Trivia Time!

William Shakespeare and Miguel Cervantes are probably the best known or even the greatest writers in the English and Spanish languages. These stellar lights of the literary universe died on the same day yet Cervantes died ten days before…!  


For a long, long time the first day of the official year in Englandfell on the 25th of March. So, for example Elizabeth I of England was recorded as having died on 24 March 1602 (Old Style New Year’s Eve). Her death, if the year were recorded as starting on January 1st (the modern system of numbering years) would be written 24 March 1603 which would then, after Julian to Gregorian transformation, correspond to 3 April 1603 (New Style).

Clear? Clear as mud! Does this remind you of the mindless ambiguities spouting from the mouths of transformation leaders?

Catholic countries such as Italy, Poland, Spain, and Portugalwere first to change to the Gregorian calendar. Thursday, 1582 October 4 was followed by Friday, 1582 October 15, with 11 days “missing forever”. Countries that did not change until the 1700s observed an additional leap year, necessitating 12 “missing days”. Some countries did not change until the 1800s or 1900s, necessitating more “missing days”.

Are you familiar with transformation projects where multiple streams of activity are occurring in apparent isolation? There would be a moment in time, far in the future where everything might, just might be synchronized, but until then – rampant confusion!

France changed from the Julian to Gregorian calendar on 9 December 1582 where the next day was 20 December 1582. In Russia, the Gregorian calendar was introduced much later—on February 14, 1918. Hence, the October Revolution of 1917 actually took place in November! (November 7 New Style = October 25 Old Style).

Englandchanged to the Gregorian date system in 1752. When Shakespeare died on 23rd April 1616 his date of death was recorded according to the Julian date system. Spain, as noted above, changed to the Gregorian system in 1582 so when Cervantes died on 23rd April 1616… he didn’t die on the same day as Shakespeare, he predeceased him by ten days. 

 And you thought corporate transformation was complex…!