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This problem is addressed in ArcGIS 8.1 Service Pack 1. See the Related Information section to download this pack.
When looking at date values in a table or in the identify dialog box in ArcMap and ArcCatalog, the dates sometimes appear incorrectly. The month and the day are reversed.
This only appears to happen when the day is prior to the 13th.
The format that dates appear in is defined by the regional settings on your computer.
There is a known issue in which the month and the day are reversed when the date format is day/month/year. If the day is 13 or higher, the day and month appear correctly. This only happens when working with shapefile or dBASE file sources.
Set the date format in regional settings on your computer to Month/Day/Year. This date format will work properly.