Sunday, January 08, 2006

Y2K? Piece of Cake

Back in 1999, I remember my company had whole IT teams devoted to solving the Y2K issue.  Boy, what a cake walk compared to switching calendars.  I wonder at how modern business would deal with the sudden loss of eleven days.

The switch from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar has always confused me.  Calendars through the Ages explains the why’s of the change and the origins of the two calendars.   The site also has the text for the British Calendar Act of 1751.   Wikpedia has a good and thorough explanation although I admit it confused me.  I’m not much of one for astronomical terms.  I slept through astronomy in college.    What I did like about this site was its discussion about how Britain and American usage differs.    If you have a strong desire to convert the dates, I found a calculator created by the U.S. Naval Observatory.  

Notes For British Calendar Act of 1751 For The Year 1752 goes into a more scholarly discussion about how the Act was put into play and gives an explanation about the text itself.  The Gregorian Calendar—History is a bit more lighthearted and has simpler way of explaining the situation.   April Fool's Day began to be recognized in 1752 because of the calendar change, so I suppose the inventors of the whoopee cushion and plastic spilled drinks should be grateful for the calendar change.

What problems this must have caused in Britain and the colonies is discussed briefly at this genealogy site.   Always in the mood for a riot, the change in the calendar riled the mobs of London.  And who the heck wants to be eleven days older?  Hence people changed their birth dates and started using the new style to rectify the difference.  


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