22 September

It's New Year's Day - or at any rate it is in the French republican calendar, which was used from 1793 to 1805.
September 2009

Primidi Vendemière, the first day of the first month of the Republican Era, was 22 September 1792, the day after the Convention abolished the monarchy. Unlike other French republican decimal systems, the ten-hour day, ten-day week didn't catch on - not least because it only allowed for a day of rest on every tenth day rather than every seventh.

It's also the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, not to mention that of one of this column's author's daughter (happy birthday Rachel). And the picture researcher's pet iguana Ziggy, who may or may not have played guitar (jamming good with Weird and Gilly).

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