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Q: What is the special significance of today?
Today is January 28th.

Q: Will the post office and banks be open on January 28th?

Q: How often does January 28th come?
January 28th is annual; that is, it comes once a year.

Q: What day does January 28th fall on?
This year, it falls on the first Monday after January 27th. It’s usually designated on the first Tuesday after January 24th in years when January 24th falls on a Friday. Too confusing? Just check the calendar—it will have the date clearly marked.

Q: Is it true that Canadians observe January 28th on December 1?
No; this is a common misconception, although the Canadian January 28th is different from ours in certain ways, such as there being more professional hockey players around.

Q: When was the first recorded January 28th?
The ancient Babylonians had a lunisolar calendar of 12 lunar months of 30 days each, but it was the Romans who first called their first month "January." In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII issued a decree dropping 10 days from the calendar to correct the 11 minute and 14 second discrepancy between the Julian year and the solar year. He also instituted a calendar to prevent further displacement. This was known as the Gregorian calendar and is used by most of the Western world today.

Q: What are the traditional activities of January 28th?
Some people rise in the morning, have breakfast, read the paper and then board a subway or train to commute to their job. Others drive their own car in to their workplace. On the other hand, unemployed people or those who work at home traditionally stay in, or go out only to run errands.

Q: What can I do to make January 28th really special?
Why not throw a January 28th party? A great idea for decoration is to buy a bunch of different calendars and paper the walls with the "January" page, with January 28th circled in red ink. Then serve whatever snacks and drinks you like.

Q: What cards are appropriate to send to friends on January 28th?
If you have a friend whose birthday happens to fall on January 28th, send a birthday card! If someone you know has a new baby, a new job, or a promotion, look in the Hallmark store for a congratulation card specific to these events.

Q: Where can I find out more about January 28th?
Your local newspaper will have listings of the events planned for January 28th. Look in the Leisure section to find out what movies, plays, and concerts are taking place today.

Q: Is it true that Kansas became the 34th state on January 29, 1861?
That’s really not our area of expertise.

More by Martha Keavney:
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Mauve Gloves and Manual Typewriters
The Breakfast Table

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