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Same story different country

Reader comment on item: Mecca Mean Time?

Submitted by RJ (United States), May 1, 2008 at 14:22

When the United States declared independence from England, there was a virtually identical movement afoot to move the Prime Meridian to Washington. There's a map of Washington, DC, drawn in the early 1800s, displayed today in the New York Public LIbrary, that shows the White House at a longitude of 0.

Similarly, when GMT was first adopted, the French were so incensed at this supposed English Imperialism that they refused to acknowledge the standard, instead calling it by the astronomically equivalent but more politically palatable phrase "Paris Mean Time retarded by nine minutes twenty one seconds."

Perhaps, instead of being incensed, you could congratulate the Muslims on finally taking the same step that the US and France both have in expressing their displeasure at England's supposed claim to centrality.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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