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One-hour clock adjustment accompanies arrival of daylight saving time

By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher


Sunday morning clocks get moved from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m in accordance with Daylight Saving Time. Next fall the hour will return when clocks get moved back.

No matter what local residents think of daylight saving time, the change will become a reality during the upcoming weekend.

On Sunday at 2 a.m., the clock will spring forward one hour, causing most people to wake up a little later than they are used to. But that hour will be made up next fall when the clock falls back one hour as winter approaches.

While some people deride the idea of changing the clock, others like the fact that they get more sunlight in the evening.

"Personally, I wished they'd keep daylight saving time all year round," said Laurie Nunley of Price. "The days seem longer and I think peoples spirits are higher because they are happier."

However, 40 years ago people weren't so sure.

In 1966 after years of debating, compromises and threats, with some states on DST and others on standard time, the United States Congress passed the Uniform Time Act. The act required states to either run on standard time or to change to a national system of daylight saving time. The law specified that, if legislatures didn't make the exception, the states would automatically go on daylight saving time. Some areas like Utah were the exception and, for a few years, the Beehive State stayed on standard time all year long.

In 1967 shortly before the change was to take place, an article in the New York Times called many of the states that didn't want to change "backlands" and some fairly wild quotes were attributed to officials who opposed the change in those areas.

For instance, Senator Bobby Rowan of Enigma, Ga., stated in the Senate that: "Not since Biblical times has there been a man who could change sunrise and sunset, but the bureaucrats are attempting to do it."

At the same time, the governor of Iowa, Harold Hughes, threatened to veto any legislative action that would keep the state off daylight saving time.

But Hughes was criticized by a group that thought the change could lead the country to communism. One opponent told the governor that the children of Iowans would be susceptible to the arch enemies of democracy.

"A child gets up in the morning under daylight (savings) time and cries because he has lost an hour of sleep," asserted Hugh Vail. "A parent has to whip him to get him to go to school. Maybe he has had breakfast and maybe not. He whines all day. When he comes home, his parents give him aspirin. We are living in a drug age. The school children are so busted that they have to have drugs. Then when communism comes along, what are we going to do?"

At first Utah resisted too but in a few short years the state, despite outcries from many that the change would have a negative effect on Utah, changed.

Since that time many other states have changed to the daylight system with Arizona being the only state in the continental U.S. that has not gone to the dual change each year.

But in reality, DST has been going on so long now that almost no one can remember what it was like without it.

In fact, more than 50 percent of the current population of the state wasn't born or were too young to remember the days when the clocks didn't change in the spring or the fall.

"I like it," commented Brandon Axelgard of Price. "For me, I grew up with it and I'm not used to anything else."

When the act was first put in place, the time sprung forward on the last Sunday in April and went an hour back on the last Sunday in October.

A couple of years ago, the schedule was changed to the advance taking place on the second Sunday in March and retreating on the first Sunday in November.

In ancient times, many rulers expanded hours to fit the long days of summer.

An Englishman named William Willet, who proposed in the early 20th century that people needed to enjoy the best part of a summer's day by getting up earlier, set the tone for today's DST by publishing a pamphlet called Waste of Daylight in 1907.

When he went on his morning horseback ride, Willet found that most of the house's blinds were still drawn and people were asleep during what he considered the most enjoyable part of the day.

Eventually, Britain adopted a form of daylight saving time and the concept began to spread to many countries in the world.

Willet's reasoning for DST eventually gave way to many other ideas.

While places that provided recreation liked the extra hour of sunlight in the evening, people like farmers and drive-in movie theaters did not.

The proponents used the idea of extra light time as a reason initially.

But eventually, particularly when the energy crunch in the 1970s took place, it was thought that the change would save energy.

Many studies were done and it was found that one percent less power was used by homes during the spring with DST than with standard time.

However, more recent research shows the earlier findings may not be true. In fact, the situation may be just the opposite.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that a study conducted in Indiana showed that energy consumption actually went up with the time change.

For years, Indiana had only a few counties that were on daylight savings time, while 77 were not.

When the new setback times came a couple of years ago, the entire state decided to change to DST.

The decision gave a University of California economics professor the chance to study the changes.

According to the Wall Street Journal article, researchers were able to measure energy usage differences on seven million meters during a three-year period.

The researchers used the meters that had already been on DST as the control group for the study.

The professor and a graduate student who were doing the study found that the change actually cost Indiana residents $8.6 million more per year.

The increase was due to higher air conditioning costs during the hot months of the summer (sun was up longer) and higher costs for heating in the morning during the cooler months that occur during the time change.

But no matter what the costs, the changes or the complaints, DST is here and, after 40 years of moving back and forth, spring and fall, most people seem to like the change.

"I'm happy to see it is coming," said Bernie Jones of Helper. "I'm tired of winter and I love the extra light it gives us in the evening."






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