Re: The Missing Day

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Wed Feb 04 2004 - 10:02:06 EST

>>> "Robert Schneider" <> 02/02/04 10:27PM >>>

    You will find a detailed exposition of the "missing day" invention on
the Urban Legends Reference Pages site: The writer traces the story
back to Harry Rimmer. Can you confirm that, Ted?

Ted responds:

Yes, partly, but the story definitely originated with Charles Totten, the
SDA professor of military science at Yale (conflated into a "Yale
astronomer" in versions of the story) in the 1890s. Totten wrote about it
in his book, Joshua's Long Day and the Dial of Ahaz, which has in modern
times been reprinted by an Adventist publisher. Among other things, Totten
predicted the end of the world in that decade, thereby perhaps shedding bad
light on his other claims.

Rimmer popularized a version of this in sermons he gave starting in the
mid-1920s. His pamphlet, "Modern Science and the Long Day of Joshua," was
published first in 1924 or 1925, in "Wonderful Word" magazine edited by Leon
Tucker; I have never seen a copy of that magazine, which is (if any copies
survive) extraordinarily rare.

So, the story began to circulate in the 1890s, and Rimmer popularized it
ca. 1925 and onwards.

I comment on this story in my "whale story," available in the ASA

Received on Wed Feb 4 10:03:05 2004

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