As 2005 winds down and you get ready to celebrate the arrival of a new year, here are some fun facts from Chase's Calendar of Events (available, of course, in the reference section of your nearest library branch):
* The British Act of 1751 set January 1 as the begining of the new year in the Gregorian calendar year. Prior to that, it had been celebrated as March 25 (near the spring equinox). Most English-speaking countries continue to honor that date.
* 2006 is the 230th year of American independence (until July 4th).
* January 1 is the first day of year 6719 of the Julian period, which began in 4714 BC.
* Earth begins a new orbit of the sun -- about 583,416,000 miles in 365.2422 days by the end of the year.
* Called "Everyman's Birthday", in some contries everyone becomes a year older on January 1, rather than on their birth anniversary.
* It's also a time for making resolutions. Among the most commmon: get to the gym, tame the flab, get organized, and help others. If doing good is on your to-do list, consider volunteering at the library. We have more than 3,000 volunteers who assist us by keeping shelves in order; landscaping; working at the check-out desk; teaching Web search skills and more. We can use your help!
In the meantime, tell us: what are you looking forward to for 2006?