Posted: Oct 6, 2013 1:44 PM by Pat Shingleton
The United States stands alone on English based units rather than metrics. After the Sputnik launch in 1958 by the Soviets, the United States focused on space exploration including a shift to metrics. Following a six-year national study, Congress passed the Metric Conversion Act in 1975. The bill almost mandated the metric system with the U.S. Metric Board overseeing the project. Instead, individual agencies metricated themselves. Also that year, newspapers reported temperatures of foreign cities in Celsius. A "cold turkey" transition was enacted by other countries. Canada and Australia fully converted to metrics in 1977 while U.S. highway signs were switched. The effort was postponed in 1978 after 5 million objections hit Washington.