Excerpt from
The Riddle of Time
Ch. 3, “Man’s Timetable: The Calendar”, pp. 45-47.
© 1963 by Thelma Harrington Bell and Corydon Bell.
Viking Press, Inc., N.Y.

Schemes for redesigning the Gregorian calendar began as long ago as 1834, when a plan for a universal calendar was produced by an Italian priest, Abbé Mastrofini. Between that year and 1930 literally hundreds of calendar schemes were devised. But it was not until the autumn of 1930, when The World Calendar Association, Inc., was founded by Elisabeth Achelis, that a really satisfactory calendar was offered to mankind. The World Calendar is a masterpiece of mathematical ingenuity. It is a 12-month, equal-quarter calendar that is capable of exact repetitions year after year—a feature that the Gregorian calendar does not possess. It is probably the ultimate solution to ending the confusion in our national and international system of time reckoning. It represents the labor of many individuals, as well as the best features of all 12-month calendar schemes.

Even a brief study of this remarkable calendar will reveal its important advantages over our present calendar:

1. A year of 364 days is used as the basis for reckoning time, and every year is essentially alike.
2. The quarters of the year are equal: each quarter contains 91 days or 13 weeks or 3 months, and the 4 quarters are identical in pattern,
3. Each month includes 26 weekdays, plus Sundays.
4. Every year begins on a Sunday, January 1, and each working year starts on Monday, January 2.
5. Each quarter-year begins on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday.
6. The device of ending the year with a 365th day, Worldsday, which follows December 30 each year, stabilizes the calendar and makes it “perpetual”. Recorded as December W, it equals December 31.
7. Every 4 years Leap-Year Day is added at the end of the second quarter and follows June 30. Recorded as June W, it equals June 31 in leap years.

Such a sensible and systematic instrument of time count offers many advantages to the conduct of our day-to-day life and activities. With the help of a stabilized calendar, business throughout the world could plan more efficiently and could simplify its operational and statistical procedures. In matters of schedules and accounting, law, banking, government, transportation, and education would all benefit from the orderly arrangement of time periods in which every year is alike. Some members of the United Nations are enthusiastic about reforming the calendar: particularly India, which must contend today with thirty different calendars. Other nations, including (the United States), so far have shown little interest, although an accurate calendar is, after all, essential to an orderly world society. It seems strange that we strive continually to refine our clocks to millionths of a second, and yet remain content, by and large, to get along with a calendar that is antiquated and confusing. Revising the calendar is a cause worth campaigning for.

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Last updated 7 March 2010