Andrew Benham's Date and Time pages

The Unix epoch

Unix popped up and bit me the other day. The Unix epoch is 1 January 1970 00:00:00 GMT. January is in the winter in the northern hemisphere, the UK is in the northern hemisphere, so Summer Time wouldn't have been in effect on 1 January 1970.

What bit me was the fact that from October 1968 to October 1971, UK time in use was British Standard Time (1 hour ahead of GMT throughout the year). Thus the Unix epoch was at 1 January 1970 01:00:00 BST, so local time and GMT time weren't the same, despite it being the winter.

E-mail Andrew Benham
Last updated: Monday, 03-Jan-2005 17:29:43 CET