The Death of Standard Time?

Growing Sentiment for Year-Round Daylight Savings Time

        On Sunday morning we transition back to Daylight Savings Time. Are you among the multitudes wishing that we could just stay on DST all year long? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can be a struggle for many of us, and that one-hour shift wreaks havoc on the routines of young child and pets.

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            What’s interesting is that the state of Florida is doing something about it. While the Florida legislature has been fumbling around with gun control issues the past few weeks, it had no problem agreeing to “the Sunshine Protection Act” on Tuesday. This bill would require Florida to remain on DST year-round, pending Governor Rick Scott’s approval.

            If enacted, the Sunshine Protection Act would be controversial legally, joining other state statues in conflict with federal mandates (think marijuana laws). Oddly enough, this is nothing new in the history of DSL.

            This month is actually the 100th anniversary of Daylight Savings Time – sort of.

            DST first took effect on March 31, 1918, yet Congress inexplicably repealed it the very next year! President Woodrow Wilson vetoed the bill, but Congress (likely influenced by its other beefs with Wilson) overrode the veto to kill DST nationally.

            President Franklin Roosevelt declared what he called “War Time” DST during World War II, partially to save energy, but it was phased out at the end of 1945.

            However, throughout the early 20th Century numerous states and even individual localities instituted the Daylight Savings Time, creating a hodge-podge of inconsistencies.  At one point, the neighboring Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota disagreed on the hour of the day! It wasn’t until 1966 that Lyndon Johnson signed “the Uniform Time Act,” re-enacting DSL across the United States (thanks in great part to the new airline lobby, pleading for conformity to sensibly schedule flights).

            With our latitude impacting the length of daylight far more than in Florida, one has to wonder if our Governor Scott and the Vermont legislature is paying attention to developments down there? Let’s hope so!

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