Time of the year to practice the annual actions of “Spring forward, fall back” as Daylight Saving Time came to its end and with it a need to set clocks back an hour before going to bed on Saturday night.
We will have to wait until Spring of 2018 to move the clocks ahead an hour to begin DST for that year.
Technology gives many of us an opportunity to fall asleep without worrying about changing the clocks. Computers, wireless phones and digital timekeeping devices sense the end of DST and set timepieces back 60 minutes automatically.
For others who forgot, it meant early arrivals at church, breakfast hookups or tee times on Sunday.
DS, more or less, became universal in America after President Lyndon B. Johnson signed “The Uniform Time Act” into law on April 13, 1966 and it took effect six months later.
Before then, time could be determined by businesses, local or state governments and individuals. In office buildings in large cities, it could one time on one floor and a different time on the other. Military operations generally operated on “Universal Time” or “Zulu Time” which was “Greenwich Mean Time” set in Geenwich, England.
In many cases, those in the military still go by that time. A friend who works at the Pentagon arrives at her office at 1300 hours, which is GMT for 1 p.m. but is 9 a.m. EST in Northern Virginia, where the Pentagon is located. Starting Sunday, the Zulu Time will not change but she be arriving at work on Monday at 1400 hours Zulu.
In 1966, The Washington Post called the “a bid for the termination of chaos” because it gave the government the authority to determine what time it was in each part of the country.
“It is better for them to adjust to the will of the majority than to tolerate the Babel of contradictory clocks.”
A Congressional “Committee for Time Uniformity” created it after months of legislative hearings and editorials declared it either a need or “as waste of time.”
My paternal grandmother dismissed the claims that DST made days longer.
“It’s like trying to make a blanket longer by cutting a foot off one end and sewing it onto the other end,” she said.
My stepfather said the cows in our fields didn’t know or care about DST.
“When the sun comes up they expect to be fed,” he said. “Changing a clock doesn’t mean a damn thing to a cow.”