366 days make a leap year while 365 days make a regular year. But it will surprise you to find that the year 1752 is the only year with 355 days. Although 1752 should have been a leap year due to the 29th of February, but instead of having 366 days, it was short of 11 days making it the only year with 355 days.
“How did this happen?” That was the same question I asked the first time I heard this information. So I decided to embark on a research. Read further to see my findings as to why the year 1752 is the only year with 355 days.
Why the year 1752 is the only year with 355 days
Two types of Calendar contribute to this mystery of missing 11 days. They are namely; The Julian Calendar and the Gregorian calendar.
The Julian Calendar
The Julian Calendar, introduced by Julius Caesar in the year 46 BC played a large role in why the year 1752 is the only year with 355 days. This calendar is a reform of the Roman Calendar. It became the predominant Calendar in Roman Empire and subsequently in a large part of the western region. It lasted a span of 1600 years until 1582 where it was replaced by the Pope with the Gregorian calendar.
The Gregorian Calendar
Just as the Julian calendar played a role in why the year 1752 is the only year with 355days, the Gregorian calendar also played a major role in this mystery. The Gregorian calendar was introduced by the Pope of the period, Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. His aim was to modify by reducing the length of days of the Julian calendar from 365.25 days to 365.2425 days. His reason was that the Julian Calendar had an error. It drifted against the solar year. Reducing the length of days corrected this. The entire world began to adopt this calendar with Roman Catholic countries first and subsequently Protestant Christian Countries of the West.
The Year 1752
In the year 1752, according to the Julian Calendar, the year began on a Wednesday but on the Gregorian calendar it began on a Saturday. While other parts of the world adopted the Gregorian Calendar, the British Empire did not until the year 1752. You will recall that the Gregorian calendar was introduced in the year 1582. It took the British Empire 170 years to adopt it. France, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain were the first to adopt the Gregorian calendar in 1582. Turkey was the last country to officially switch to the new system on January 1st, 1927 according to historic UK.
As of the beginning of 1752, the Gregorian calendar was 11 days ahead of the Julian Calendar. Great Britain and the British Empire adopted the Gregorian Calendar on the second day in the month of September, 1752. As augustachronicle.com puts it in an article titled ‘why did 11 days disappear in 1752?, “People living in Britain, America and other English colonies went to sleep on the night of Sept. 2, 1752, and when they woke up the next morning it was Sept. 14, 1752.” The periods of September 3-13, 1752 simply never existed. It was deleted permanently. There were no historical events recorded safe for the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar by Great Britain. This led to the popular revolt of 1752 tagged ‘Give us our 11 days’ which contemporary scholars believe was a myth. At the period, it was believed that the people revolted because they thought the government was cheating them and robbing them of 11 days of their lives.
Why was the Julian calendar Replaced?
According to historic UK , the Julian calendar was replaced due to “an inbuilt error of 1 day every 128 years, due to a miscalculation of the solar year by 11 minutes. This affected the date of Easter, traditionally observed on March 21, as it began to move further away from the spring equinox with each passing year.”
So the Gregorian calendar was introduced to fix this error due to its solar timing attributes. It is characterized by 365 days except for a leap year which comes every four years and is divided into 12 months.
In my own opinion, I believe that time is relative. If 11 days can be completely wiped off history due to political and religious agenda and masked under the pretense of correcting an error, it means it is only a matter of time before another error is found in the Gregorian Calendar.