Down through the ages, man
has attempted to make adjustments to the solar calendar
invented by the Egyptians
in 4236 BC. Historical figures such as Moses
, Julius Caesar
, and Pope Gregory XIII
all made various minor changes, but the calendar we use today is essentially identical to the one used by the pharaoh
To some, this would suggest that the calendar started by the Egyptians must have been nearly perfect to last so long essentialy in its original form. To others, like Wallace Barlow, a Washington DC engineer, the calendar represented man's fear of change. Barlow believed that the calendar should be changed.
Upon simple inspection, the Barlow Calendar does not appear radically different from the one we use today. There remain 12 months, and each retains its order and name. What makes the Barlow Calendar different is the way it assigns the days and holidays to the months. Each month has 28 days, or four weeks, and should begin on a Monday and end on a Sunday. Of course, this leaves us with 29 days unaccounted for.
All these days would be national holidays, or "festival days", as Barlow called them. The festival days would begin at the end of each month and would not be called Monday or Friday, but rather the "first day of festival," the "second day of festival," etc.. Some months would have only one festival day at the end, but since the month ends on a Sunday, the least you could expect each month would be a three-day weekend festival. Others, like May, would be followed by a seven-day festival on leap year and a six-day festival on normal years. Additionally, every Christmas would be a week-long festival.
Christmas, however, would fall on 30 December, which is one of the biggest problems Barlow would have with selling the idea to Congress. There was a minor uproar from some corners when Congress adopted the Monday holiday system and took some important dates in history and arbitrarily set observance of those dates as the nearest Monday. Changing the observance of Christmas, the Fourth of July, and other holidays, would have been quite a challenge indeed, in spite of a rather well-thought-out idea.
Source: World Book Encyclopedia, 1961.