1966 law passed to standardize daylight saving time
Viewpoint Law Ends Time Confusion By LEONARD MET7. Su-Ttigram Staff niw Congress has brought th rest of the nation in line with California. The House has passed a joint bill previously approved by the Senate which will end confusing differences in Daylight Saving Time. The proposal gives each tate the option of adopting Daylight Saving Time or ignoring it. But if adopted. Daylight Saving must begin the last Sunday in April and end the last Sunday in October. California is not affected by the law. It is already on the April-October schedule. Thus, Califomians will set their clocks an hour ahead a week from today. The new law ends almost a half - century of time eon-fusion. Of 3fi states that permitted either statewide or local Daylight Saving Time, only 15 previously followed the April-October schedule. And half the states observing Daylight Saving did so on a "local option" basis. Idaho, for example, observed four different times. Western Michigan observed "double daylight." two hours ahead, while other portions of the state set their clocks one hour ahead, and still other portions, none. A dozen states were still on standard time this year, and two state? the western portions of North Dakota and Texas observed what might have been called "moonlight time." They srt their clocks back an hour instead of ahead. Confusion about time was even worse a century ago. before the advent of Standard Time. In Wisconsin you could get 38 different "times" at the same instant; all governed by the sun. First attempt at controlling the clock was made by railroadmen in the United States and Canada. In 1833 they set up the standard zones we know today: Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific. The first Daylight Saving Time was inaugurated in Europe during World War I. Its purpose was to conserve fuel by utilizing more of the sunlit hours for working hours. Congress passed the first United States Daylight Saving law in 1917, to take effect in 1918. It was repealed the following year, and the repeal carried over a veto by President Woodrow Wilson. A nationwide Daylight Saving law was again passed by Congress in 1942. Known as War Time, it lasted until the end of September, 1945. Early opposition to Daylight Saving came from farmers, who insist that cows want to be milked on "God's Time." They have been joined in re cent years by outdoor movte operators, bowling alley proprietors and tavern keepers, who prefer less daylight hours during the waking day. The transporation industry, which has been seriously inconvenienced by hodgepodge local laws, gives major support to a uniform Daylight Saving law. Time schedules (or railroads and other conveyances crossing state lines can become confusing, and the changes required by changing times frequently can be costly. Western Union once estimated that it had to adjust 40,000 clocks in the thousands of cities across the nation every time there was a change. The new law bans local optionbut not until next year. States will still be able to reject Daylight Saving by a vote of their legislatures, but they will no longer be able to permit part of the st:'e to be on Standard Time while other parts are on Daylight Saving. Local option will still be permitted this year. To initiate Daylight Saving, California will set its clocks ahead one hour at 1 a.m. Sunday, April 24. Daylight Saving will end 1 a.m. Sunday, October 30. At that time all clocks in California are to be set back an hour, thus restoring the hour "lost" on April 24.