In 1975, the federal government passed the Metric Conversion Act, a law mandating the gradual adoption of the metric system, putting out to pasture the outdated farm-related hectares and lbs in favor of the simpler, based-on-units-of-10 system of deciliters and kilometers used by most of the rest of the civilized world. Despite metrics being law, it never took off, because as it turns out, Americans were extremely patriotic when it came to how things are measured. In fact, the most lasting effect of the MCA was when Pepsi became the first soft drink maker to produce two-liter bottles. Here’s “The Metric FIlm,” an educational film from the National Bureau of Standards to get everybody up to speed (which would be in, you, kilometers).
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