This might be of interest to those writing things that happened in the past, or even the future.
My four novels are all set in the 1960s. I felt it was important to correctly show certain days. In my first novel, the day President Kennedy was shot, my protagonist has the opportunity to console a young woman he had wanted to meet previously, but didn’t have the nerve to.
President Kennedy was shot on the 22nd of November in 1963. What day of the week was that? It was a Friday. Many of us old folk know exactly where we were standing when we heard the news he was shot in Dallas.
Sure, there are websites which will calculate the day of the week for you. Two of them I know of are:
If you like doing things yourself, though, I constructed a tool using an Excel spreadsheet which you can use directly or print out. I’m glad to make this available to you for free to use as a guide when writing your novels, or just having some fun with dates. Let me know in the comments below if you’d like me to send you this matrix, and I’ll get it to you via email.
If you like detail, and want to know how to make a watch, instead of just having someone tell you what time it is, then I will explain the concept.
A year starts on one of the seven days of the week (Sunday thru Saturday). Pretty easy to depict once you know what day January 1st fell on. However, there are 365-day years, and 366-day leap years. So, instead of seven possible calendars, that means there are fourteen different possible calendars that could apply to every year including leap years.
This is a test for all those who are studying to be on “Jeopardy.” If a leap year is every year divisible by four, what year in the last 150 years was divisible by four, but not a leap year?
It was 1900.
I was surprised that a leap year is not actually every four years. The full rule for a leap year is every year divisible by four, except for years divisible by both 100 and not by 400. 1900 was not a leap year, but the year 2000 was.
Yes, it sounds complicated, but it’s not, and if you like to make your historical fiction realistic, this tool could work well for you.
What day of the week were you born on?
I hope if you get a copy of the spreadsheet you find it a useful tool. There are many other tools and good articles on the Indies Unlimited site.
Here is a sample of the spreadsheet and how to find a day of the week for October 18, 1963.