It’s July! Happy National Ice Cream Month, National Hot Dog Month, Horseradish Month, Grilling Month, Culinary Arts Month, Cell Phone Courtesy Month, Picnic Month, World Watercolor Month, National Baked Bean Month, Anti-Boredom Month, Independent Retailer Month and my favorite, July Belongs To Blueberries Month.
All of those months we just mentioned are actual observances, with backgrounds and histories behind them, so we thought we’d look at some of the more interesting July celebrations and why they exist in the first place.
Up first: National Ice Cream Month!
Ice Cream Month was actually created by presidential proclamation by Ronald Reagan in 1984, from a joint resolution proposed by then-senator Walter Huddleston of Kentucky. Now, the proclamation gives credit to the American ice cream industry, and calls ice cream a “nutritious and wholesome food, so you’d think this is all some savvy corporate marketing that came from a crafty lobbyist. However, according to Senator Huddleston, he put the joint resolution forward simply because he loves ice cream!
In fact, Huddleston proposed a National Ice Cream Day the year before, so he was working on this thing for awhile! At any rate, Ben & Jerry’s, Blue Bell and the like must have loved the extra attention they received, so they made sure National Ice Cream Month was a big deal ever since.
Next up, National Cell Phone Courtesy Month.
It was founded by author and etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore in 2002 to encourage less annoying and intrusive cell phone behavior. She offers some basic tips, which we should all know and do anyway, such as, turn off your phone in a movie theater, and “Avoid interrupting meetings, social gatherings or personal conversations by answering your phone.”
Okay, but why is July the only month to bring this up? If you’re on your phone in a movie theater in February, you better believe I’m going to tell you to shut up.
And July is also World Watercolor Month!
Founded by Charlie O’Shields from the site Doodlewash, World Watercolor Month serves the dual goal of raising awareness about arts education and raising money for children to get art supplies through the Dreaming Zebra Foundation.
Doodlewash encourages artists to paint 31 watercolors in 31 days, and if you search the #WorldWatercolorMonth hashtag on Instagram, you can see thousands of paintings by amazing artists around the world. We love this “unofficial” month because it’s one of the only ones that doesn’t have a cynical corporate tie-in.
So, why are there so many of these National Whatever Days and Months? The New York Times had the same question, and actually talked to the people who put out the annual Chase’s Calendar of Events Guide. According to the editors at Chase’s, the federal government used to compile all of these unofficial holidays, most of which were proposed by specific industries.
For example, American raisin farmers established April 30 as National Raisin day way back in the early 20th century. Anyone can submit a day to Chase’s, but they’re apparently pretty stingy with inclusion in their book, taking into account criteria such as authoritativeness and permanence.
So, you can’t just go online and declare it National Squirrel-in-the-Pants Month and expect it to be so.
Are you guys celebrating any special months for July? Let us know in the comments and make sure to follow us on Twitter at @WhatsTrending