Rascal Flatts’ “Summer Nights” is a classic summer anthem to add to a beach playlist.
Happy summer! Kick off the first day of the season with these summer-inspired tunes and movies, and test your knowledge on summer facts.
California Gurls by Katy Perry
Bikinis, sun-kissed skin and popsicles — a perfect summer trio.
Summer Nights by Rascal Flatts
The music video, featuring fans of the country group, has everyone singing along to this summer hit. Bring on the jean shorts, flip-flops and beach bonfire.
All Summer Long by Kid Rock
This mashup brings back two 1970s classics: Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama and Warren Zevon’s Werewolves of London.
School’s Out by Alice Cooper
This 1972 classic encompasses the feeling of those last few dragging minutes of the last day of school. There is no better feeling than the freedom of that final school bell — school’s out for summer!
Surfin’ USA by The Beach Boys
Whether you surf or not, this classic is the quintessential summer tune to play during your well-deserved beach vacation.
To complete your summer playlist, check out USA TODAY’s free 10-song playlist on iTunes.
Dazed and Confused
The last day of school is the greatest day of the school year. Let the summer adventures begin.
The Parent Trap
Reminisce about your summers at sleep-away camp and your long-lost twin that’s out there somewhere.
Beach vacations have never been the same since you saw this for this first time.
Follow William Miller through his summer adventure writing for Rolling Stone. Don’t you wish your summer internship was that cool?
I Know What You Did Last Summer
Watch and hope that there is never a reason for you to receive the dreaded “I know what you did last summer” letter.
Do you know why the summer solstice is the longest day of the year but not the hottest day of the year?
According to The Farmer’s Almanac, the Earth’s atmosphere, land and oceans absorb and store some of the sun’s energy, converting it to heat. At summer solstice, the Northern Hemisphere receives the most energy from the sun but the water remains cool so the hottest heat has yet to occur. The effect, seasonal temperature lag, eventually causes oceans and land to release stored energy from the summer solstice resulting in the highest temperatures in late July or August.
Do you know who invented the popsicle?
Frank Epperson, an 11-year-old boy, left his cup of powdered soda and water with a stirring stick inside on his porch on a cold San Francisco night in 1905. The next morning, it was frozen. Initially, he named the frozen pop ‘Epsicle’ but as he grew older, his kids called them ‘Pop’s’ sicle.
Do you know how much ice cream the average American eats each year?
6 gallons! The average American eats more than any other nationality. July was declared National Ice Cream month by President Reagan partially because the most ice cream is sold during the month of July.
Watermelon: fruit or vegetable?
The summer favorite is actually a vegetable! Watermelons are composed of 92% water and are considered part of the cucumber and pumpkin family. There are 1,200 varieties of watermelons around the world.
Do you know why summer break was created?
Thanks to Horace Mann and other education reformers in the 1800s, a summer break was added to the school calendar. Educational reformers feared that over-stimulating children’s brains could lead to insanity. Summer vacation gave teachers a well-deserved break and a chance to avoid hot, crammed classrooms, which would also prevent the spreading of diseases.
What are your summer favorites? Let us know in the comments!
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