Time change is complicated
By By Michelle Blaylock, Mom’s Corner
This weekend is Daylight Savings Time. I just cringe when I hear those three words! I get adjusted to one time and then we switch! However, I am in the minority on this one. Apparently, most people in the U.S. like Daylight Savings Time or DST.
This wasn’t always true. Although Ben Franklin first introduced the idea, it was William Willett, an English builder, who proposed modern DST in 1907. During WW I President Wilson signed into law the Act of 1918 that established DST in a effort to conserve energy and thus help the war effort. Because most people rose earlier and went to bed early during that time the Act of 1918 wasn’t very popular, so after the war ended congress repealed the law.
War again brought about a change in time. This time it was WW II and President Roosevelt instituted “war time” which was DST year around. The federal law requiring DST was repealed in 1945 and until 1966 any state, city, or town could mandate their own time. It got to be so confusing and difficult in the1960s for TV, radio, and the transportation industry that the Interstate Commerce Commission had to get involved.
The Interstate Commerce Commission did a number of surveys, but the final straw was when it was discovered that on a 35-mile bus ride on Route 2 travelers had to reset their watches seven times! In 1966, Congress stepped in and created the Uniform Time Act establishing, obviously, uniform time in each time zone and a specific day and time to switch to DST. However, (there is always a glitch when it come to the government) it is still each state’s choice whether or not to observe DST and if a state is in two time zones then different parts of the state can choose whether or not to observe DST.
When we lived in Indiana, part of the year we were on the same time as the rest of the state and part of the year we were an hour different. I didn’t find this too troubling, although I had to be careful when I was scheduling doctor appointments an hour away in the other time zone!
Some people have managed to use DST to their advantage. For example, one man avoided the Vietnam draft by saying that he was born in a state that didn’t observe DST and therefore being born at 12 a.m. actually made is birth date the day before which had a much higher lottery number allowing him to avoid the draft. Another benefit of DST, according to the U. S. Law Enforcement Assistant Administration, is a reduction in violent crime.
Overall, I guess I don’t mind DST as much as I used to when I had to remember to reset our clocks. Now if I forget, our cable boxes and computer do it automatically so at least part of the clocks in the house are on the correct time!
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