Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/589

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583
REFORMING THE CALENDAR

occur on Sunday. Another nuisance is the inequality in the length of the months and the random fashion in which the various lengths occur—this irregularity even requiring the memorizing of pretty little poems, such as "Thirty days hath September, etc." Still another evil is the starting a new year about one-third way through a season instead of each beginning at the same time. Still another is the ten days discrepancy between the beginning of the calendar year and the solar year, there being no good reason why they should not start together—say at the winter solstice, instead of a little after, as at present.

There is hardly room herein to fully discuss the question historically or to analyze all that is now being done to effect a reform in our curious calendar. It may, however, be interesting to get an idea of a modern view of the case by compiling a résumé of a series of articles upon calendar reform, written by various students of the subject during the past year or so.

Referring to Science, Vol. XXXII., p. 154, a communication from Professor Reininghaus advocates changing the present Gregorian calendar by starting the year with six months of 28 days (four whole weeks each) followed by a half-month of two weeks, then by six more such months and another half-month. This completes 364 days of the year. To them is added a non-week day, followed in leap-years by another day.

On page 306, same volume, Dr. Slocum quotes Mr. Cotsworth, of England, as recommending thirteen 28-day months, putting the extra one in midsummer and calling it "Sol." He then puts in an extra day, calling it "Christmas," and each four years inserts a "Leap-day."

On page 513 Professor Patterson quotes Sr. Hesse, of Chili, as advocating thirteen 28-day months, plus one or two necessary non-week days, suggesting that the new month shall come in winter and be called "Trecember." Professor Patterson, however, prefers to have the new month in summer and suggests "Roma" for its name. He also advocates that we number the hours of the day from 1 to 24, instead of putting in duplicate groups of twelve each, as now.

On page 556 Mr. Dabney agrees with the 13-month advocates above mentioned. He refers to possible difficulties in arranging the legal holidays, which seem to depend somewhat upon politics and public enthusiasm. He thinks that outside of the four old-fashioned ones, they had better be made to occur on Sundays so there would not be too many of them to interfere with regular weekly occupations.

On page 628, Dr. Cohen fears differences of opinion among followers of the various great religions, should some calendar reform be made universal. He proposes that we do not name the days at all, but simply number them from one to seven in each week as do now certain of the religious denominations, and as did the ancient Hebrews.