Daylight saving time less useful

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It’s that time of year again to spring forward and reset clocks, watches and the automobile clock an hour later.

Established by U.S. law with the Act of March 19, 1918, the practice of standard time in time zones first was instituted by the railroads in 1883 in the U.S. and Canada.

Known by many as the Standard Time Act, the 1918 law established daylight saving time — a contentious idea then. In fact, it was repealed in 1919 and later re-established early in World War II from February 1942 to September 1945, according to answers.usa.gov, an official government website.

After the war, its use varied among states and localities. The Uniform Time Act of 1965 provided standardization in the dates of the beginning and end of daylight time in the U.S. though it allowed for local exemptions.

The dates meandered a bit from 1974 to 1986 when a law was passed that shifted the starting date to the first Sunday in April. That lasted until the Energy Policy Act of 2005 changed the starting date to the second Sunday in March and the ending date to the first Sunday in November.

And, in about the time it just took you to read this brief history, you can change most of the clocks in your house, which you should do Sunday, if not late Saturday. Or, if you decide not to, you may find yourself arriving at church or work an hour late.

We’re inclined to wish the time would just stay the same year-round as it seems less important in today’s mostly urban society where days and nights are simply part of the 24-hour day and not indicative of when we begin or end work in the 24-hour, mostly 365-day cycle of everyday life.

But alas, it still is fun to gain that extra hour of sleep in November though we feel cheated for losing it in March somehow.

The agrarian society prevalent when this practice began seemed to reset clocks according to available daylight hours, making sense among the many who spent their days in the fields, tending to livestock or doing work in the great outdoors.

We’re not expecting anyone to necessarily heed our small rant, but it seems to have less of an impact today than it surely did more than a century ago.

Regardless of your opinions on this ongoing annual practice, it behooves us to gently remind you that resetting those time pieces will become necessary if you’re planning to attend any business meetings, catch flights, meet someone for dinner or catch a train. Most everyone adjusts their schedules to reflect the new times, which, if you don’t, could leave you rushing like a whirling dervish in the hope that no one notices you’re an hour late.

So spring forward before bed Saturday or first thing on Sunday — just don’t forget.


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