It kind of tickles me that as a society we’re willing to jigger with the clocks and then mutually agree that it’s later than it really is. Of course, DST is nothing compared to 1883 when the railroads–yes, the railroads–finally got the entire country to agree on what time it was. Prior to 1883 localities set their own time. It might be noon in one city, 12:18 p.m. in another and 11:55 a.m. in a third. (Work that into your historical novel!)
As you can imagine, this made it hard to catch your train based on what time it was supposed to be arriving. So at noon on November 18, 1883, the country began observing four time zones, each with a uniform time within its boundaries.
DST came along in 1916 as a way to conserve coal during WWI. When the war ended, so did DST. Then we tried it again during WWII. After that war it was left up to the states to decide what they wanted to do. Arizona and Hawaii opted out.
Every year I think that if I can get up an hour earlier during DST, why don’t I just do it the rest of the year? I could write or exercise or have some quiet, prayer time. But it’s dark and it’s cold and Thistle, who was plenty eager to go back to bed after the alarm went off on Monday, seems to have the right idea. Snuggle in and snooze just a little longer . . .
For an article that provided much of my information about time, check out Howard Mansfied – New York Times.