Having just gone through the “changing of the time” on March 9th, I began to reflect back many years and recount some of my thoughts about this semi-yearly occurrence.  I think my first recollection is from when I lived in Upper Montclair, NJ, in the mid 40’s to early 50’s.  During those years we of course didn’t have handheld electronic devices, no TV, no “X-Boxes” or Kindle Fires, iPad’s, iPhones, iPods, or iAnything!  So what did we kids do to pass the time?  Well, as near as I can remember, we played outside a lot (summer & winter), took walks into “town”, maybe saved up enough allowance to be able to afford the 25 Cartoons for 25 cents on Saturdays, listened to the radio (The Shadow, The Green Hornet, Mr. Keene – Tracer of Lost Persons, The Lone Ranger, Tom Mix, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and many others and generally kept ourselves entertained.  But our favorite activities were being able to be outside running about, making forts, playing sports and so on.  So in the spring, when it came time to change the clocks from standard time to daylight savings time, it meant only one important thing to us:  more time outside in the afternoons and evenings.  I think we also thought of it as a signal that the end of school must be getting near.


I’m sure some or most of us just take the “spring ahead – fall back” exercise in stride and don’t give it much other thought other than the requirement to change all our clocks, timers, etc.  But I find that there are some interesting points about the events including questions about how DST got started, some of the history behind DST, the ongoing debates over DST and where/where not DST is observed in our Country.


When we examine the origin of DST, we find that although the concept has only been in existence for about one hundred years in the United States, the United Kingdom and many other countries around the world, ancient civilizations were known to practice a similar process by which they would adjust daily activities in accordance with the sun and sunlit hours.  Variations of “modern day” DST can also be found back to WW I when several countries (led by Germany) adopted DST to save fuel during the war effort.  However, most countries reverted back to standard time post WW I, with DST not to reappear until the outset of WW II, again used to save energy sources for the war effort.  Our own FDR instituted “War Time” during WW II during the period from 1942 to 1945 when we had DST all year long.  Then in 1945 we reverted back to “Peace Time” which included some DST periods.


In our Country, DST caused widespread confusion from 1945 to 1966 due to the fact that many states and localities were free to chose when and if they would observe DST.  Our Congress then acted to end this confusion and established the “Uniform Time Act of 1966” that directed that DST would begin on the last Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of October.  This Act helped solve some of the confusion but states and localities were still free to be exempt from DST by passing local ordinances.  Today, with very few exceptions (Arizona and some US Territories), the United States observes DST.


Congress then extended DST to cover 10 months in 1974 and eight months in 1975, basically due to the 1973 oil embargo.  But thus began the great debates about the dark winter mornings contributing to more accidents and endangering the lives of children forced to go to school in the dark.  So in 1976 we again reverted to having DST begin on the last Sunday in April.  And in 1987 it was changed again to begin on the first Sunday in April.  And as we all know today, our DST begins on the second Sunday of March, ending on the first Sunday of November.  Today, some seventy countries worldwide have adopted DST although the beginning and ending dates are often a bit different than in the US.


Of course, DST is not without some degree of controversy and debate.  Proponents hold that DST gives us the advantage of an extra hour of daylight in the afternoon where we can enjoy extra time to complete outside chores, perhaps help to reduce road injuries, and provide more leisure time to interact with family in outside activities and sports.  And I would submit that we golfers like DST because it affords us an extra hour of frustration on the course!  Others claim that DST provides energy savings through less time that electric lights need to burn and a reduction in the use of home electric devices.  Lastly, there has been a great debate over the years about the farming community and their dislike of DST.  For one reason, farmers must rise and retire at more set times than some of the rest of us.  And to disrupt the internal clocks of livestock and other farm animals is thought not to be good practice. Our farming groups also complain that they have to adjust the hours of selling their farm goods to the public as their customers expect to be able to shop later in the day.


Other people opposed to DST argue that the energy savings are either negligible on non-existent and that DST may add to safety fears of travelling early in the mornings when it is still dark outside.


And what is Pop’s Prospective on the observance Daylight Savings Time?  At great risk of being considered non-caring about the great energy debates surrounding DST, the safety factors of those going out early in the mornings and being opposed to the farming community complaints — I LOVE THE EXTRA DAYLGHT AT THE END OF THE DAY!



Semper Fi, thanks for reading and look for more of “Pops Perspective” in the coming months.