Locals chime in on Daylight Savings Time
By Don Rush
Thank you, Benjamin Franklin. Your tongue-in-cheek ideas have led Americans, Michiganians and locals to grouse about Daylight Savings Time (DST) two times a year, 238 years after you first brought it up. And, it’s almost that time of year again – in 10 days, when you go to bed, don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour. Daylight Savings Time for the year ends, Sunday, March 6.
In 2008, Steve P. Calandrillo and Dustin E. Buehler, published Time Well Spent: An Economic Analysis of Daylight Saving Time Legislation. In their paper they wrote, “Like many great ideas, daylight saving time started as satirical fodder. On April 26, 1784, the Journal de Paris published a whimsical letter titled An Economical Project, signed by a “Subscriber” later unmasked as Benjamin Franklin. According to their account, Franklin – who at the time was in France – “accidentally” woke up early one morning. “. .. And he was surprised to find his room ‘filled with light’ because his servant had neglected to close the shutters the night before. Franklin wrote to the Journal, ‘[y]our readers, who with me have never seen any signs of sunshine before noon … will be as much astonished as I was, when they hear of his rising so early; and especially when I assure them, that he gives light as soon as he rises.’ From his observations, Franklin concluded that shifting sleeping patterns to coincide with sunlight would save money on candles. He calculated the amount he would save on candles by waking up (and going to bed) six hours earlier, and then multiplied these savings by the estimated number of families in Paris. Franklin’s tedious calculations indicated that Paris residents would save more than ninety-six million livres tournois each year simply by equivalent adjusting their schedules to rise with the sun -a sum to approximately $200 million today.”
Again, thanks, Ben.
In 1966, the United States Congress voted to enact the Uniform Time Act which meant all states were to observe DST. However, in 1967, Michigan voters voted to reject DST and to stay on Standard Time. That lasted to 1972, when again Michigan voters went to their polling stations and voted to go back to DST starting in 1973. Michiganians have observed this twice a year since.
On social media we asked locals to chime in their opinions on DST. We posted the question on Oct. 18 and checked results two days later, Oct. 20. We received 66 comments. Most wished to stay on the “Spring Forward” mode, followed closely by, “pick one time and keep it.” Here’s a sampling of what you wrote.
Barb, Quinlan Zamborsky: Time changes wreak havoc on our body. Kids’ sleep schedules changing causes problems.
Rosemary McConachie: Leave it like it is. Spring forward in Spring and fall back in Fall.
David Meyers: I have work to do when I get home, horses, and it’s bad enough with the shorter days now. With the time change it’ll be unbearable. Leave it alone as it is now, today.
Jeanie Lutz Cline: I am fascinated how we can manipulate time and justify it for various reasons— reducing energy usage, reducing pedestrian-auto accidents, allowing golfers to play longer. . . However, it causes problems with travel (e.g. plane schedules), messes with sleeping schedules. I appreciate driving home in daylight. Once we “fall back,” I rarely see the light of day. I have limited access to windows at work. Standard time leaves me in the dark.
Kallie Roesner: More sun at night, this dark at 4 stuff stinks
Selena Koro: When my grandmother turned 100, she had had enough with daylight savings time. She told us to turn all the clocks back 30 minutes. We told her it should be turned back 60 minutes. She said “I know, but I don’t care. Half the year I’ll be early for appointments and half the year I’ll be late for appointments. Either way I’ll blame being 100!”
Irene Farrell: I don’t care, Just stay on on time all the time. No back and forth.
Delbert Stumph: It’s daylight SAVING time, and it sucks!
Bryce Glass: I’m ready to be done with it. I’m not sure what the point of it is. Someone told me it had to do with farm life and harvesting?
Janice Ludwig Burr: I like it a lot! It really stretches our summer days out!
Emily Lessnau: I’m relieved it’s ending. I never cared for it, it takes weeks for my body’s natural patterns and habits to reset … But then I became a mother and was convinced Satan himself created DST! And I think that no one else on the planet uses it speaks volumes.
Trisha Koski: Personally, I just wish they would leave the clocks alone. Changing the clocks can bring depression to a lot of people.This, of course, includes me.
Sherry Ryan: Just pick a time and leave it be. All this jumping back and forth is ridiculous.
Emily Ballard: I hate spring forward. Absolutely despise it. I wish they would just keep Standard Time. I’m the opposite of most on here. I wish the sun wasn’t still up at 10:30 pm during the summer!
Candace Isaacson: I would prefer to leave it alone. I hate trying to reprogram my mind to fall back or spring /forward for sleep/ awake time. I feel for the kids. Yep, all of this is during the school year.
Chip Theisen: Just pick one and leave it alone!
Linda L. Caylor-Dreuth: I prefer Daylight Savings time. I wish they would leave it year round. I love the daylight lasting till late in the Summer. I really don’t like it getting dark at 4:30/ 5:00 pm in the Winter.
Lana Sioma: It’s not changing the clocks for me, it’s the darkness that comes way too soon.
Daylight helps feed the spirit of positivity.
Kelly Ford: I’m still lagging from spring forward. After this fall back, let’s please stop changing the clocks. It throws off the whole circadian rhythm, and hardly any of us actually work on farms.
Barbara Beach: Contrary to popular belief, American farmers did not lobby for daylight saving to have more time to work in the fields; in fact, the agriculture industry was deeply opposed to the time switch when it was first implemented on March 31, 1918, as a wartime measure. The sun, not the clock, dictated farmers’ schedules, so daylight saving was very disruptive. Farmers had to wait an extra hour for dew to evaporate to harvest hay, hired hands worked less since they still left at the same time for dinner and cows weren’t ready to be milked an hour earlier to meet shipping schedules. Agrarian interests led the fight for the 1919 repeal of national daylight saving time, which passed after Congress voted to override President Woodrow Wilson’s veto. Rather than rural interests, it has been urban entities such as retail outlets and recreational businesses that have championed daylight saving over the decades.
Guy Caylor: I wish it would stay Sprung ahead all the time. I especially like DST in the Summer months for kids sports & my golf league.
Troy Heck: I’ve always enjoyed the extra hour in the evening that daylight saving time gives you in the summer. One year the world changed their clocks back but I kept doing daylight saving time… but not for very long. People THINK they want it, but they won’t like it, I’ve lived it and I know.
As far as saving energy, I don’t think it does this anymore, but the original purpose of having more time in the evening in the summer months is still a good one.
Rebecca Kanka: I dislike it heavily. As a kid walking to the morning bus stop in the dark was nice, I would much rather have the sunlight saved for after school to enjoy. It is an unnecessary stress on our circadian rhythms, and has even shown to increase the risk of heart attacks on the day we lose an hour of sleep. It was one of the many reasons I loved living in Arizona.
Marion Loll: It’s outdated…I can’t see any reason for time change!
Joel King: Daylight Savings Time, Railroads, and Bernie Sanders are 19th Century solutions being shoehorned into 21st Century problems – and all three belong on the trash heap of history.