Blank Email with 1969 Date

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
Posts: 70
Joined: July 29th, 2012, 2:25 pm

Post Posted May 13th, 2019, 3:16 pm

I have for the third time deleted an email that keeps appearing in my Trash folder.
It is blank with nothing but a date from 1969 ...I don't remember the exact date
and I deleted it before coming here for help. It has returned 3 times so I fully
expect it to return just shows up as an unread email in the trash folder
when it wants to.
I seem to remember this happening many years ago....but I don't remember how
I fixed it back then, and I haven't had any luck with Google searching.
Any suggestions ?



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Posts: 45681
Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted May 13th, 2019, 3:27 pm

That means there was no Date: header. It defaults to the oldest possible date/time (for the scheme it uses) which is in 1969 when there isn't one. Typically that's a sign of a corrupt folder, but usually only inbox folders are at risk.

Try emptying the trash and compacting the folders. If necessary exit Thunderbird and delete the "trash." and "trash.msf" files for that account in the profile. Look in the local directory setting at the bottom of the accounts server settings for what directory it will be in. New ones (for a empty folder) will be created automatically when you restart Thundebrird.


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Posts: 16776
Joined: November 18th, 2002, 6:44 pm
Location: Somewhere in SE USA

Post Posted May 13th, 2019, 9:51 pm

Explanation of the 12/31/1969 or 1/1/1970 date:

Internet dating uses Unix conventions for its date handling, with midnight at the beginning of 1/1/1970, Global Mean Time (basically London Standard time) as its base, and the time before or since then given as an offset in seconds. If a message has no correct Date header, there is no known offset, so the offset is assumed to be zero, and the date is displayed assumed to be the beginning of 1/1/1970 GMT.

Thunderbird adjusts the display of this timestamp for your local time, so if you are located one or more time zone west of London, this date is displayed as 12/31/1969.
Doug Wilson, "The Makai Guy"
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