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History of the
World Calendar Association

Excerpted from Journal of Calendar Reform Vol. XV, No. 4, 1945, pp 147-50.

The Association was incorporated 21 October 1930 to inform the public on calendar reform as expressed by The World Calendar, world-wide in scope, application and purpose, which the Association believed the then much publicized 13-month calendar did not accomplish.

One of the first acts of the Association was to secure an office and to appoint Miss Elisabeth Achelis President and Miss Harriet A. Lillie Secretary. It proceeded to circulate the press, prominent organizations and leading men and women with 30,000 pamphlets describing The World Calendar. These produced excellent responses. At the beginning of 1931, Carl Liddle joined the staff as its Director and, upon learning of a Preparatory Committee and an International Conference to be held at Geneva in June and October 1931, the Association engaged the services of C. D. Morris as Adviser as well as Editor of the Journal of Calendar Reform. . . . The World Calendar Association, represented by the President, Secretary and Adviser, attended the Preparatory Committee on calendar reform at the League of Nations, Geneva, 8-13 June 1931, and during this session Miss Achelis addressed the Committee. The result was highly favorable, and an invitation was extended to The World Calendar Association to have a representative as official observer at the Fourth General Conference, 12-24 October 1931.

In the intervening years between 1931 and 1937 when the League again considered calender reform, The World Calendar had made great progress. Many countries organized calendar committees, so that by 1937 there were 32 committees working for The World Calendar. In contrast, the 13-month calendar steadily lost ground.

In 1937 the Chilean Government submitted a draft on The World Calendar to the Council of the League of Nations through its eminent representative, His Excellence Don Agustin Edwards, Ambassador to Great Britain, a member of the Council. The Council accepted the draft and submitted it with a questionnaire to its member and non-member states. The result of this questionnaire was that fourteen nations approved the World Calendar.

With the outbreak of the war in 1939, international intercourse was greatly curtailed, and by 1941 practically all activities and communications on this subject had ceased between the United States and Europe and Asia. However, progress of The World Calendar was continuous in the United States, South America, Australia, and Canada. The Royal Astronomical Society took an active interest.

The main purpose of the Association has been to keep constantly alive before the public the urgently needed improved calendar in the conviction that a better calendar for a better world is essential for better days whether in war or in peace.

Shortly after U.S. Government opposition to calendar reform was expressed at the United Nations in 1955, Miss Achelis resigned her presidency; The Association then moved its world headquarters from New York to Ottawa, becoming The International World Calendar Association, presided over by Arthur J. Hills; and the Journal of Calendar Reform ceased its 25-year publication run.

In the Journal's final edition of December 1955 - January 1956, Miss Achelis wrote:

Through my leadership and the efforts of many advocates there were established in many countries strong committees, many of which became Affiliates of the International Association. While Affiliates and Committees have over the years and still are able to approach all branches of their governments, the Incorporated Association was prevented from seeking legislation in the United states lest it lose its tax exempt status. Because of this I have been prevented from doing in my own country that which I have been urging all other Affiliates to do in theirs.

The State Department in the United States has also taken the stand that Congressional action is a prerequisite to its support of calendar reform in the United Nations. Accordingly the position of the Incorporated Association has become untenable. Because of the untenable position I have resigned from the presidency of the International Association and the incorporated American Affiliate has been withdrawn and will be dissolved.

In 1970 the Presidency of the IWCA passed from Arthur Hills to Charles Clay, of Bewdley, Ontario Canada, who managed the Assocation until his death in 1980. Mr. Clay's daughter, Charlotte Clay-Ireland, subsequently maintained her father's legacy in the IWCA until 1991, when she passed on the direction of the Association to Mr. Norman C. Lindhjem, of Bend, OR, USA. In October 2000 Molly Kalkstein, a niece of Elisabeth Achelis, assumed the association's leadership. Since 2005 it has been run by Wayne Edward Richardson of Ellinwood, KS, USA.

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