Once-in-a-lifetime election May 14th!

Of course you’ve all figured out the monumental importance of our having city and school elections on May 14, right?

You haven’t? Well, you probably have to be pretty strange to get all excited about it, but that’s a service yours truly does his best to provide as often as possible.

Give up? May 14 is the latest possible date those elections can be held!

Okay, I know it’s hard to justify the exclamation point at the end if that sentence.

But, by law, the election date is the second Saturday in May. And May 14 is the latest the second Saturday in May can ever be.

(Almost put one at the end of that sentence, too.)

Fully realizing we can only stand so much calendar excitement, did you think Easter was pretty late this year?

No kidding, in fact, it could only ever be one day later than the April 24 date it was in 2011. The date of Easter is determined like that of no other holiday. Christmas is always Dec. 25. Thanksgiving always the fourth Thursday of November. The Fourth of July....can I get back to you on that?

But Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the beginning of spring.

And that jumps around more than a frog on a hot plate. (It’s an expression, I haven’t done it and shame on you for thinking that).

That means Easter can fall any time in a 34-day window. It can be as early as March 22 and as late as April 25. Here’s something strange. Your chances of seeing the latest Easter possible are considerably better than seeing the earliest possible.

Lots of folks are still around who observed the latest possible Easter. That happened April 25, 1943.

And quite a few of us reading this column—assuming, of course, anybody has stayed with it this long—will be around to celebrate the next “latest Easter” on April 25, 2038.

But the earliest Easter odds aren’t nearly so good. No one alive today has ever seen one, or will ever see one.

A March 22 Easter hasn’t happened since 1818 and won’t happen again until 2285.

We’ll just have to console ourselves with Easter, 2008, which was on March 23, the second earliest date for which it is possible.

Why is the latest Easter so much more common than the earliest Easter?

I haven’t got a clue.

Why do I look at the calendar this way? I’ve looked more closely at calendars since a friend gave me one many years ago.

This friend was an Anglophile First Class, everything British was always so much better than anything American. He saw my Union Pacific train calendar before Christmas one year and promised to “give me a real one from the mother country” on the holiday. And he did.

It was a nice calendar, all right. I thought so right on through all of January. Then I turned the page for February to see if it was a leap year.

Sure enough there was a Feb. 29.

And a Feb. 30th. And a Feb. 31st.

I was afraid to look for Easter.

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2011-05-05 digital edition

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