June 21st 2014 marks the first day of summer, even though it's already felt like it for quite some time. It is also the summer solstice, which is when the earth reaches its greatest tilt of the year of about 23.5 degrees. The northern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun at its greatest angle which gives us the longest day of the year.
Saturday morning, the sun will rise at about 6:16AM and shine all day until about 8:46PM. This will give us about 14 hours and 30 minutes of day light with solar noon (the moment the sun reaches its highest point in the sky) being at about 1:31PM.
For Greenville, It means the official start of summer, but this day has played an interesting role for others parts of the county as well!
Near my hometown on Long Island, there is a town called Smithtown. It is a pretty large town on the northern shore of Long Island that measures 53.6 square miles and has a population of approximately 117,801 people. In the center of town is a statue of an anatomically correct bull that sparks many questions from visitors.
History states, that after rescuing the daughter of a Native American Chief, Richard Smith was awarded with as much land he can encircle within one day on a bull. Well, Smith was no fool and chose to ride the day of the summer solstice, giving him more time than any other day of the year to acquire as much land as possible. The land he encircled is the approximate location and size of current day Smithtown.
In one day, Richard Smith cleverly gained a large piece of property, taking advantage of the extra time granted by the summer solstice. What will you accomplish on the longest day of the year?
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