Wednesday, March 13, 2002


We were out-of-town the last 3 days. We live on the edge of the time zone, so often when we travel we have to change our watches. My husband was complaining, "That's one thing I hate about going down here. Every time we do, we lose an hour!" That sounded so funny! I laughed at him, "But, honey, we get the hour back when we go home... it's not like we lose it permanently!" That reminded me of a fasicinating little fact I learned awhile back... on the internet, of course!

Prior to 1582, every year divisible by 4 was a leap year. Since a year contains only 365.242199 days (slightly less than 365.25 days), an error of ten days accumulated over the centuries. To compensate for this error, Pope Gregory XIII (after whom the Gregorian Calendar is named) decreed that the ten days between October 5, 1582 and October 14, 1582 would be eliminated from the calendar. This made October 1582 the shortest month, with only 21 days. After 1582, years divisible by 100 are not leap years unless they are also divisible by 400.

Is that not weird? What about the people who were born during those 10 days? Did they not get a birthday? It makes researching genealogy during that era very interesting to say the least!

Perpetual Calendar

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