The Dog Days of Summer are upon us. As August begins on Wednesday, look for temperatures to be in the low to maybe mid 90’s. Humidity will be on the increase and there will not be a sniff of rain. Now, where does the term Dog Days of Summer come from. I’ve always thought of it as the hot part of summer when the dogs would be wagging their tongues during lazy afternoons. Believe it or not, there is a website that claims to have all of the answers. Here it is:
Snow White went on a little adventure last week to near Campbellsville. Just off of state highway 68 southwest of Campbellsville is Black Gnat, Kentucky. Its a small town almost directly on the Taylor/Green county line. In fact, I wonder if some of the residents live in one county while others live in the other county. Anyway, it seems that the town got its name in the 19th century when they were painting the local school house, or a church, depending on which story you like best. The paint was slow to dry. Perhaps it was during the Dog Days of Summer with high humidity and a low evaporation rate. In any event, a whole bunch of black gnats apparently got stuck to the wet paint on the building, so they named the town Black Gnat. That leads me to wonder what they would have called the town had a flock of birds flown over.
On This Date In History: In 1945, the USS Indianapolis was sunk by a Japanese submarine. The cruiser was returning from Tinian Island where it had secretly delivered the atomic bomb. Because it was a secret mission, details of its schedule were shrouded. So much so that its late arrival went unnoticed. The Americans had intercepted a message from the sub describing the ship they had sunk. The Americans just assumed it was a boast and didn’t follow up. If you remember Jaws then you know the story as told by Captain Quint, who said he was a crew member of the doomed ship. Nearly 1200 men were on the ship. About 400 died from the torpedo blast. 800 men went into the water but only 318 were rescued. No one showed up for a rescue for 84 hours in during that time nearly 500 men were devoured by sharks. Quint said he’d never wear a life jacket again. The Captain of the Indianapolis never sailed again as he became the only officer in US naval history to be court-martialed for losing a ship in war time.
On this date in 1958, NASA was created. I don’t think President Eisenhower envisioned the day when astronauts would drive across the county in a diaper or go into space all boozed up. So much for mankind’s giant leaps.