America — Think Outside the Box is dedicated to United States President Andrew Johnson and to Metric Pioneer Antoine Lavoisier (1743–1794 CE) Father of Modern Chemistry, who helps construct the metric system during the French Revolution while working alongside Benjamin Franklin in France.  The modern form of the metric system is known as SI = Système International d’unités = International System of Units. The metric system of measure was first given a legal basis in 1795 CE by the French Revolutionary government.

On 28 July, The Metric Act of 1866 becomes law and legalizes the use of the metric system for weights and measures in the United States.  The Metric Act of 1866 was originally introduced as H.R. 596 in the 39th Congress.  The House passes it on 17 May 1866 CE; the Senate passes it on 27 July 1866 CE; President Andrew Johnson signs The Metric Act the next day:

“It shall be lawful throughout the United States of America to employ the weights and measures of the metric system; and no contract or dealing, or pleading in any court, shall be deemed invalid or liable to objection because the weights or measures expressed or referred to therein are weights or measures of the metric system.”

The eleventh CGPM (Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures = General Conference on Weights and Measures) in 1960 faced the question of what to call this new reorganization and extension of measures. The name Metric System had referred to the units for length and mass. What the CGPM had created was much more comprehensive, and after some discussion, this new system was called the International System of units or SI after its French initials. For the first time, the world had not merely universal units, but a universal system of units.

Big Question: Should The U.S. Go Metric? Democratic presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee is calling on the United States to “be bold” and switch to the metric system of measurement.  John Munson’s guest from the U.S. Metric Association discusses the pros and cons of making the change. Listen to the interview here: Wisconsin Public Radio

American Metrication: One person at a time; start with yourself right now! Register (top left corner) now and take the Terran System Exam and work your way through the Ten Levels of the Metrication Progress CheckList (Level 1 Registered; Level 2 Beginner; Level 3 Novice; Level 4 Apprentice; Level 5 Competent; Level 6 Advocate; Level 7 Campaigner; Level 8 Ambassador; Level 9 Expert) until you achieve Level 10 Metric Pioneer. Phone 503-428-4917 for help.

Help Americans become familiar with the Metric System

Ask Congress to update the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act to allow, but not require, the use of metric-only package labeling in the USA. This legislation would not affect package sizes, only content labeling. Help our children do better in science classes and our businesses compete in the international (metric) marketplace.

Federal Metrication Petition:

State-by-State Metrication: Hawaii HB 36 and Oregon Senate Bill 166 – The only way to get Oregon SB 166 (follow progress here: to become law is for citizens like you to bug your senator and your representative to support and vote for this important legislation. What are you waiting for? Who represents me in Oregon?

Great news! Senator Boquist is Chief Sponsor of Oregon Senate Bill 166 so feel free to thank him for his efforts to move Oregon into the Modern Era of measurement! Click on this link for his contact information:

Interact with others on Facebook who also want to: Kill the Inch! 

Interact with others on Facebook who want to amend the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) to allow Metric-Only Labeling:

You can also challenge yourself with these:

Math Test

Language of Mathematics – American Competency Survey

SI Trivia Survey A:

SI Trivia Survey B:

United States Territories:

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