The Date 1/1/1752

From:Uri London <>
Subject:FW: The date 1/1/1752
Date:Wednesday, July 10, 1996 5:41AM

This is not a joke mail, though worth a forwarding. Found on internal ms mailing list of SQL issues.


From:Rick Byham
Sent:Tuesday, July 09, 1996 7:24 PM
To:SYS Database Tech Issues Open Disc; Bren Newman <>
Subject:RE: The date 1/1/1752

In the tradition of more than you wanted to know:

In 45 BC Julius Caesar modified the "Roman" Calendar by adding leap years based on a year of 365 days, 6 hours. But they missed the mark slightly; a year is actually 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 46 seconds. That's why we skip most leap years ending in 00 (like 1900). By 1582 the calendar was 10 days out of sync, with the vernal equinox displaced from March 21 to March 11. Pope Gregory XIII corrected this by skipping 10 days but non-Roman Catholic countries were slow in making their adjustment. Some countries did not adjust until the early 20th century. England (and her American colonies) switched in September of 1752.

There were riots when employees were paid based on days worked and landlords charged rent based on months. Early conspiracy theorists had a field day. "It's all a plot to get our money. Give us back our 9 days!!!"

Most computers track the date by counting days. Though not impossible to write a date conversion algorithm to account for the missing dates, most systems don't want the overhead unless they have a specific need to do this, like a genealogy program.

From:Bren Newman <>
Sent:Tuesday, July 09, 1996 1:33 AM
To:SYS Database Tech Issues Open Disc
Subject:The date 1-1-1752

The following date can not be inserted into a datetime field in 6.5 anything prior to "1/1/1752"? Any reason for this? Any work-arounds (but not varchar field)?


Bren Newman
Microsoft Consulting Services, Cape Town, South Africa

[John Neystadt WWW] [John Neystadt Home Page] [John Neystadt Humor Collection Contents]
Last modified 12:17PM 5/23/96 Created by John Neystadt