“This Could Be The Last Time, Maybe The Last Time, I Don’t Know”

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Fall Back
Fall Back | Image by pinterest.com

The title of this article is borrowed from the 1965 release of the song “This could be the last time” performed by the Rolling Stones. I thought it was appropriate because it describes the feeling that many of us have about a subject that has been debated for many years. The question becomes should we stay on Standard Time all-year-round or stay on Daylight Saving Time all-year-round? This flip-flopping back and forth twice a year has become a real nuisance.

Oregon Capitol Building An image of the Oregon State Capitol | Photo by © Capitolshots Photography/TwoFiftyFour Photos, LLC,

The Oregon legislature approved the bill for the state to stay on Daylight Saving Time all-year-round in June 2019. Governor Brown has said she would sign it. So what’s the holdup? There are things that still need to be worked out. It seems that all three West Coast states have to agree to the change at the same time. Actions similar to what has been done here in Oregon have been accomplished in both Washington and California. The Federal Government will also have to approve it. In the meantime we have to wait and keep changing our clocks and time schedule. Daylight Saving time ends and Standard Time begins at 2:00 am Sunday November 7th. Remember to check your Smoke Detectors, Carbon Monoxide Detectors, and Radon Gas Detector (if you have one) and make sure the are working. Replace the batteries when needed.

Ben Franklin
Benjamin Franklin | Image by Famous Biography

With all of this official activity that has taken place it makes one wonder how all of this got started. Benjamin Franklin has been suggested as the person who first suggested that the U.S. adopt Daylight Saving Time, but that actually is not the case. Franklin was an American envoy to France from 1776-1785. He published a letter in the Journal de Paris in 1784. Quoting from Wikipedia “This 1784 satire proposed taxing window shutters, rationing candles, and waking the public by ringing church bells and firing cannons at sunrise.” The idea was to get people up earlier in the summer to utilize the extra early morning daylight.

New Zealand Entomologist George Hudson | Photo by wikipedia.com

In an 1895 paper New Zealand entomologist George Hudson proposed a two-hour daylight-saving shift and published another paper about it in 1898. However, English builder William Willett proposed daylight saving time in 1908 by advancing the clock by one hour. He actually made the proposal in 1910. Robert Pearce, Liberty Party member of Parliament, introduced a daylight saving bill February 12, 1908. The bill eventually failed.

The first city in the world to officially adopt daylight saving time was Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada in 1908 (Called Thunder Bay today). In 1916 Germany and Austria were the first countries to adopt Daylight Saving Time. According to Wikipedia, May 1,1916 was the date that Germany started observing Daylight Saving Time to conserve fuel during WWI.

Wartime Daylight Saving Time Begins | Image by dogonnews.com

It wasn’t until March 13,1918 in the United States that the Standard Time Act confirmed the already set time zones and declared March 31st as the official beginning of Daylight Saving Time (DST) which would end on October 27th. When WWI ended so did DST. It was reinstated on February 19,1942 when President Franklin Roosevelt ordered “Wartime Daylight Saving Time” which expired on September 30,1945. After that many northeastern states continued using DST. That made for a pretty confusing set of time measurements across various states.

President Lyndon Johnson | Photo by Britanica.com

Finally, the Uniform Time Act of of 1966 was signed by President Lyndon Johnson and mandated Standard Time within the time zones and Daylight Saving Time would begin at 2:00 am on the last Sunday in April lasting until 2:00 am on the last Sunday in October. Arizona, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands remain on Standard Time without making the change. Extensions to Daylight Saving Time have started it earlier and ended it later. There is still ongoing debate as to whether the whole United States should go to full-time Standard Time or Daylight Saving Time, so it would seem to be a problem with a solution that will be decided sometime in the future. In the meantime we will have to keep changing any clocks and clocks on our devices that do not automatically update to change from Standard Time to Daylight Saving Time and back again for the near future.

Fall Back One Hour | Image by Pinterest.com

One last reminder to Fall Back by turning your clocks back one hour at bedtime Saturday November 6th or officially at 2:00 am Sunday November 7th. Don’t be confused by the fact that you’ll be getting an extra hour of sleep because of the change.

Let me know what you would like me to talk about or explain. You can comment below or email me at: [email protected].

Tim Chuey is a Member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association and has been Awarded Seals of Approval for television weathercasting from both organizations.

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