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Missing the Conversion by a Mile...or was it a Metre?

Consider this article taken from The Oregonian, from April 4, 1896.....

"It begins to look much as if the day of the pound. the yard and the quart were about over, that the life of these units of measure will not last much beyond July 1, 1901. An investigation at Washington develops the fact that the bill providing for the adoption of the metric system in the government service July 1, 1898, and for general use three years later will become a law. This adoption need not necessarily produce the confusion that many apprehend. There are three units of measure conspicuous in this system. The metre is the unit of distance, the gram of weight, and the litre of capacity. The metre is divided into decimetres, centimetres, and millimetres, the gram into decigrams, milligrams, etc. A metre, the unit of distance, is 1-10,000,000 of the calculated distance from the pole to the equator. The gram is the weight of a cubic centimetre of distilled water, the litre is equivalent to a cubic decimetre.

It is not going to be difficult for the American people to adjust themselves to these units of measurement, such as nearly all scientific men long ago adopted, when it is understood that a metre is about 3.1-3 inches more than a yard, that a litre is about nine-tenths of a quart dry measure, or equivalent to a quart in wine measure, and that half a kilogram isn't quite two ounces more than a good pound avoirdupois. The simplicity of such a statement is at once apparent when it is remembered how easy it is to reduce dollars to dimes and to cents, or vice versa. The only thing necessary is to move the decimal point. The bugbear to schoolboys, compound numbers, will cease to alarm once the metric system is in general use."

So, now looking back with a 120 year perspective, what went wrong? And, supposedly the United States, Liberia and Myanmar are the only three countries in the world that have not adopted the metric system!