July 20, 2019, marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The groundbreaking journey began on July 16, 1969, when NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins launched into space from Florida's Kennedy Space Center. Four days later, on July 20, half a billion people across the globe — or about one-seventh of the Earth's population at the time — watched Armstrong and Aldrin descend the lunar module ladder to become the first humans ever to set foot on the moon. The grainy footage, along with Armstrong's now-famous quote, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," remain forever etched in the minds of those that witnessed the event live.
The US women's national soccer team's quest for the 2019 FIFA World Cup began on June 11, 2019, with a resounding 13-0 win over Thailand. In addition to being the largest margin of victory ever in a women’s World Cup match, the score also set a new record for the most goals in a single World Cup game — for both men and women. The team's incredible journey ended almost a month later on July 7, 2019, with a thrilling 2-0 victory against the Netherlands.
If the rising summer temperatures have you craving a scoop or two of ice cream, you are in luck: July happens to be National Ice Cream Month. The fun tradition was started in 1984 by former US president Ronald Reagan, in recognition of the treat's "nutritious and wholesome qualities." Proclamation 5219 urges citizens to observe the entire month, or at least the third Sunday of July — designated National Ice Cream Day — “with appropriate ceremonies and activities." As you go about performing your civic duty, here is some fun trivia about the delicious treat to keep you entertained.
Since late March 2019, local fishers and sightseers on whale watching excursions along the Southern California Coast have been treated to a rare sight — dozens of school bus-sized basking sharks lumbering through the water. This is the first time the "gentle giants of the sea" have frequented the area in such large numbers in over thirty years.
Two summers ago, on August 21, 2017, thousands of people from across the world witnessed the "Great American Solar Eclipse," the first total solar eclipse to occur exclusively over the continental United States since January 11, 1880. Now, stargazers are getting excited to watch the Sun disappear again for a brief period on July 2, 2019 — this time, the eclipse's narrow path will extend across the South Pacific all the way to Chile and Argentina.
With the days getting progressively longer and warmer in the Northern Hemisphere, summer may appear to be well under way. However, though the meteorological season began on June 1, 2019, the astronomical season will not start until June 21, 2019. Also known as the June solstice, it is the day when the North Pole is most inclined toward the sun, which means that everyone living north of the equator will experience the year's longest day and shortest night. For Southern Hemisphere residents, the date heralds the official start of winter, resulting in the shortest day and longest night of the year.
At about 9:00 p.m. on June 4th, 2019, Joe Dandrea, a meteorologist working the late shift at the National Weather Service (NWS) station just north of San Diego, CA, noticed what appeared to be a large rain cloud on the radar. However, upon peering closer, he realized the "cloud" comprised a huge mass of tiny, flying dots.
Though the Scripps National Spelling Bee has crowned two co-champions on rare occasions — five times in the past 91 years, to be exact — the number of joint winners has never risen beyond that. However, history was made on May 31, 2019, when Rishik Gandhasri, Erin Howard, Saketh Sundar, Shruthika Padhy, Sohum Sukhatankar, Abhijay Kodali, Christopher Serrao, and Rojan Raja became the prestigious competition's first "octo-champions." In addition to the coveted title, the middle school students from five states — New Jersey, Texas, Alabama, Maryland and California — each took home an engraved trophy and a cash prize of $50,000.