By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summers best of weather
And autumns best of cheer.
- Helen Hunt Jackson
Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November - but I had no idea there were so many special days and honored events packed into those brief 30 days.
Of course, after the calamitous 11th day of the month one year ago, most of our thoughts are on the somber anniversary well remember next week.
But there are joyful, even comical days associated with these final days of summer, too. So before we don our mourning clothes for the events of next week, lets celebrate this months honorees, and look back to a few of the September memories that made us laugh or bow in admiration.
Pardon the favoritism here, but I must say at the outset that September is Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month. Write all the nasty letters you want the other 11/12ths of the year but, please, have a heart for just a few weeks and say only nice things about those of us who, through the medium of the printed page, keep you informed, annoyed, or at least entertained.
Beekeepers obviously look forward to September each year for the celebration of National Honey Month, and the folks at Kellogs and General Mills must have had a hand in calling this All-American Breakfast Month. Someone has even suggested a song to sing with your Corn Flakes (Tune: Frere Jacques):
Smells like breakfast, smells like breakfast, Mmmm, mmmm good, Mmmm, mmmm good. I can smell the bacon Mmmm, mmmm good.
September is also: Library Card Sign-up Month, National Chicken Month, Classical Music Month, National Papaya Month, and about 5,000 other things from the ridiculous to the sublime which probably arent worth laying in a supply of fireworks or hiring a band to celebrate.
On a lesser scale, if not a whole month some items earn at least a week of their own. They include, National Housekeep-ers Week, National Dog Week, National Banned Books Week, National Laundry Workers Week, and National Pickled Pepper Week. Then there are hundreds of groups entitled to at least one, special September day: Working Mothers Day, Carrot Sunday, Good Neighbor Day, National Blueberry Popsicle Day, National Be-Late-For-Something-Day, and in the United Kingdom, Pig Face Day.
But the anniversaries of September events with varying degrees of importance fill more than 30 pages of a list I found on the Internet. You may not care to know the whole list, which includes birthdays of famous people, local holidays, and specific events - like the day the first supermarket opened in England, and the day Helen Keller graduated from college. But here are a few you should know in case youre ever a contestant on Jeopardy:
On Sept. 1, 1914, the last passenger pigeon died in captivity in Cincinnati, Ohio; the first Popeye cartoon appeared (1933); the Pullman Sleeping Car was introduced (1859); and Sherman burned Atlanta in 1864. Thats also the day (1972) Bobby Fischer beat Boris Spassky to become Americas first world chess champion and, in 1985, the wreck of the Titanic was found. Among many Sept. 2 events, The Road Runner and The Twilight Zone both debuted, Teddy Roosevelt made his Speak softly and carry a big stick speech and, in 1945, Japans unconditional surrender ended World War II.
The following items also receive their special September day:
Babe Ruth hit his first home run (1914); President McKinley was assassinated (1901); the first Miss America was crowned (1921); Elvis first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show (1956); Hurricane Hugo hit the East Coast (1989); both the safety pin and the ice cream cone were invented; and, in 1783, America and Great Britain signed the Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War.
or the romantics in our midst, I leave you with Maxwell Andersons lyrics to the famous September Song:
Oh, its a long, long while from May to December,
But the days grow short when you reach September.
When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame,
One hasnt got time for the waiting game.
Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few,
September - November!
And these few precious days Ill spend with you,
These precious days Ill spend with you.
(Barbara Seaborn is a local free-lance writer. E-mail comments to seabara @aol.com.)
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