It’s a once in a lifetime date!

Someone sent me a link to this story on AOL.

November Calendar Has Two Days That Come ‘Ones’ Upon A Time

November has two storied days this year — and that’s not including Veterans’ Day or Thanksgiving.

Check your calendar: Nov. 1 and Nov. 11 are listed as 11/1/11 [I write it 1/11/11] and 11/11/11,  and that, according to Ron Gordon, a retired high school teacher in Redwood City, Calif., makes this month a “Ones Upon A Time” mathematical celebration.

Gordon has made something of a name for himself by recognizing quirky calendar dates. Back on March 3, 2009 — or 3/3/09 — he announced that it was “Square Root Day,” since three times three is nine and, earlier this year, he declared July 9, 2011 — or 7/9/11 — as “Odd Day” since all the numbers were sequential and odd.

The next “Odd Day” is September 11, 2013 (9/11/13), and the next “Square Root Day” is April 4, 2016 (4/4/16), but Gordon says the next “Ones Upon A Time” day won’t be until the next century.

However, they’ve made quite an impact on the calendar so far, according to Gordon.

“There was 1/1/01 and 1/11/01 in 2001 as well as 11/01/01 and 11/11/01,” he told HuffPost Weird News. “Earlier this year, we had 1/1/11 and 1/11/11, and now 11/01/11 and 11/11/11, but after that, they won’t appear again this century.”

There will, of course, be other days worth numbering, he said.

“I am thinking of calling Feb. 2, 2022, ‘Trumpet Day,’ because it’s 2/2/2022, which is sort of the sound that a trumpet makes,” Gordon said. “And Jan. 2, 2035 is ‘Romeo Day’ because it’s written as 1/2/35 — and you ask ‘where four?’ as in ‘Wherefore art thou?'”

Gordon admits that some mathematicians might find his use of numbers and calendar days odd, but he thinks most are OK with his unconventional days.

“I think most of them are of the opinion that anything you can do to get people interested in numbers is good,” he said.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. cowboy says:

    How cool is that for All Saints Day!!! Doesn’t anyone see the significance? “That they all may be one, as you, Father, in me, and I in you; that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me. And the glory which you have given me, I have given to them: that, they may be one, as we also are one. I in them, and you in me: that they may be made perfect in one: and the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them, as you have also loved me. Father, I will that where I am, they also whom you have given me may be with me: that they may see my glory which you have given me, because you have loved me before the creation of the world.” (John 17:21-24) ;)

  2. Phil_NL says:

    Not to mention that after 12/12/12 next year, we’ll have to wait 88 years and change for the next day with 3 identical numbers (in 2-digit notation) at 01/01/(21)01. I predict a big spike in weddings on the 11/11/11 and 12/12/12 by the way, we saw that earlier (no record though, as late autumn / early winter isnt exactly marriage season). So these numerically interesting days may involve more work for some priests too! :p

    Still, nothing in our lifetime could beat 9/9/1999.

  3. APX says:

    “I am thinking of calling Feb. 2, 2022, ‘Trumpet Day,’ because it’s 2/2/2022, which is sort of the sound that a trumpet makes,”
    As a trumpet player, I don’t “hear it”.

    I don’t get too excited over these number days. I remember July 7, 2007 as being the most popular day for weddings because it was considered a “good luck” day (07/07/07). I recall being in attendance at a Catholic wedding that day, and was amazed that there wasn’t an outright ban for that day as a wedding date for Catholics given the amount of superstition put behind it.

  4. JP Borberg says:

    I turned 20 on 20/02/2002. (Coming from a country in the British Commonwealth we put the day before the month).

  5. John Nolan says:

    11/11/11 of course occurs every hundred years. If you write the year in Roman numerals the year 1888 was the most long-winded to date: MDCCCLXXXVIII.

  6. Jacob says:

    What this guy is doing has nothing to do with math and all to do with numerology. If he can be a bit more creative with his relationships and has some writing skill, he could be the next Dan Brown. :P

  7. JP Borberg says:

    What does having writing skill got to do with Dan Brown?

  8. JP Borberg says:

    Speaking of writing skills, I’m now a little embarrassed.

  9. Marcin says:

    11/11/11 is my onomastico! Once in a lifetime, indeed.

  10. pm125 says:

    Today is my niece’s birthday. St. Paul, pray for her and her family.

  11. Ioannes Andreades says:

    Don’t forget the 11/11/11 is Nigel Tufnel Day for all of us Tap fans.

  12. RichardT says:

    “11/1/11 [I write it 1/11/11]”

    It’s always puzzled me – why do Yankees write the date like that?

    Logically one could either go from specific to broad (DD/MM/YY) or from broad to specific (YY/MM/DD), but to start in the middle and then jump around (MM/DD/YY) just seems odd.

    One summer I was stood in a hire car queue at an Italian airport, behind an American who was having trouble because his driver’s licence ran out on 4th December that year. The man from the hire car company, reading the expiry date in the European manner, of course thought that it had expired on 12th April. The American, not having come across this difference before, couldn’t see what the problem was. I tried explaining, but I don’t think either of them believed me, so I joined a different queue.

  13. ericrun says:

    We do it because of convention. I suspect it’s convention because when we write the long date November 1, 2011, and 11/1/11 keeps the information in the date in the same order. Unfortunately, as with the metric switch of the 1970s, people just don’t want to change.

  14. John Nolan says:

    Filling out (or as we say in the land of UK, filling in) my landing card before touching down in Montreal I put down my date of birth in the usual way (DDMMYY) only to diccover on closer inspection that they wanted YYMMDD. This was an Air Canada flight with the announcements in French first. Thy sure don’t write the date like that in Paris.

  15. APX says:

    I worked for an American country out of Canada and writing dates was annoying. In Canada the government standard is YYYY/MM/DD, which took me a long time to get into the habit of writing properly. Then I started working for this company and my paperwork kept getting sent back to me because I was writing out the dates incorrectly, thus also delaying my pay. Grrr!

  16. inara says:

    Our daughter will be 12 on 12/12/12 ~ I’m considering a pilgrimage to Guadalupe. :o)

  17. cdnpriest says:

    In high school, I was taught that the official, standard format for metric dating (dating in metric countries) is YYYY MM DD. This is what we use officially here in Canada (and, as I later found out, only here!) Notice four digits then two then two — the year, month and day being separated by a space. To me, this is the only logical way to write dates in numerical format. I’m sticking with it! Canadian practice varies much, however.

  18. Legisperitus says:

    Of course, the real time to be living for this was 900 years ago. 11/11/1111. (And what era can beat the High Middle Ages anyway?)

    Metric: bah. C’est donc aujourd’hui le 13 Brumaire 220?

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