Paramilitary psychedelia in Coordinated Universal Time.

In 1955, the caesium atomic clock was invented. This provided a form of timekeeping that was both more stable and more convenient than astronomical observations. In 1956, the U.S. National Bureau of Standards started to use atomic frequency standards in generating the WWV time signals, named for the shortwave radio station which broadcasts them. In a controversial decision, the frequency of the signals was initially set to match the rate of Universal Time, but then kept at the same frequency by the use of atomic clocks and deliberately allowed to drift away from UT.

The Gregorian calendar is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was first proposed by the Calabrian doctor Aloysius Lilius, and decreed by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom it was named, on 24 February 1582 by the papal bull Inter gravissimas. It is a reform of the Julian calendar. Gregory’s bull does not order any particular year numbering system, but uses the Anno Domini system which counts years from the traditional Incarnation of Jesus, and which spread throughout Europe during the middle ages. That is the same year numbering system that is the de facto international standard today.