"Oh, it's a long, long while from May to December, but the days grow short when you reach September..."
- Maxwell Anderson
Thirty days hath September, April June, and November - but I had no idea there were so many special events packed into those brief 30 days.
Of course, following the calamitous 11th day of the month four years ago, most of our thoughts are on that somber anniversary this week. But there are joyful days associated with these final days of summer, too. So even amid our mourning, let's celebrate this month's honorees, and some of the events that make us laugh or bow in admiration.
Pardon the favoritism here, but I must begin by telling you 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, for just a few weeks 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 look forward to September each year for the celebration of "National Honey Month," and the folks at Kellogg's and General Mills must have had a hand in calling this "All-American Breakfast Month," and providing a theme song to sing with your Corn Flakes (tune, "Frere Jacques"): "Smells like breakfast, smells like breakfast, mmm, mmm, good - I can smell the bacon, I can smell the bacon, mmm, mmm, good."
September is also: "Library Card Sign-up Month," "Classical Music Month," "National Papaya Month" and about 5,000 other things which probably aren't worth laying in a supply of fireworks to celebrate.
If not a whole month, some events earn at least a week, including: "National Housekeepers Week," "National Banned Books Week" and "National Pickled Pepper Week." Then there are hundreds of groups entitled to at least one September day, like "Working Mother's Day," "Carrot Sunday," "National Blueberry Popsicle Day," "National Be-Late-For-Something Day" and, in the United Kingdom, "Pig Face Day."
You wouldn't believe the 30-page list of September anniversaries I found on the Internet, and doubtless don't care to know that many famous birthdays, local holidays, or the day the first supermarket opened in England. But here are a few trivial items you should know in case you are ever a contestant on Jeapordy. All of the following events happened on Sept. 1:
1859, the Pullman Sleeping Car was introduced;
1864, Sherman burned Atlanta;
1914, the last passenger pigeon died in captivity in Cincinnati, Ohio;
1933, the first Popeye cartoon appeared;
1972, Bobby Fischer became America's first world chess champion; and
1985, the wreck of the Titanic was found.
I have similar (longer) lists for every other day of the month, but fear if I took time to relate them all you would have trouble with the first item above (something about editors and writers). Besides, I need the space to do some honoring myself: more than two dozen careful readers who took time to find the hidden states in our puzzle a few weeks ago, most of whom found all 20 in as little as 15-20 minutes. (Dare I admit it took me two sittings to hit the 20 mark?)
Ed Groover was first out of the gate, slightly after dawn the day the puzzle came out, followed by Sharyn Altman, Rita Wilber, Julie Smith, Gloria Stocks, and Chaplain Heywood Knight - who added, "What some people won't do to get their name in the paper."
Others whose answers trickled in the next week or two include: Ed Leahy, Glenn Frostholm, Billy Waters, Mary Ellen Zielinski, Kay and Mason Richardson, William Butts, Lisa Thompson, Allison Dixon, Helen Lug, Pat and Tom Vanderhoof, Brenda Findlay, Bill Scholly, Donna Trainor, Sandi Delk, Sue Cottingham, Susan Osborn, Nairia Gaddy, Jan Woods, and one anonymous, perfect-answer responder who must not have wanted his/her name in the paper.
For those of you still looking for No. 18, 19, or 20, the answers, in order of appearance, are: Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Missouri, Alaska, Maine, Oregon, Michigan, Delaware, Utah, Montana, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Connecticut, Vermont, Washington, Ohio, Iowa, and Nevada.
(Barbara Seaborn is a local freelance writer. E-mail comments to email@example.com.)
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