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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/596

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

To establish the new calender it would, of course, be necessary to have uniform legislation agreed upon by all the principal civilized nations of the world. They would then simply issue an edict that at a specified future time, the first day of December was to be considered as the tenth and that when the following January 1 arrived the new scheme should commence and remain in force forevermore. Such a ten-day shortening of a month should not frighten any one when it is remembered that this identical proceeding was followed when the Gregorian calendar was established, the change as it happened then also requiring ten days.

When England changed from O.S. to N.S., 170 years afterward, a shortening of the year by eleven days occurred, and nobody seems to have been scared. Of course it could easily be arranged by law that notes and other financial promises and contracts would mature after an expiration of the given number of days of intended duration when they were dated. This little trouble would occur but once, and all things would run smoothly ever after, with a vast improvement in the convenience of reckoning dates and days of all kinds, including our personal birthdays.

The proposed civilization of the calendar might be decreed at any time, but as it will doubtless take years to make the change popular, it might be well to fix upon December, 1918, for a hoped-for performance of the operation. In that year, Saturday falls upon the day of the solstice, December 21. This, when the ten days shortening was made, would be the thirty-first by the new scheme and consequently would be "extra day," "Silvester," or whatever it might be called. The following day being Sunday, would give the start as the first of the new year by the new calendar. Thus, nobody could be prejudiced at the beginning by putting any two Sundays further apart, or nearer together, as would be the case in other years than 1912, 1918, 1924, etc.

In regard to the practical promotion of calendar reform, it would seem as if some of the large scientific bodies of this country should act together, and get into close affiliation with the interested people in Europe, who seem to be farther advanced in their ideas than we are. Thus an influence might be brought to bear upon the various civilized governments of the world which would some time result in victory. Should not an international kalender society be formed in the near future?