On This Day
1885 – Twenty-five nations adopt Sandford Fleming’s proposal for standard time (and also, time zones).
Standard time is the synchronization of clocks within a geographical area or region to a single time standard, rather than using solar time or a locally chosen meridian (longitude) to establish a local mean time standard. Generally, standard time agrees with the local mean time at some meridian that passes through the region, often near the center of the region. Historically, the concept was established during the 19th century to aid weather forecasting and train travel. Applied globally in the 20th century, the geographical areas became extended around evenly spaced meridians into time zones which (usually) centered on them. The standard time set in each time zone has come to be defined in terms of offsets from Universal Time. In regions where daylight saving time is used, that time is defined by another offset, from the standard time in its applicable time zones.
The adoption of standard time, because of the inseparable correspondence between time and longitude, solidified the concepts of halving the globe into an eastern and western hemisphere, with one prime meridian (as well its opposite International Date Line) replacing the various prime meridians that had previously been used.
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Born On This Day
1769 – Marie-Louise Lachapelle, French obstetrician (d. 1821)
Marie-Louise Lachapelle (1 January 1769 – 4 October 1821) was a French midwife, head of obstetrics at the Hôtel-Dieu, the oldest hospital in Paris. She published textbooks about women’s bodies, gynecology, and obstetrics. She argued against forceps deliveries and wrote Pratique des accouchements, long a standard obstetric text, which promoted natural deliveries. Lachapelle is generally regarded as the mother of modern obstetrics.
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