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Summer began at midnight today.  At least UP here in the Northern Hemisphere.

Hooray for Summer!

Iced tea, beaches, vacations, out door holidays, family reunions, weddings, high electric bills.

It’s all fun.

What’s it all about you ask?

Solstice!

Not just sun and fun, the summer solstice actually means something.

The seasons of the year are caused by the 23.5 degree tilt of the earth on it’s axis.  The earth rotates like one of those crazy tea-cups at Disney World which makes the North Pole stay in a fixed direction.  It’s pointing into space toward the North Star.  But the earth is also revolving around the sun according to our old friend Copernicus.  So, during half of the year, the southern hemisphere has more of the sun than the northern.  But during the other half, the exact opposite is true.  At noon in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun appears high in the sky all summer long, and low all winter.  The day each year when the sun reaches UP to the tip top of its elevation happens on the summer solstice…the day with the most daylight hours.

That’s right lt’s the longest day of the year.  More daylight.

And on non leap years, it’s always June 21.

For some, it’s a religious holiday.  Many Native American tribes celebrate it as well as most Neopagan followers.

For some it’s a birthday.  Kris Allen, you know the American Idol who beat out Adam Lambert, yet still gets no air time, well, it’s his birthday.

Hey! Buy my records!

And ironically, Increase Mather of the Salem Witch Trials was born on the Summer Solstice….creepy, no?

Increase Mather

There’s a great deal of historical significance to it as well.

The Mollie Maguires were hanged on the Summer Solstice.

The US captured Guam from Spain during the Spanish American war.

Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Mickey Schwerner, three civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi on this day in 1964.

Now you have something to think about while you lie in the sun by the pool!

Have a happy summer!

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