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honour celestial event born celebrate global seasons iconography
father’s day full moon Paul McCartney Juneteenth world refugee day summer solstice Laura Secord’s walk

A week full of remembories: of watching the sun slip below the horizon around 11 pm; teaching university courses in American and Canadian history; a Czechoslovakian refugee, Lubosh, (Soviet invasion, 1968) in my grade school class; Laura Secord chocolate Easter eggs with a creamy filling, including a yellow “yolk” centre.

Sunday, June 16: Father’s Day

Father’s Day was inspired by William Jackson Smart. A civil war vet, Smart fathered 14 children, losing two wives in the process. His daughter, Sonora, thought it fitting that fathers, as well as mothers, should be honoured with a special day. She began her lobbying in Spokane, Washington in 1909. Richard Nixon signed it into law as a national holiday in 1972.

Some countries honour father on different days. For example, parts of Europe and Latin America, following a Catholic tradition (St. Joseph’s Day), celebrate on March 19. Australia and New Zealand fete dad on the first Sunday in September.

Monday, June 17: full moon

Strawberry, mead, and honey are nicknames for this month’s full moon. A bright Jupiter will add to the “sweet treat.”

Check the weather forecast for your moon-viewing.

Tuesday June 18: Paul McCartney was born in 1942

Wednesday, June 19: Juneteenth (Emancipation Day; Freedom Day)

“Juneteenth . . . is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African Americans throughout the former Confederate States of America. Its name is a blend of “June” and “nineteenth”, the date of its celebration. Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in 45 states.” Wikipedia

Three videos about Juneteenth: Inside Edition; Minnesota History; AL.com

Thursday, June 20: world refugee day

World Refugee Day is a day celebrated around the globe to honor the strength and resilience of refugees. (usahello.org) The theme in 2019: #StepWithRefugees – Take a Step on World Refugee Day. In a world where violence forces thousands of families to flee for their lives each day, the time is now to show that the global public stands with refugees. (United Nations)

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Figures at a Glance, a statistical yearbook of the global refugee crisis.

Use this interactive map to discover a world refugee day event in your area.

Friday, June 21: summer (June) solstice (in Northern Hemisphere; winter solstice in Southern)

Solstice means “sun standing still” in Latin, a reference to the fact that the sun appears to linger at its highest point in the sky for the year at midday on the summer solstice. msn weather

“At that moment, its zenith does not move north or south as during most other days of the year, but it stands still at the Tropic of Cancer. It then reverses its direction and starts moving south again.  The opposite happens during the December solstice. Then, the Sun reaches its southernmost position in the sky – Tropic of Capricorn – stands still, and then reverses its direction towards the north.” timeand date.com

Sun fun fact: Even though the summer solstice is the longest day of the year (Northern Hemisphere), the earliest sunrise and latest sunset for 2019 may occur before and after June 21. Test the theory:

From ancient times, the summer solstice played an integral role in society. Stonehenge stands as lasting example. The megalithic structure is designed to mark the moment of the summer solstice.

Saturday, June 22: Laura Secord

During the war of 1812, Laura Secord (her family were Loyalists, moving to Canada after the American Revolution) trekked 18 miles through the woods to warn the British forces of a planned attack by the Americans.

Despite efforts of her son to see her exploits rewarded, Laura and her walk remained in the shadows of history. Looking to shine light on female heroines, the women’s suffrage movement in Canada resurrected her memory in the 1880s. Since then, she has become a mythologized figure, her journey legendary, and an icon of Canadian patriotism. And, the representative Canadian candy queen, her image gracing chocolate boxes since the 1910s.

Laura Secord Statue, Valiants Memorial, Ottawa inscription:

Thanks to Laura Secord, nearly 500 Americans surrendered at Beaver Dams in 1813, and a British defeat was averted. She had overheard plans for a surprise attack and struggled alone through miles of dense bush to warn the commander of the British outpost.

(The Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia provides another perspective on the Loyalist Migration)