Time Change Sunday: March 2023 Newsletter
Today, I did a little research in Wikipedia about the origins of DST and discovered that clever founding father Ben Franklin first suggested it way back in 1784 as a way to save money on candle use.
He also suggested people tax window shutters, ration candles, and wake people up at dawn by ringing church bells and firing cannons. To me, this seems a bit counter-productive as far as saving money goes due to the high price of cannon shells and other ammunition. But then, apparently old Ben had his tongue firmly lodged in his cheek when he wrote that letter to the editor of The Journal of Paris.
The notion of pushing the clock hands forward in the spring and backwards in the fall took a while to catch on. But it finally did in the United States during World War 1 as a way to save on coal.
Personally, when I was growing up in the 1950’s, people always said we needed that extra hour of daylight in spring and summer so guys could have more time to play golf after their 9-to-5 workdays and kids could play outside longer. Presumably, the wives and mothers would happily accommodate those activities by getting supper on the table in a timely fashion.
Also personally, I’m rather against DST. For one thing, springing forward never been consistent in this country, let alone in the world, so sometimes while traveling, through Indiana on I-70, for instance, where at least one county was a hold-out to DST, I’ve gotten confused about what time it is.
One argument in favor of DST is it’s good for livestock. Farmers vehemently deny this. I don’t know much about cows and such, but I can say that our cat, the only animal around the place, is oblivious to clock time, so he continues getting up with the birds no matter exactly when by the clock they start chirping outside.
It can get confusing. My daughter just came to ask me if I wanted to do Jazzercise this afternoon, but she didn’t realize that it was an hour later in the day than she thought because she hadn’t changed the time on the clock on her work table.
As an old person, I can attest to feeling a little off today with one less hour of rest last night though my fitness tracker claims I got 7 hours. (Liar!) So, I’ve been dithering around the house even more than usual today.
And once upon a time in the autumn, my mom and dad came home from the mall furious that they couldn’t get into Macy’s to begin their daily walk because the doors were bolted shut and there it was not even 10 o’clock! They were pretty embarrassed when I reminded them of the time change.
Recently, there’s been talk of putting the United States on DST year around or not bothering with it at all because spring forward and falling back messes big time with people’s circadian cycles and leads to more heart attacks and car wrecks. It’s like going through jet lag twice a year. Apparently two thirds of Americans agree. But we’ll see . . .