Does the U.S. consitution give Congress the power to change the calender? Congress can creat uniform weights and measures, but does that include units of time? Do states have a role? Could Conress adopt the world calender or Idaho decide to use metric hours?
To all of the above: yes. However, people are under no obligation to give a flip. Basically, no central body controls what units people use, for which I am profoundly grateful.
And Indiana shows this very point, for years they did not give a flip . They have refused for many years to adhere to daylight savings time (because the cows would be upset, or some other reason, like children at the bus stop in the morning would be in danger) . Only this up coming year will they follow the practice of the near by states and change thier clocks with the rest of the nation. Not because congress mandated it, but because people got tired of being out of sync with the neighboring states.
I believe that Arizona may still be a hold out on this.
I believe that Hawaii also does not use Daylight Savings Time in addition to Arizona.
This makes sense for Hawaii. Since it is tropical the days don’t get much longer in summer or shorter in winter, so there’s less reason to shift the days back and forth by an hour. Also, Hawaii doesn’t share its time zone with any other state (except for some Alaskan islands), so there is less incentive to keep Hawaiian clocks in sync.
The fact that Arizona, Hawaii, and parts of Indiana have opted out of Daylight Savings Time doesn’t represent defiance of Congress, but rather compliance with the procedures set out in the Uniform Time Act of 1966 allowing states to exempt themselves.
Yes, Congress has power over clocks and calendars, at least as far as legal matters are concerned. (You can keep your personal appointment book or set your watch however you like.) Per the UTA,
If Congress decides to adopt the French Revolutionary calendar, and specify that you have to file your tax return by 20 Germinal, then you can track the dates on your Palm Pilot any way you like, but you had better have your taxes in by 20 Germinal.
Obviously, practical considerations apply to Congressional power both ways. Congress can’t change the calender because no one would pay attention, just like metric.
Well, in recent years the Post Office has been pretty forgiving. If you get your return in by 21 Germinal, they’ll back-date the postmark to the 20th.
Alons enfants de la patrie…
There’s another thread right now whereby Maine is probably going to move a timezone over, to Atlantic time.
Don’t try to tell me, that somewhere deep in his heart, the President isn’t thinking about renaming one of the months Bush.
Well, Jan, Feb, March, April, May and June are named after pagan deities. In a “Christian” country, shouldn’t they be named after Christian saints? July & Aug are named after Roman emperors. What about US presidents: perhaps Bush 1 and Bush 2. And Sept through Dec are just Latin numbers: they are wide open, perhaps for corporate sponsoship, so we could have Christmas on Halliburton 25th.
Politically charged statements are not permitted in GQ. Little Nemo, you have been warned. Do not do this again.
General Questions Moderator
Since I followed up with more politically charged statements, I apologise for getting carried away that way too.
But if Congress changed the U.S. calendar, wouldn’t it cause massive confusion in a world context? (e.g. if it were Tuesday the 4th in the U.S. and Friday the 6th in France). I doubt that they would do this lightly because it would cause the U.S. to be out of sync with the rest of the world.
And they’re numbers 7-10 but in our calendar they are months 9-12.
Well, obviously, the patron saint of the conservative movement is going to come first – Reaganmonth, Christiannationmonth, Godblessamericafirstmonth, Bushmonth Primus, Bushmonth Secundus, Rovemonth, Nordquistmonth, Speedthecomingrapturemonth … and each one can be “brought to you by the Highest Bidder Corp.”
Yeah, but every new administration could just change it again…
Jacksonary, FranklinRooseveltary, MartinVanBurenary, AlGril, Microsoftmonth (highest bidder will still have some say).
There already is a fair amount of confusion over calendars.
Japan uses a common calendar based on the year the latest Emperor came to power. Arabic countries use a muslim calendar. Israel uses a jewish calendar. The Chinese use a lunar calendar, with an extra month during leap years.
So there are already a lot of ‘conversions’ involved in matching these calendars. But it’s common to match your calendar to those of your most common trading partners, at least for business purposes. Thus much of the commercial world now works with the Roman/Gregorian system.
Actually, for the calendars whose systems are very different from the Gregorian calendar, it’s not that hard – double calendars are freely available giving the dates in both versions. And for cross-border business purposes, the Gregorian system is freely used.
The really confusing one is the Ethiopian calendar, which is based on the Alexandrian calendar. It’s confusing because it’s very much like the Gregorian calendar, but just slightly different. It’s eight years behind the Gregorian. It seems to me that it’s pretty easy to tell that you’re looking at the wrong calendar.
If it says the year is 5765 (Jewish) or 1412 (Bengali) or 1426 (Islamic), you might think “Hmm … I’m looking at the wrong date.” But if it’s close enough (like 1997 instead of 2005) you might not catch the mistake at first.
Isnt the GOVT (US) moving for longer Daylight savings time (In terms of months? March-Nov, instead of Current Apr-Oct?)
Well, something like this has already happened, with the conversion from the Julian to Gregorian calendars. This resulted in a change of 11 days. I believe the RC church adopted it as far back as maybe 1580, with several countries following suit. Britain and its American colonies (not yet the US) adopted it around 1750, and some Eurpoean nations not until around the time of WWI. And I think widespread adoption in China did not occiur until around WWII.
More recently, and possibly an example of Congress acatually fiddeling with time (if not the calendar directly), the US adopted "Coordinated Standard Time’ (“UTC”) in 1972.