What is August known for? Is it the sandwiches? The sprouting weeds? The lion and the virgin? Find out with these fun facts about August!
In the northern hemisphere, August is what we call the dog days of summer. The weather is gloriously warm, the gardens are lush with vegetables ready to pick, and the parks and beaches are packed with people enjoying the last few weeks of summer vacation. August is such a blissful month, isn’t it?
August is a time to relax and recharge for the coming school year and the impending fall season. We’re not quite ready to drink pumpkin-spiced lattes in August, so we’ll stick to our iced tea and coffee for now, thank you very much.
Do you know what August is known for though? Well, with these fun facts about August, we’ll also discover that August is just a little bit quirky too.
As a month, August has been put through the ringer. Its name has changed numerous times. Its number of days has been switched up. It seems whenever the calendar changes, it’s August that gets toyed around with.
Let’s find out what rare gemstone forged in lava represents August. And what legendary performers and icons we lost during this month. We’ll even throw in the theft of the Mona Lisa, a cryptocurrency heist and the invention of the sandwich for good measure.
How does that all sound? Are you ready to discover a plethora of August facts? Then here we go!
20 Fun Facts About August
1. August was once the 6th month of the year
In the Roman calendar, August was known as “Sextilis”, the Latin word for 6. It wasn’t until 700 BC when January and February were added to the calendar, that August was bumped down to become the 8th month of the year.
2. How many days are in August?
Come on, August! Make a choice! The number of days in August has changed many times.
First it was 30 days. Then, 31. When January and February came onto the scene, August got reduced to 29 days. Then, Julius Caesar changed it back to 31. Thankfully it has remained that way ever since.
3. August has an identity crisis
While “Sextilis” does have a somewhat naughty ring to it, it was in 8 BC when it was dropped and Augustus became the official name.
The month was named in honor of Augustus Caesar, the Roman emperor and adopted son of Julius Caesar. Eventually, Augustus was shortened to simply, August.
4. No other month with the same starting day
Here is one of the more interesting August facts – in a regular year, no other month starts on the same day of the week as August.
In a leap year, that other quirky month, February, will start on the same day of the week as August. It’s interesting the way the days fall within a month, isn’t it?
5. The lion and the virgin
No, we’re not in a Madonna music video! The two zodiac signs that represent the month of August are Leo and Virgo.
Leos, represented by the lion, are people born from August 1st to August 22nd. Virgos, represented by the virgin, are people born from August 22nd to August 31st.
6. The underrated birthstone of August
A birthstone of the highest beauty, period. Errr, we mean peridot. Peridot is a stunning green gem that is forged in lava.
While it may not be the most well known of the birthstones, its stunning range of color from electric grass to subtle olive, will make anyone green with envy.
7. August is for holidays and vacations
The residents of major European cities often go on vacation in August. If you’re traveling to Paris or Rome, you will notice that mostly everyone around you are fellow tourists.
Don’t worry though, while many residents are gone, the service industry remains to take your tourist dollars!
8. The strange days of August
There are many strange days celebrated in the month of August, but here are a few of our favorites.
August 3rd is National Watermelon Day. August 10th is National Lazy Day. Maybe our favorite, August 16th is National Roller Coaster Day. And finally, August 28th is fancy, it’s National Bow Tie Day!
9. August is the month of…
Sandwiches! This makes sense because the sandwich was invented in August of 1762 when the Earl of Sandwich (yes, that’s a real guy) requested two pieces of bread with meat inside.
But shouldn’t the cook who made the sandwich get the credit? Either way, now all we want is a good sarnie!
10. August is also the month of…
Weeds! In the days of the Anglo-Saxons, August was known as “Weod Monath” or Weed Month, because it was when weeds and plants grew the fastest.
Here is one of the coolest fun facts about August. Bamboo in August can be seen growing with the naked eye at up to two inches an hour!
11. The birth flowers of August
August is represented by two unique and spectacular flowers. The first is the gladiolus. A bright and vivacious flower that is also known as the sword lily as it grows in long stalks.
The second is the poppy, which we know to represent remembrance, but also creativity and imagination.
12. The most famous speech ever given
It was on August 28th, 1963 that Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.
An astonishing 250,000 people showed up to listen to the speech which called for the end of racial discrimination and equal rights for all.
13. Eat your veggies!
August is the month when most vegetables are ready to be harvested. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and peas are at their freshest and most bountiful in August.
Here’s a quick gardening tip. Anything that grows underground should not be harvested in August. It needs that warm August soil to grow larger.
14. The disasters of August
Two major world events that destroyed entire cities happened in August. On August 24th, 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted destroying the city of Pompeii and its citizens.
On August 6th, 1945, the US deployed the first atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
15. Famous Leos born in August
If you’re looking for leaders of the highest caliber, look no further than the Leos of August.
The 44th President, Barack Obama was born on August 4th. 7-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady was born on August 3rd. And the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong was born on August 5th.
16. Famous Virgos born in August
If you’re looking for inspiration and unmatched achievement, look to the Virgos of August. Basketball hero Kobe Bryant was born on August 23rd. The King of Pop Michael Jackson was born on August 29th. And business tycoon Warren Buffet was born on August 30th.
17. A boy or girl named August
August is a popular first name in some countries. In Sweden, August is often among the top-50 boys’ names each year.
In the US, August is the 155th most popular boy’s name. But girls can be named August too! It is the 856th most popular girls name in the US.
18. The deaths of two American icons
Two of America’s most iconic superstars met their early deaths in the month of August. The original blonde bombshell, actress Marilyn Monroe died on August 4th, 1962. Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, died on August 16th, 1977.
19. August is a good month for a heist
August is the month of sticky fingers. And we’re not talking about melting ice cream!
The Mona Lisa was famously stolen in August of 1911 and wasn’t recovered for two years. In a more recent August heist, the Poly Network heist of 2021 stole over $600 million worth of cryptocurrency!
20. Columbus set sail for the Americas
It was in October of 1492 when the explorer Christopher Columbus “discovered” the Americas when he landed near the Bahamas.
But it was two months earlier on August 3rd, 1492 that the journey of Columbus and his 90 crewmen began as they set sail from Spain.
Who wants more fun facts?
If you’re looking for some recommendations, these are a few of our favorite fact books to buy. We use these when planning fun trivia nights with family and friends!
How are you feeling about all these fun facts about August?
Have we missed any interesting August facts about this awesome month? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll add them to this post!