The Riddle of Time
Ch. 3, “Man’s Timetable: The Calendar”,
© 1963 by Thelma Harrington Bell and Corydon
Viking Press, Inc., N.Y.
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.
a brief study of this remarkable calendar will reveal
its important advantages over our present calendar:
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
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.
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.