Did you know?
The Paris meridian was established in 1667, the same year the Paris Observatory was founded. In 1884, the International Meridian Conference in Washington chose Greenwich as the prime meridian. The changeover was debated at length, and with great passion, by parties representing France and Great Britain. The British agreed that if France abandoned the Paris meridian, Britain would adopt the metric system in exchange – a measure that has still to be applied. A further thirty years would go by until a law was passed, on March 9th 1911, that officialised the Greenwich Meridian in France.