Happenings on the June calendar

Well, May flew by in a hurry, didn't it? And now here’s June, which offers us a zillion weddings, cottage time, more gardening, the end of school, great weather (hopefully), and unlimited sports, including the U.S. Open Golf Tournament and the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

Let’s start our look at June with a little trivia quiz about those two big sporting events (answers follow).

U.S. Open Golf

1. Everybody talks about the history of the Masters, but did you realize that the annual spring spectacle is a relative newcomer compared to summer’s U.S. Open?  Do you know when each of these tournaments began?

2. How did the “Open” start?

Wimbledon Tennis

1. Does Wimbledon Tennis go back farther than U.S. Open Golf?

What else is on the June Calendar?

• June always gives us Friendship Week, and on that subject: “A friend is someone who always answers when you call and usually before you call.”

• June 6, 1980 — After an incredible NHL hockey career of 34  years, Gordie Howe announced that he had decided to quit. Appropriately, the 52 year old had completed quite a final season with the Carolina Hurricanes (formerly the Hartford Whalers), scoring 15 goals, adding 26 assists and never missing a single game.

• June 11, 1847 — Sir John Franklin, the famous explorer, died in the Canadian Arctic.

• Sunday, June 19 — Father’s Day. It was a father, reflecting on family life, who said, “I think the best revenge is to live long enough to be a problem for your children.”

• June 21 — The Summer Solstice.  Here's a quick and whimsical summer thought: Harry and Charlie are with their families at the beach and Charlie says,  “Well, you know, I really don’t mind the summer heat because I’ve always hung around with a lot of shady characters, anyway.”

• June 25, 1951 — The first commercial colour broadcast in television history was presented by CBS. But, for most of us consumers, it wasn’t until much later that we got on the colour TV bandwagon, when shows like Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Colour started turning up on the tube. 

How things change, eh? Now, colour is just taken for granted. Yet, we can remember when black-and-white TV was a thrill, and, indeed, when there was no TV at all.

• June 27, 1652 — Unlike the previous item, this one goes back too far for personal reminiscing, but it was on this day that New York City declared  the galloping of horses “illegal” in the city, with the exception of “out on the highway.”   

Answers, U.S. Open:

1. The Masters started in 1934, whereas the Open had been on the go since 1895.

2.  In 1895, the game of golf had only been popular in America for less than 10 years, but a group of American golf enthusiasts decided there should be a national tournament to determine a champion. So, in that year, they held the first U.S. Open — the tournament being “open” to anyone who wanted to take a stab at it. The first winner was Horace Rawlins.

Answer, Wimbledon Tennis:

1. Yes, Wimbledon is older, having started in 1877, for men. The historic and prestigious championship was first held only three years after lawn tennis had been introduced by Major Walter Wingfield. Wingfield actually patented a type of tennis called, Sphairistike, in 1874. Aren’t we glad it eventually became known as tennis? Can you imagine saying, “Anyone for Sphairistike?”

Women’s singles was introduced at Wimbledon in 1884.