Q: Monty Ashley has a calendar from July 1980 still up (with a burger advertisement on it at the bottom). Is this one of those weird things where the days of the week for July 1980 and July 2008 happen to magically line up?
–lathspel, magicthegathering.com forums
A: From Monty Ashley, Magic Web Team:
For people who are lost, lathspel is referring to Monday's Arcana, where you can see a bit of calendar in the upper left. Here's a better look at it:
As you can see, July in 1980 does in fact match up with July 2008 (there's Tuesday, July 15. Hello, today!). In fact, there are only 14 possible calendars, one for each day of the week that the year can start on, times two for leap years. Both 1980 and 2008 started on a Tuesday and both are leap years, so the calendars are interchangeable.
I started using old calendars awhile ago when I couldn't decide on a 2003 calendar. I found a 1958 Standard Oil calendar that smelled like it had been packed in pure cigarette smoke for 45 years. I had to wash my hands three times after opening it, but I found it pretty funny. The pictures are all authentic 1958, which means a lot of them do not make a lot of sense:
Did you know that carnivals used to have "Manly Tattoo Artist" booths? That's news to me! Anyway, the next really interesting calendar I had was in 2004. There are fewer options for a Leap Year calendar, which is why I was delighted to score this:
Yes, for all of 2004, I had the Marvel Bicentennial Calendar on my desk. It was great, because the months all had pictures of Marvel characters done in patriotic settings. I don't want to spend too much time on this (too late!), so I'll just mention that at my old blog, which is no longer updated, there are more scans and commentary on the 1958 calendar and the 1976 one.
Anyway, this year's is a 1980 calendar from Burger King. Here's the front:
As you can see, it's Olympic-themed, and is heavily US-centric. This month's theme is "gymnastics", and the blurb under the picture talks up the Olympic chances of Bart Conner, Tracee Talavera, and Kathy Johnson.
The sad part, and the reason that this calendar was still in mint condition without even its hamburger coupons clipped out, is that 1980 is the year the United States boycotted the Summer Olympics (which were held in Moscow). So everyone mentioned had to wait another four years for their chance. That gives this calendar a bittersweet quality, which is nice. You can't just go for retro kitsch all the time, you know?