The Calendar Gap

From Sun Feb  2 16:23:27 1992
From: (David W. Tamkin)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.questions
Subject: Re: cal: what's wrong with year 1752
Date: 31 Jan 92 22:28:51 GMT
Organization: Gagme Public Access Hermitage, Chicago, Illinois  60656-1252 (Joshua R. Poulson) wrote in

| In article 
| (XIAO  Yan) writes:
| >Can anybody enlighten me as to what's special about the September 1752,
| >as far as `cal' command is concerned?
| > S  M Tu  W Th  F  S
| >       1  2 14 15 16
| >17 18 19 20 21 22 23
| >24 25 26 27 28 29 30
| That's when some high record-keeper in the Catholic Church updated to
| calendar to correspond for various astrological and religious events.
| It corrected the calendar to correspond to holidays falling on the
| correct days.

Close; in *1582* the *pope* declared that October 4 should be followed
by October 15 to skip ten days and get the calendar back in line with
*astronomical* events. Further, century years were no longer to be leap years
unless they were divisible by 400.  The Julian calendar, by having too many
leap years, was just too long and already ten days over.  This adjustment got
*solstices* and *equinoxes* on the correct dates and thus date-based holidays
back to their proper relationships to the solstices and equinoxes: for
example, Christmas was occurring too long after the solstice and in fact
after perihelion.

So why September, 1752?  Protestant countries didn't go along at first, so
the UK didn't convert until 1752.  Whoever designed the cal program decided
to use the calendar in effect in Britain and its possessions (which, at the
time, included what would become the USA and Canada).  In the meantime, 1700
had been a Julian leap year but not a Gregorian leap year, so the difference
had grown to eleven days.  (That's why September 3-13 are missing.)  When the
fledgling USSR converted in the early twentieth century, they were thirteen
days off and found that their October Revolution had taken place on Gregorian
November 7.

| I could look this up, but I'm unsure of more than the fact that it was a
| guy named Gregor and that's why it's the Gregorian Calendar.

It was a guy named Ugo Buoncompagni, better known as Pope Gregory XIII, who
gave his papal seal to the results.

| Isn't history neat?

In those days it was rather sloppy and unsanitary in comparison to modern

David W. Tamkin  Box 59297  Lincolnwood, Illinois  60659-0297 +1 708 518 6769  CIS: 73720,1570  MCI Mail: 426-1818  +1 312 463 2670


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