Calendar ain’t broke, why fix it?

Published 7:40 pm Wednesday, January 11, 2012

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That is often heard but not always followed.
That’s how I felt about the new proposal to make a permanent calendar in which each 12-month period is exactly the same as the year before. For example, Christmas would always fall on Sunday regardless of the date and Halloween would always fall on a Monday. March, June, September and December would have 31 days all of the rest would have 30.
New Year’s Day would always be on Sunday, as would Christmas. Now doesn’t that make sense to you?
Where do these ideas come from? Don’t we have enough problems to solve that we don’t need to create some where none exists.
This was all contrived at John Hopkins University by a professor of applied physics. He has tried to get people to go along since 2004 but hasn’t garnered too much support. This is called the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar and he claims this would simplify the workweek and working calendar.  We would always have holidays on the same day each year.
This may sound like a hair-brained idea but it has been done before. In June 1968 Congress passed a bill to establish the observance of certain holidays on Mondays. This Act moved Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day from their regular dates to Mondays. The purpose of this was to give three-day weekends to federal employees.
The celebrating of Washington’s birthday and Lincoln’s birthday was lumped into a date designated as Presidents Day, the third Monday in February. It was Washington’s Birthday on Feb. 22 and Lincoln’s birthday was Feb. 12. This year Presidents Day is Feb. 20, a Monday, of course.
Memorial Day, which was always May 30, is now celebrated on Monday, and this year it is May 28.
Everyone knows that Columbus discovered America, or at least that is what some people think, and we used to celebrate his birthday on Oct. 12, but now it is on the second Monday of October, which this year is Oct. 8.
Veterans Day was Nov. 11 and was moved to the fourth Monday in October but after some lobbying by the military in 1978 it was moved back to Nov. 11. Veterans Day has a story of its own.
When it was decided to honor Martin Luther King Jr. with a day in 1983, the third Monday in January was selected instead of King’s actual birthday, which is Jan. 15.
Most young people have taken the new dates for granted and never questioned why they fall on Mondays and now they want to mess with Christmas, New Year’s Day and Halloween. This means our birthday would always be on the same day every year.
Since there would be no Oct. 31, Halloween would always be on Monday, Oct. 29. The Fourth of July would be on a Wednesday. Instead of adding a day every four years in February, they would add a Leap Week every five or six years.
Now if you are as thoroughly confused as I am, I still say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”