Today is June 27, which may not mean much to you unless it’s your birthday or anniversary. It doesn’t mean much to me, either, but if you’re looking for something to celebrate, here are a few choices:
This is the 178th day of the year with 187 days remaining, which means there are plenty of days left to finish your Christmas shopping. It is National Sunglasses Day, National Indian Pudding Day and National HIV Testing Day, as well as National Orange Blossom Day. In Germany, June 27 is Siebenschlafertag — Seven Sleepers Day, a day much like our Groundhog Day in which the weather for the day is said to predict what the average weather will be like for the next seven weeks. Siebenschlafertag is the name for the Edible Dormouse, a giant rodent — maybe the one who does the predicting like Puxatawney Phil.
Today is the anniversary of the day that Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo claimed California for Spain in 1542 and there is still a little piece of California with his name on it at Cabrillo Point. In 1652, New Amsterdam, now New York City, passed the first speed limit in the nation on this day. All wagons, carts, horses or sleighs were forbidden to ride at a gallop through the city. Later, in 1899, a man was arrested for driving 12 mph in — what else in New York City — his electric taxi.
After the British left, the Liberty Bell returned to Philadelphia on this day from Allentown. It’s still there, 236 years later, although it did spend a few years being exhibited around the country and pieces were picked off by the adoring public.
On June 27, 1833, Prudence Crandell, a white woman, was arrested in Connecticut for conducting an academy for black females. One hundred and seventy five years later, we elected a black president — vindication for Prudence who wasn’t prudent but was courageous … and right.
June 27 is also the date of a number of famous, infamous and not so famous battles, but in the history of the world, just about any date of the year can boast of some famous battle. We are a contentious lot, we humans.
The Newberry Medal for children’s literature was first awarded on this day in 1922 to Hendrik Van Loon for “The Story of Mankind.” Seven years later on June 27, the first color TV was demonstrated.
Ross Perot, he of the big ears and the presidential aspirations, was born on this day and so was Spider-Man, Tobey Maguire. Helen Keller’s birthday is June 27 and so is my childhood favorite, Captain Kangaroo, aka Bob Keeshan. I don’t know when Mr. Greenjeans was born.
I probably won’t be celebrating June 27 with an HIV test or by hanging out with a giant dormouse. Indian meal is actually cornmeal and while I like the little cornmeal mush thing used for garnish at Chevy’s, I won’t be around Chevy’s on June 27. I know I will be wearing my sunglasses and so will a lot of other people, whether they know it’s National Sunglasses Day or not. With the June heat, it might be just the day to sip some iced tea sweetened with orange blossom honey and re-read “The Giver.”
Wendy Schultz is a staff writer and columnist for the Mountain Democrat. Her column appears bi-weekly.