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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Spring forward ... Fall back

Trivia, facts and common sense about Daylight Saving Time.

"Daylight Saving Time is a change in the standard time of each time zone. Time zones were first used by the railroads in 1883 to standardize their schedules.

According to the The Canadian Encyclopedia Plus by McClelland & Stewart Inc., Canada's "Sir Sandford Fleming also played a key role in the development of a worldwide system of keeping time. Trains had made obsolete the old system where major cities and regions set clocks according to local astronomical conditions. Fleming advocated the adoption of a standard or mean time and hourly variations from that according to established time zones. He was instrumental in convening an International Prime Meridian Conference in Washington in 1884 at which the system of international standard time -- still in use today -- was adopted."

In 1918, the U.S. Congress made the U.S. rail zones official under federal law and gave the responsibility to make any changes to the Interstate Commerce Commission, the only federal transportation regulatory agency at the time. When Congress created the Department of Transportation in 1966, it transferred the responsibility for the time laws to the new department.

The American law by which we turn our clock forward in the spring and back in the fall is known as the Uniform Time Act of 1966. The law does not require that anyone observe Daylight Saving Time; all the law says is that if we are going to observe Daylight Saving Time, it must be done uniformly.

Daylight Saving Time has been around for most of this century and even earlier.

Benjamin Franklin, while a minister to France, first suggested the idea in an essay titled "An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light."

The essay was first published in the Journal de Paris in April 1784, but it wasn't for more than a century later that an Englishman, William Willett, suggested it again in 1907."

And so forth ...

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