The Strange Case of Daylight Saving Time

It’s not as simple as eliminating the need to change your clocks twice a year.
Cascade Sunrise

Lots of people think that Benjamin Franklin invented daylight saving time, which is an easy mistake to make. In reality, it was a misunderstanding that was easier to go along with than to try to understand Franklin’s sense of sarcasm when he was addressing the French.

The full truth of daylight saving time’s existence is extensive and complex. The concept is not new, by any means, as many ancient cultures like the Romans often manipulated their reckoning of time to better fit their needs and environment. 

Sundial Time Changes

Thousands of years later, when WWI held everyone in its grip, daylight saving was made popular overseas when Germany, in its efforts to conserve fuel and energy, began adhering to it. The concept spread throughout Europe, and by 1918 the U.S. had joined the trend, though sporadically.

It wasn’t until President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Uniform Time Act of 1966 that the daylight saving time we know today came to be. A few states like Arizona and Hawaii took exception to this bill, and have operated under their own time parameters, but the rest of the country implements daylight saving time. Idaho among them. 

Boise Capitol

Since then, many Idahoans alive today argue, sleeping patterns, productivity, and general health tend to take a dive twice a year every year with no measurable benefits.

In February 2019, Republican Idaho State Rep. Christy Zito introduced House Bill 85 to eliminate daylight saving time in Idaho. She agreed with many of her constituents who have noticed the heavy toll an hour time shift takes on everyday life. 

Boise At Night

Last year, Democratic Rep. Mike Erpelding opposed the resolution. He was hearing concerns from Idahoans who believe it is not so simple a thing to just stop practicing daylight saving time. 

The sun could rise as early as 3:30 am at certain times of the year but still set as late as 9:00 pm. 

It is difficult to know how far the effect of eliminating daylight saving time would reach. How will it affect businesses and institutions? Will competitive sports have to change their normal patterns? Will it change crime and public safety concerns positively, negatively or not at all? How will it affect our social lives? Will night-life change much? Will Christmas light walk-throughs have to wait till almost 10:00 pm? It’s hard to say.

There are also major concerns about how the time shifts in Idaho affect its relationships with the states along its borders.

House Bill 85 failed to pass last year, but Senator Christy Zito is trying again, though she believes it is likely to fail. 

What do you think? Should Idaho rid itself of daylight saving time? Or do we stand firm in maintaining what we have done for more than 50 years? Go! let Sen. Zito know your thoughts.

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Adam Brimhall

Adam Brimhall

An expert at going out.

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