Everyone Is Entitled To My Opinion- On Daylight Savings Time
Summer time meant so many things to the youth of the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s summer vacation, riding bikes, fishing, camping, swimming, drive in movies, and best of all, no homework. Then there was Daylight Savings Time complete with a cute way of being remembered “Spring forward – Fall back”. At first this was accredited to Benjamin Franklin who was awakened on morning to find himself in a room full of light. Thinking that the lights were lighted for some reason he was surprised to find that the shades on his windows were open and it was sunlight entering and not lamps that illuminated his room. Franklin made a reference in 1784 to a time change in a letter from France but it was not taken seriously and was in fact considered part of his (Franklin’s) sense of humor. In 1895 it was George Vernon Hudson, a postal worker whose hobby was entomology wishing to extend his summer evening hours to enjoy his hobby, he proposed moving the clocks ahead two hours. At first it was rejected as out of the question.
As attitudes changed it was soon adopted by many nations by 1927 but only one hour change. This was said to benefit the farmers, but farmers did not work according to a clock, they had small use for a clock, they worked sun up to sun down. On March 19, 1918 then president Woodrow Wilson signed a bill into law called “Standard Time Act of 1918” with part providing daylight saving time called “Daylight Saving Time Act”. Twice we (the United States) adopted year round daylight saving time; first during World War II and again amid an energy crisis 1973. Amid cries of children waiting for school buses in the dark and Christmas morning being pitch black things became even more confusing. Since the 1960’s all but Hawaii, Arizona, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands observe daylight saving time. Another change came about when it was noted that pedestrian accidents amongst children five to 14 were four times higher on Halloween.
Many changed the clocks even as many did not. You could board a bus traveling route 2 from Moundsville West Virginia traveling to Steubenville Ohio, a 35 mile trip and go through seven changes of time. Many Pennsylvania cities and towns observed many did not, Pennsylvania adopted on the 26th of April 1970 making it official. In early 2023 with reports of work place injuries worsening and higher rates of heart attacks the Senate unanimously passed the “Sunshine Protection Act” but was opposed by the House. Are you confused yet?
Children still play, farmers farm unaffected, and Native Americans still say “Spring forward, fall back” is tantamount to holding up a blanket and saying “We will cut a foot off the top of this blanket and sew it onto the bottom, thus creating a longer blanket.” My “inner clock” is now telling me it is time for dinner and that is good enough for me.