Time and time again

The annual manipulation of time begins at 0200 Sunday as Daylight Savings Times takes over in most parts of America for the next eight months.

“Spring forward” they say as the clock moves at 2 a.m., making it 3 a.m. instantly as we lose an hour of time that we cannot recover until the last Sunday in October.

Florida has decided it has had enough of the time switching as both houses of the state legislature voted to make the move this one time and leave it there for the rest of time — making “daylight savings time” the year-round time for the Sunshine State.

That’s the first step but more remain:  A signature from the governor and authorization by Congress to exempt the state from the “Uniform Time Act of 1966.

Setting the clock forward and losing an hour.

Like many things that affect us in these so-called “modern times,” the concept of daylight savings time came from the fertile mind of Benjamin Franklin, who thought it would help farmers who would benefit from another hour of daylight.

Britain adopted “Daylight Savings” in World War I but repealed it in 1918 with “The Standard Time Act’ that established time zone around the world, with Greenwich Mean Time (G.M.T.)

Daylight Savings Time returned during World War II but then sat filed away until 1966, when the Uniform Time Act established DST throughout the United States,, setting it to start in the last Sunday of April to the last Sunday in October.  Some states exempted themselves from participating.

In 1974, Congress extended the length of DST “to save energy during the energy crisis. The extension lasted two years but President George W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act that extended the length of the “spring forward” to eight months, beginning in 2007.

Some other European countries practice DST as well but the rest of the world leaves time alone.

The American military, for the most part, ignores DST and time zones and operates on GMT throughout the world.  At the Pentagon, those reporting to work at what others call 8 a.m. do so at 1300 “Zulu.”  During most of my 23 years in Washington, I wore a watch that displayed GMT time along with the “Eastern” time zone.  Made things easier when dealing with military issues.

Arizona and Hawaii leave their clocks alone tonight and stay on their “normal” time zones.  So does part of Indiana.

My paternal grandmother described daylight savings time this way:

“It’s like trying to make a blanket longer by cutting 12 inches off one end and sewing it on the other.”


© 2004-2021 Blue Ridge Muse

© 2021 Blue Ridge Muse