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Friday, March 11, 2011

Flashback Friday - Daylight Saving Time - March 11, 1921

I don't personally like Daylight Saving Time because it makes me horribly jetlagged if I visit the East Coast. has a comprehensive rundown of Arizona's history with DST.

General history:

'An Act to preserve daylight and provide standard time for the United States' was enacted on March 19, 1918. It both established standard time zones and set summer DST to begin on March 31, 1918. Daylight Saving Time was observed for seven months in 1918 and 1919. After the War ended, the law proved so unpopular (mostly because people rose earlier and went to bed earlier than people do today) that it was repealed in 1919 with a Congressional override of President Wilson's veto. Daylight Saving Time became a local option, and was continued in a few states, such as Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and in some cities, such as New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

This is an older article from January 1921, but I thought it was appropriate here:


Mr. Betts Wants to Save the State "Annoyance" of Two Times.

To the Editor of The New York Times:

--The New York Times, January 29, 1921

New York State actually DID repeal DST, much to the New York Times' dismay:


This City Unaffected, Though Clocks May Not Change Until April 24.

Special to The New York Times.

--The New York Times, March 12, 1921

This article rather biased. It came from a sort of column; I hope it was considered editorial.

The People's Will Is Defied.

--The New York Times, March 12, 1921


New York Central Warns Commuters Their Daily Schedules Are Likely to Be Upset

--The New York Times, March 6, 1921

So why all the fuss anyway? National DST was repealed by Congress in 1919. The primary source articles I saw all claim that DST was now for the benefit of recreation, etc, but secondary ones claim that New York kept it to be closer to London for more arbitrage (or to gravely oversimplify, I think more hours of trading between different markets).'

At this point, the whole country was a mish-mash of areas that did and did not observe DST, and it wasn't until mid-March that New York even ruled on when DST would start:


New Ordinance Provides for Change of Clocks on April 24 and Sept. 25.

--The New York Times, March 16, 1921

Eventually, World War II brought "War Time."

I had no idea that between 1966 and 1986 (excepting 1974 and part of 1975), Daylight Saving Time started the LAST Sunday of April and ended the last Sunday of October. For much of my life, I remember when it started the FIRST Sunday of April. And of course, in 2007 it got stretched out about another month, to start this weekend!

Snopes has a rundown of the whole affair.

At any rate, overall, my window to travel to the East Coast without getting horribly jetlagged continues to shrink...

*All articles except quote from believed to be public domain per US law.

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