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November Calendar Has Two Days That Come 'Ones' Upon A Time

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NOV2011
Because of a quirk in the western calendar, the month of November, 2011, has two dates that can be written with then number one: 11/01/11 and 11/11/11. Retired math teacher Ron Gordon has declared these days "Ones Upon A Time," even though they occur eight times each century. | Alamy

November has two storied days this year -- and that's not including Veterans' Day or Thanksgiving.

Check your calendar: Nov. 1 and Nov. 11 are listed as 11/1/11 and 11/11/11, and that, according to Ron Gordon, a retired high school teacher in Redwood City, Calif., makes this month a "Ones Upon A Time" mathematical celebration.

Gordon has made something of a name for himself by recognizing quirky calendar dates. Back on March 3, 2009 -- or 3/3/09 -- he announced that it was "Square Root Day," since three times three is nine and, earlier this year, he declared July 9, 2011 -- or 7/9/11 -- as "Odd Day" since all the numbers were sequential and odd.

The next "Odd Day" is September 11, 2013 (9/11/13), and the next "Square Root Day" is April 4, 2016 (4/4/16), but Gordon says the next "Ones Upon A Time" day won't be until the next century.

However, they've made quite an impact on the calendar so far, according to Gordon.

"There was 1/1/01 and 1/11/01 in 2001 as well as 11/01/01 and 11/11/01," he told HuffPost Weird News. "Earlier this year, we had 1/1/11 and 1/11/11, and now 11/01/11 and 11/11/11, but after that, they won't appear again this century."

There will, of course, be other days worth numbering, he said.

"I am thinking of calling Feb. 2, 2022, 'Trumpet Day,' because it's 2/2/2022, which is sort of the sound that a trumpet makes," Gordon said. "And Jan. 2, 2035 is 'Romeo Day' because it's written as 1/2/35 -- and you ask 'where four?' as in 'Wherefore art thou?'"

Gordon admits that some mathematicians might find his use of numbers and calendar days odd, but he thinks most are OK with his unconventional days.

"I think most of them are of the opinion that anything you can do to get people interested in numbers is good," he said.

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