What goes around comes around, and keeping track of those annual rotations is what a calendar is all about.
Not all of those things rotate at the same speed, however, and several periodic calendar entries will converge in 2020.
That includes leap year, with its extra day. Feb. 29 keeps the calendar year synched with the solar year. (It takes about 365 days and six hours for Earth to circle the sun in what is called a “common” year.)
2020 definitely shapes up as an uncommon year, particularly with a presidential race. Nov. 3 is Election Day, but people won’t have to wait that long to vote. Clark County election officials will send out the mail-in ballots on Oct. 16. And, on a centennial election note, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. The 19th Amendment was adopted in 1920, guaranteeing the right to vote for women.
Viewers will start tuning into the Summer Olympics on July 24. The world’s best athletes will compete in Tokyo for the residue of 6 million used mobile phones. Gold, silver and bronze for the medals was recycled from donated smartphones and other devices.
A 10-year cycle comes around again with the U.S. Census. April 1 is Census Day, though it has another designation on most calendars. By April 1, according to the Census Bureau, every home “will have received an invitation to participate.” (The tally actually is scheduled to begin on Jan. 21 in Alaska, where the head-counters need frozen ground to reach remote villages, according to the bureau website.)
Leap year does complicate one aspect of The Columbian’s own holiday calendar. Over the past few years, we have noted how vintage calendars can be put back on the wall, since the day-and-date grids for common years repeat on six- or 11-year cycles.
But leap years have a 28-year rotation. One option is to use two calendars. The 2014 calendar, for example, starts on Wednesday, Jan. 1, which works for 2020. At the end of February, replace it with a 2015 calendar and you will be up to date on Sunday, March 1.
If you have your heart set on a genuine leap year calendar, you have to jump back 28 years to 1992 — or maybe even 1964, which would be a heck of a leap.