St. Swithin and the Fourth's

July 2, 2018

The Bishop of Winchester died July 2, 862.  The Benedictine monk requested an outside burial so the rain would fall on his grave.  Once entombed in a cathedral, a long drought began. Re-buried outside, the drought ended and the rain returned for 40 days. The tradition states that if it rains on July 15, St. Swithin's Day, it will rain for 40 days; applying only to England. "St. Swithin's Day if thou dost rain, for 40 days it will remain.  St.Swithin's Day if thou be fair, for 40 days 'twill rain nae mair."  There is also the famous Gaelic limerick by the renowned poet Paddy Quigley, "If in Baton Rouge from May 'til 'tember, the rain may fall on family members." Also...James Heintze researched weather conditions for the Fourth of July and noted that in New York City from 1789 to 1855 rain fell on thirteen “Fourths.”  On July 4, 1860, eight members of the German Fusiliers died from sunstroke in a Charleston, S.C. parade.  On July 4, 1874 the New York Herald reported that “whole blocks of houses” in Washington, D.C. lost roofs when a tornado roared through the town.  In Boston on July 4, 1831, The National Intelligencer reported that, “The Northern Lights were beautifully vivid at the close of the 4th.”  The hottest Independence Days have come from seven cities in the Southwest including: Needles, Palm Springs, Thermal, Daggett and Blythe, CA, Phoenix and Las Vegas.  Schenectady, New York reported an earthquake on July 4, 1806.

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