On this day - October 13th

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The International Meridian Conference was a conference held in October 1884 in Washington, D.C., in the United States, to determine a prime meridian for international use. The conference was held at the request of U.S. President Chester A. Arthur. The subject to discuss was the choice of "a meridian to be employed as a common zero of longitude and standard of time reckoning throughout the world". It resulted in the recommendation of the Greenwich Meridian as the international standard for zero degrees longitude.

On 13th October 1884, this proposal was agreed by a large majority. The only significant opposition came from the French, who did not adopt the Greenwich meridian as the beginning of the universal day until 1911. Even then it refused to use the name "Greenwich", instead using the term "Paris mean time, retarded by 9 minutes and 21 seconds".

The Conference also fixed the start of the "astronomical" and "nautical" day as midnight instead of noon.

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