Posts Tagged ‘Gregorian calendar’

New Years in Maryland Not What it Used to Be

Friday, January 1st, 2016

chestertownNew Year’s Day is often considered a day of change, but there was one year that the change was a bit bigger than usual for Great Britain and her colonies. The change had nothing to do with New Year’s resolutions and the fact that eleven days went missing had nothing to do with excessive drinking on the part of King George or anyone else. It was a calendar correction, like shifting to daylight savings time in hyper-drive.

Most of Europe, and therefore most European colonies, had been using the Gregorian calendar since 1582. But because this new calendar was the creation of a Roman Catholic pontiff, proudly Protestant Great Britain ignored the change and continued to use the Julian calendar developed during the reign of Julius Caesar. Under the Julian calendar, each year was about eleven minutes longer than a solar year. While this doesn’t sound like much, over the course of the centuries it added up. The vernal equinox was occurring in real life about 10 days before it showed up on the calendar. Something had to be done. (more…)

What day is it?

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

September 6 – if you’d been alive on this date in 1752, it would be have been September 14. And so would yesterday and tomorrow and, well, most of next week, really. September was a really messed up month in 1752, at least for Protestants.

Let me back up a bit.

This all has to do with something we take for granted – the calendar. We look at it to see what day it is, but we don’t question whether it’s accurate (unless it has pictures of pet rocks and Mr. T on it, in which case we might want to check the year).Kate Dolan writes about the evolution of the calendar

Mankind’s earliest calendars predate most other forms of writing. They were pretty accurate, which is good since they were carved in stone and not real easy to change. But they could never be completely accurate because they were based on two natural phenomena with conflicting numbers- the cycle of the seasons and the phases of the moon. (more…)