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July: A month for celebrations

Moseyin’ Along

July 19, 2011
By Joyce Schenk, COLUMNIST
Now that July has come at last, it’s time to savor all that summer has to offer.

This is the month for sun tans and ice cream cones, porch swings and television reruns, lemonade and concerts in the park. It’s also the time for celebrations. And, like a seasonal smorgasbord, July has something for everybody.

In my constant quest to keep you informed of the really important things in life, I’ve compiled a list of July highlights for you to consider.

Although the Independence Day parades and fireworks are past, the month still has more than enough observances to fill your day planner.

For instance, you may not know that the first postage stamp was introduced on July 1, 1847. In the beginning, folks could send greetings to friends and relatives for mere pennies. But, through the intervening 164 years, postage stamps have become both more colorful and more costly.

Presently, the post office’s most popular offering remains the so-called Forever Stamp, the Liberty Bell, which stays current even when the price of other stamps increase. But, for those interested in dressing up their mail, the postal service’s 2011 Commemorative Stamp Program includes a great variety of subjects. From former president Ronald Reagan to legend of Latin music Carmen Miranda to the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, this year’s selection is amazing. For a mere 44 cents, you can adorn your outgoing envelopes with some outstanding miniature art in the form of postage stamps.

Other highlights of July that have already passed us by are July 5, the day in 1865 that the Salvation Army was founded, and July 7, 1949, when Jack Webb premiered his just-the-facts radio program, “Dragnet.” That break-through ushered in a new era in police shows with thousands of fans tuning in to hear the straight-to-the-point hero, Joe Friday, solve crimes.

Another date worth noting is July 16, 1935. That was the day the first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City. The invention gave new importance to pocket change.

On July 20, 1859, admission was charged for a baseball game for the first time. Compared to that early modest fee, today’s astronomical ticket prices boggle the mind. No doubt the increases have been made necessary by the level of pay demanded by today’s crop of millionaire ball players.

Space travel buffs will want to mark July 20 for another reason. It was the date Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, Jr., landed their module, “Eagle,” on the moon and took the first lunar space walk.

In addition to these individual dates, July has also been designated National Ice Cream Month, National Hot Dog Month, National Baked Bean Month, and National Peach Month. These food-focused observances make summer picnics an ideal means of celebration.

With all July has to offer, take time to savor summertime right here, in Chautauqua County style.


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