9 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Daylight Saving Time


7. Another
war came along and solved the problem…but then all hell broke
loose again.

Another war came along and solved the problem...but then all hell broke loose again.

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New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images / Alice
Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

In January 1942, just after the attack on Pearl Harbor,
Congress passed a federal daylight saving law — but this time,
they included a line that said the law would automatically end
six months after the war did. Well, after the war ended, and
DST was no longer federal law, the country descended into chaos
yet again. For years. There were heated city
council and school board meetings. There were furious farmers.
There was at least one train crash (though, fortunately, no
fatalities). There were 23 different combinations of start
and end dates for DST throughout the state of Iowa in a single
year
. A state official in Tennessee had to be escorted to a
meeting about DST by US marshals because the situation
was so intense.

In 1965, St. Paul and Minneapolis couldn’t agree on when
daylight saving should start; though May 23 was the official
start date per Minnesota state law, St. Paul was like, “Nah,
we’re going to start it on May 9” and refused to back down,
even after the governor was like, “Seriously, guys, please
stop.” So *takes deep breath* 18 of St. Paul’s suburbs were on
daylight saving time; 19 were on standard time; four were on
standard time BUT had town offices shift their hours so they
opened/closed an hour later; one stayed on standard time but
all of their businesses used daylight saving time; one observed
DST ~unofficially~, and two let each individual citizen
decide
. And I’m not even going to try to explain how it
looked across school districts and the fire and police
departments. It was PREPOSTEROUS.

Elsewhere in the country, the transportation industry was at a
loss for how to handle the discrepancies. Railroads operated on
standard time (per federal law), but started publishing two
separate timetables because they had passengers who lived in
places that observed daylight saving time. Bus, train, and
airline companies were forced to regularly re-print their
schedules to keep up with the time changes in the cities they
were passing through, something that cost the railroad industry
alone $12 millions in today’s money.

In 1965, Congress realized they should probably do something
about this foolishness, and it seemed like passing a federal
daylight saving time law was the best option. So…there were
more heated debates. Farmers got pissed. Senators and their
religious fundamentalist constituents once again started
talking about “God’s time.” This time around, many opponents of
DST went the “THINK OF THE CHILDREN!” route, invoking images of
innocent children waiting outside for the bus alone on cold,
dark mornings. Representative H.R. Gross of Iowa was one of the
people who used this technique, shouting, “I am not going to
vote today to make myself part of a tragedy on the highways of
Iowa where school children … are mowed down by a truck or car …
Let the blood be on your hands, not mine!” (I can’t not
read that in Alex
Jones’s voice.)

TL;DR: After WWII, nobody could agree on national DST
and things got Very Bad.



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