I was all set to write a column this week about our 20th anniversary in the newspaper business, which we will be commemorating this summer, when a press release caught my eye and changed my mind:
The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) issued a press release noting that our Governor has proclaimed the month of June as “Obesity Awareness Month”.
When I read that, I thought to myself, “Huh! He finally got something right!”
Because June is definitely Obesity Awareness Month. That’s because it’s the month when we all put on swimsuits and head to the water. Which definitely makes you aware of obesity. (I took my first swim of the year this weekend, and I became painfully aware of my obesity! Along with the obesity of lots of friends who also should not have been wearing swimsuits.)
But now we have the month officially proclaimed. Thank you, Governor.
I decided to check my files and reference materials to see what else the month of June might have in store for us.
The Big One is the beginning of Hurricane Season, which started on June First. (This season, it should be noted, marks the 20th anniversary of a little storm we might recall as Hurricane Hugo!)
June is also the time for an annual Palmetto State rite of passage known as “First Week at Beach”… which is happening right now along our coast. There are thousands of youngsters who aren’t really even old enough to pick out their own underwear spending their first week of freedom from school with bunches of their equally unprepared friends. Lots of the things school didn’t teach ’em during the last 180 days… they’re learning now during seven days.
I hope they stay safe and have a good time… especially those who just graduated. They need to have a blast before they come back home and find out we’re in a recession and they can’t find a job!
June is National Dairy Month, too. Drink your milk!
Turns out, there are a lot of other food celebrations during the month. June 5th is Donut Day AND National Applesauce Cake Day. June 6th is National Gingerbread Day. And June 12th is World Egg Day. (I’m not sure who makes the proclamation to designate a “World” day.) June 17th is Eat Your Vegetables Day. (But I’m not sure if it’s a World, National, or State day.) After eating your vegetables, if you want dessert, June also has National Fudge Day and Chocolate Pudding Day.
June is a very good month for kids’ characters. No fewer than five were born or invented during the month: Oscar the Grouch on June 1st; Donald Duck on June 9th; Garfield on June 19th; Captain Kangaroo on June 27th (He, incidentally, was actually born, not invented.) And, the biggest of them all: Superman, was born on June 30th!
Kids might also like to know that June 15th is officially designated as “Fly a Kite Day”… so designated to honor Ben Franklin’s famous kite experiment.
And, interestingly, a couple of favorite summertime pastimes were invented in June: The drive-in movie was invented on June 6th; and our national pastime, baseball, was invented on June 12th.
My reference material doesn’t say when the biggest summertime pastime of all – swimming -- was invented. But I’m going out on a limb and guessing it was invented many, many centuries ago in the month of June.
Along with Obesity Awareness!