Today In History:
The era of the Julian Calendar comes to an end October 4, 1582. Pope Gregory issues a bull and the implements his eponymous calendar in the Catholic countries of western and southern Europe. There will be no October 5. Or October 6. Or any other date until October 15, which immediately followed October 4. Don’t let Jaromir Jagr tell you he was born in Spain October 8, 1582, because that would be a lie.
Pope Gregory’s formula for leap years is still in effect and we follow the calendar as he set it, but there’s still some goofy effects from those 11 skipped days. To wit: March 25 is the Annunciation of Mary or “Lady Day” in the old parlance. In Britain, it’s what’s called a Quarter Day and it was the start of the New Year (as weird as that is) and thus the start of the tax year. When Britain — and, at the time, the Thirteen Colonies — finally went to the Gregorian calendar in the 1750s, it was necessary to move tax day up 11 days, as well to April 5 (in 1900, the Brits realized they had to add another leap day, so tax day is now April 6 in Britain). April 5 (or 6) is a weird day to make something due, so the U.S. Government moved their tax day to the middle of the month and Pope Gregory, coupled with British intransigence, is why your taxes are due April 15.
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