Millennium

Dennis Putnam dap1 at MINDSPRING.COM
Sun Jan 2 07:53:46 MST 2000


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At 08:51 AM 1/2/00 -0500, you wrote:
>
>Hogwash!   The new millennium started yesterday in the year 2000.
>The last century started with 1900. The last decade started on Jan 1
>1990(or is someone going to tell me the year 1990 belongs to the
>decade of the
>80's?).

Ummm, well yes it does. If you look up the January 1, 1901 issue of
the NY Times you will find they celebrated the start of the 20th
century on that day. Thus the year 1900 was part of the 19th century
just as 1990 was part of the 80's decade. Unfortunately, in
Gregrory's, time the math scholars did not yet fully comprehend the
significance of zero. Thus we are stuck with the counter-intuitive
problem of years ending in zero NOT marking a new decade, century or
millenium.

>
>True a sixth-century scholar cheated the first decade out of a year
>but that doesn't mean we should continue to screw this up forever.
>Folks are just going to have to get over the fact that 2000 years
>ago the first year of the first decade was called 1 B.C. and not
>zero.   Surely the Naval observatory has better things to do with
>our tax dollars than pursue such maters on their (our) website.
>

The Naval Observatory's job, in part, is to maintian the time
standard for the US. This is the officially recognized standard
throughout the country. So they are doing what they are supposed to
do with our tax dollars.

The US has adopted the Gregorian calendar as its standard along with
most of the rest of the world, like it or not. Regardless of its
accuracy with respect to the birth of Christ (which is believed to
have been in the spring by the way and a couple of years earlier) the
first day of the first decade, century, millenium was 1/1/0001, BY
DEFINITION, not by some historical event or miscalculation. Gregory
did NOT include 1 BC as year zero on his calendar. As of today, 1999
years and a little over 1 day have been recorded as of this writing
on that calendar. It is unarguable, based on this calendar, that 1999
plus a day or 2 is NOT 2000 years. And 2000 years, by definition, are
needed to complete 2 millenia and start the 3rd.

Interestingly, Cuba seems to be the only country in the world that
has it right.

That having been said, anyone can celebrate the first day of the
century, decade, millenium or what ever they want anytime they want
using their own calender.  If you like to call 1 BC year zero on your
calendar then have a great celebration but just remember it is YOUR
calendar not the world adopted standard. If you want, in about 40
some years, I think, you can celebrate the 6th millenium with the
Chinese. Anyway, it seems to me that a year with 3 zeros in it
doesn't happen very often and should be enough reason to celebrate.
What is wrong with having another BIG celebration next year for the
new millenium? Why do so many want to avoid 2 big year end parties in
a row?

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Dennis Putnam                   Public Key can be obtained from:
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