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Armchair Ponderings
Daylight savings or midterms?

Guy Geller

Donuts on Cake

This Sunday will mark the end of Daylight-saving Time, falling back to Standard Time; with next Tuesday ushering in the much-touted midterm elections throughout the country.

All of the hullabaloo about who is going to win the election; will Democrats lose the House of Representatives, and will Republicans win the Senate? What’s the real difference? I can get a lecture from either side on the benefits of voting for elephants or donkeys, a win from either case won’t bring back the country some of us old folks can remember and wish for. But then, should we? So, let’s go to the Standard Time versus the permanent Daylight-saving Time conundrum.

An act to preserve daylight and to provide a standard for time was first enacted on March 19, 1918, to become effective on March 31st, 1918. It was first introduced during World War I as a means of conserving fuel. Lights could be turned on in the homes an hour later. We have heard all kinds of reasons to abolish it. My favorite is that dairy farmers rebelled because cows are accustomed to being milked twice a day at the same time; that would upset their routine thereby reducing their milk production.

Later, in December 1973, president Nixon signed a bill for year-round Daylight-Saving Time. He also, wanted to reduce energy consumption by 2% simply by setting the clocks ahead by one hour. In Florida by a newspaper, it was called Daylight Disaster Time due to the increase in pre-dawn auto accidents. Also, mothers didn’t want their children to walk to school in the dark and began driving them to school. No energy saving there! That was to be a two-year experiment. It lasted 8 months, until Congress brought back Standard Time.

In March 2022, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sponsored a bill on the Senate Floor calling for permanent Daylight-Saving Time. The House of Representatives has to pass it before it is presented for the President’s signature.

The first reference to Daylight Saving Time that I can find was by Benjamin Franklin in 1784. It was in the form of a letter he penned to The Journal de Paris while living in Paris, France at the age of 78, concerning the “economy of lighting in the home.” A new oil lamp consumed so much oil. It is really too long an essay to quote in this column but if you are interested you can find it in the “always reports the truth” Google.

For us, Standard Time will revert on Sunday November 6, 2022 at 2:00 AM. Set your alarm clock! So, until Congress and the President change the world, we will continue to live with “spring ahead” and “fall back.” Then, we can stay up to watch the election results, one hour earlier.

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