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Re: [Phys-l] Newton's birthday

During Newton's lifetime - his birthday was never anything other than December 25th.

A few decades after his demise, England (and the colonies) went Gregorian and the powers-that-were chose to 'update' his birth date to January 4th.

Let's not KEEP changing it. Let it lie - either the Dec 25th that he knew or the Jan 4th that the politicians updated it to.

At the base of his Westminster statue - the Latin inscription ends with:
He was born on 25 December 1642, and died on 20 March 1726/7. - Translation from G.L. Smyth, The Monuments and Genii of St. Paul's Cathedral, and of Westminster Abbey (1826), ii, 703-4.[58]

indicating the uncertainty as to when the 'New Year' actually occurred in 1726/7. The 'official' change to Jan 1 wouldn't occur until 1750.

All calendars have a bit of fascinating arbitrariness about them.

At 10:35 AM -0800 1/4/10, Leigh Palmer wrote:
According to my Julian calendar* December 25, 2009 coincides with 7 January 2010 Gregorian. I think that is the proper anniversary of Isaac Newton's birth. Google's a bit early.


*Intercal, a very nice Macintosh application written by Dennis A. Elliott
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