Just because August is the only month without a federal holiday (what – no extra days off?!), it doesn’t mean that there aren’t some neat things about the eighth month of the year starting with…

– August wasn’t always the eighth month of the year!  August was originally named Sextillis because it was the sixth month of the Roman calendar.  August didn’t become the eighth month until January and February were added to the beginning of the year by King Numa Pompilius around 700 BC.  It was renamed by the Romans in 8 BC to honor their emperor Augustus.

– The animal kingdom is abuzz!  Birds make their plans to fly south for the winter and the insects are nosier and more numerous (bring out the bug spray!).

– August’s flower is the gladiolus or the poppy.

– August’s birthstone is the sardonyx or the peridot.

– And keeping with the eight theme – eight countries gained their independence during August.

– Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain on his first voyage across the Atlantic on August 3, 1492.

– Richard M. Nixon became the first U.S. president to resign from office on August 9, 1974.

– Hawaii became the 50th, and last, state on August 21, 1959.

– The 19th Amendment – giving women the right to vote in the U.S. – was proclaimed on August 26, 1920.

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream Speech” from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to more than 200,000 civil rights supporters who then staged a march on Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963.

What’s your favorite thing about August?