Happy Fourth of July, Dahlgren!

July 3, 2017 2:28 pm

Happy Fourth of July, Dahlgren residents! Here are some fun facts about this patriotic holiday.

  • While many people believe that the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, there were actually only two people who signed on July 4: John Hancock and Charles Thomson. secretary of Congress. The others signed on August 2.
  • John Adams wanted to celebrate Independence Day on July 2, the day Congress voted for independence.
  • President Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4.
  • Three US presidents have died on July 4: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe. Adams and Jefferson actually both died on July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the country they helped found.
  • July 4 didn't become a federal holiday until 1870, nearly 100 years after the nation was founded.
  • In 1884, miners blew up the post office in Swan, Colorado, because it wasn't supplied with fireworks.
  • Americans consume around 155 million hot dogs on the Fourth of July each year.

10 unusual facts you probably didn't know about the Fourth of July [Business Insider]

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Happy National Hammock Day!

June 22, 2017 11:41 am

Yesterday was the first day of summer, so it's only fitting that today is National Hammock Day. There's no better way to celebrate the summer season than by posting up between two trees for a day of reading, relaxing or snuggling up with the one you love.

Here are some fun facts about hammocks that you might not know.

  • Hammocks were first invented by the Central and South Americans for sleeping off of the ground.
  • Later, hammocks were used by sailors aboard ships to save space and create a more comfortable bed than the hard ground.
  • In the 1920s, hammocks were used by parents to contain babies just learning to crawl.
  • The earliest hammocks were made of tree bark! Since then, hammocks have been made of rope, sisal, palm fronds and other natural materials.
  • The earliest hammocks prevented against disease and attack. Their breathable materials didn't get infected with viruses and disease the way blankets and mattresses did, and because they kept the sleeper elevated off the ground, they protected against bites from snakes, scorpions and other venomous creatures.
  • Styles of hammocks reflect the regions where they originated. For example, the Mayan and Nicaraguan hammocks have a loose weave made from a supportive net, while Brazilian hammocks are made of a cotton fabric that is a bit more durable.

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Happy Summer Solstice, Dahlgren!

June 21, 2017 11:19 am

Today is the Summer Solstice, which marks the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. It's also the longest day of the year for anyone north of the Equator. Here are some fascinating facts about this annual phenomenon.

  • Because the Earth orbits the sun on a tilted axis, the Northern Hemisphere gets more sun exposure between March and September. The peak sunlight is between June 21 and June 22, hence the Summer Solstice.
  • On Tuesday, June 21, most people in America will get 1.5 extra hours of sunlight. This time gets longer the further north you are (for example, Iceland gets about 20 hours of daylight during the Summer Solstice!)
  • Just because the Summer Solstice gives us more sunlight doesn't mean that it's the latest sunset or the earliest sunrise of the year.
  • Every year, the Earth's rotation slows slightly due to tidal friction. This means that every year, the days get very, very slightly longer. 4.5 billion years ago it took just 6 hours for the Earth to complete a rotation, while today, of course, it takes 24 hours.
  • Despite the slowing of Earth's rotation, it doesn't mean that each year marks the new longest day in history. This is because there are other factors affecting the rotation besides just tidal friction (including melting glacial ice, geologic activity at the planet's core, earthquakes and more).

The summer solstice is upon us: 7 things to know about the longest day of the year [Vox]

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