Why the United States Displays the Date In a Different Format Than Most of the World

In a timely episode of Today I Found Out, host Simon Whistler explains the mysterious history of the specifically American format of plotting the date leading with month then the date ((MM/DD/YYYY) rather than the more established format of leading with the date itself (DD/MM/YYYY).

…no one seems to know why Americans first started putting the month first. It has been hypothesized that it is simply because at certain times it’s more convenient to first know the month than the day for context, and year being less significant to know first in some contexts has it ending up last. …That said, beyond pure speculation, how this practice definitively started is anybody’s guess at this point, but what is clear is United States citizens have been doing it as long as there has been a United States.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.