approximately 52.2 million acres.

In 2018 over 85 million visitors made the trek to enjoy our 63 treasures known as National Parks. The most-visited national park is Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee, with over 11.4 million visitors in 2018. This is followed by nearly half that number at Grand Canyon National Park who hosted over 6.3 million visitors in 2018. In contrast, only 9,591 people visited the remote Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in Alaska in the same year. In total, the 419 areas operated by the National Parks Service.


The following are the ways you can order and receive a copy of the 2021 Country Store Catalog:

Online:  By visiting our Country Store
Phone:  1-800-776-2586
By Mail:  Blum’s Almanac, 3301 Healy Drive
               Winston-Salem, NC 27103

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