A History Lesson With Booze ®

The 11 Lost Days of September 1752

Around this time back in 1752, everyone in America lost 11 days of their lives. Learn about the time-warp and wash it down with an orange-infused take on a Dark 'N' Stormy.

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Photo Credit: Mike Watson Images

Thirty days hath September. But not in 1752.

To understand why, you first have to go back to the late 1500s… when Pope Gregory the 13th bestowed upon the world the “Gregorian” calendar, the calendar most of us use today. It was soon adopted by much of Western Europe…

…But not by Great Britain. They were staunchly Protestant, and therefore didn’t appreciate a Catholic Pope telling them how to mark the passing of days. So Britain — and its colonies, including America — clung stubbornly to the old “Julian” calendar they’d been using for centuries.

Now, the two calendars are pretty different, and eventually Britain’s Julian calendar was 11 days behind the Gregorian one its neighbors used, which caused a lot of confusion when it came to record-keeping.

Think about it this way: A letter from Gregorian France postmarked, say, October 10th, could conceivably arrive in Julian England on a date several days earlier.

Finally, after holding out for a 170 years, Britain and its colonies decided to give in and go Gregorian. Which, among other things, meant that in 1752, they simply chopped eleven days out of the month of September. In other words, when colonial Americans went to bed on the 2nd? They woke up… on the 14th.

In the short term, this also caused confusion. Would interest still accrue over those “missing” eleven days? What if a bill was due on a date that now didn’t exist?

But eventually the kinks got ironed out and all was well. Except for scholars of this whole period of history… who still have to figure out which calendar to use, when deciding upon the date anything happened.

Orange ‘N’ Stormy

Photo credit: Elana Lepkowski, stirandstrain.com
Photo credit: Elana Lepkowski, stirandstrain.com

Dated by David Ricker, bartender at the Fat Canary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 shots of Mount Gay Rum (popular in the old world)
  • 1 ounce Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • 3 ounces Blood orange juice

Instructions:
Shake together ingredients, pour into a tall glass with lots of ice, and top off with an orange garnish. You can sip it or gulp it down, but if you have too many, you might just miss several days.