How do you feel about Daylight Savings Time (DST)? Would you rather we have a permanent DST and none of this changing back and forth? Being retired from my day job, I find I personally don’t care one way or the other because I’m neither going to work/school in the dark or coming home from work/school in the dark. But I know it is a hot topic with most people feeling strongly one way or the other.
I was curious as to the history of DST and found the following on www.timeanddate.com.
The concept of DST began in Germany in 1916, as a WWI energy saving measure. Many of the European countries quickly followed suit. The US inaugurated what they called “Fast Time” in 1918. Robert Garland, a Pittsburgh industrialist, was enamored by the idea after a visit to the UK and pushed for its institution here. It was repealed seven months later, although some cities chose to continue: including Pittsburgh, Boston, and New York City.
In 1942, President Franklin D Roosevelt enacted year-round DST, which he called “War Time”. It lasted from February 9, 1942 to September 30, 1945, and went by: Eastern War Time, Central War Time, Mountain War Time, and Pacific War Time. After the Japanese surrendered in Mid-August 1945, “War” Time was changed to “Peace” Time.
From 1945 to 1966, there were no uniform rules and this caused a lot of confusion. Particularly with scheduling trains, buses, and broadcasting. So, the Uniform Time Act of 1966 was enacted. DST would begin on the last Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday in October.
The oil embargo of 1973 led to year-round DST beginning in January 1974 and ending in April 1975. The intent was to study seasonal change on oil consumption. There were a lot of complaints from people, and the discovery of only a moderate change in oil consumption. (I was in high school at the time and walked to school. While it wasn’t unusual for me to walk home in the dark if there was a late play practice, I didn’t particularly like walking to school in the dark.)
After 1976, there were several revisions enacted. From 1987 to 2006, DST lasted seven months. Our current schedule came to be under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and has been followed since 2007. It begins on the second Sunday in March, and ends on the first Sunday in November.
The US is one of seventy countries that currently operate under a DST schedule, with only two US states opting to not participate: Hawaii and Arizona. Hawaii uses Hawaii Standard Time. Most of Arizona uses Mountain Standard Time, with the exception of the Navajo Nation, which extends into Utah and New Mexico, both of which do participate. Indiana abstained in 1970, but voted to rejoin in 2006.
There is an ongoing debate on whether or not to do away with DST. On March 15, 2022, the US Senate unanimously passed the Sunshine Protection Act which would allow a state to opt to a permanent DST schedule. (Under the current law, they can only opt out.) The act would need to be approved by both Congress and the President, neither of which has happened at this time. In anticipation, nineteen states have enacted or passed legislation that would allow them to opt for a permanent DST schedule: Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, Montana, Alabama, Minnesota, Utah, South Carolina, Georgia, Idaho, Wyoming, Louisiana, Delaware, Maine, Oregon, Washington, Tennessee, Florida, and California.
As I said in the beginning, I don’t have a strong personal preference. But I can see both sides of the debate. It all depends on when you prefer to have that extra sunlight, morning or evening. If I had to choose, I guess I’d go with DST. I’m not a morning person, so when I do have to get up and it’s still dark, it’s a definite struggle. Yet, I’m getting to the point where I’m not a fan of driving at night. And I’m more likely to be driving at night than getting out of bed early. So . . .
What do you think? If it was on the ballot tomorrow, how would you vote?