Today is the Monday after Daylight Saving Time started. I always hate this day. Getting to work on time is always that much more difficult, and I always feel a bit run down for the few days afterward until my body adjusts. This time of year also predictably produces idiotic screeds about Daylight Saving Time, for instance, this one by someone named Chip Wood entitled Who’s The Idiot Who Foisted Daylight Saving Time On Us? While I can sympathize with the sentiment, the actual rant is a heapin’ helpin’ of burning stupid:
It all began back in the dark days of the Great Depression, I’m told. The idea was that moving clocks forward in the spring and back in the fall would give farmers one more hour of daylight each day. All of the money they’d save not having to burn kerosene or use electricity for that extra hour would save so much money the depression would soon be over.
Sure it would.
Truth is, all of the New Deal schemes Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his cronies could think of (some of which were modeled very closely on the economic practices of their buddies in Soviet Russia) didn’t do a thing to end the depression. What did bring that ghastly period of massive unemployment to an end was America’s entry into World War II. It got our factories roaring again–but at a terrible price.
With that depression long since gone and farmers having dwindled to a tiny fraction of our population, why then do we still have daylight saving time inflicted on us?
This is, of course, completely wrong. DST was not invented as a New Deal scheme, nor was it ever promised to end the Depression. It was actually first implemented by Germany during World War I as a means of saving coal. England and the other allies followed suit not long after. Finally, in the U.S. Daylight Saving Time was first implemented in 1918, again, as a wartime measure to save energy. Before that, it had been conceived by entomologist George Vernon Hudson in 1895 and prominent English builder and outdoorsman William Willett in 1905, but was never implemented; neither of them could quite persuade Parliament to pass the necessary legislation. You’d think that ol’ Chip would know how to use Wikipedia or even just Google, but apparently he such a simple task as searching for “Daylight Saving Time” in either was beyond his not-so-mighty intellect.
Even more amusingly, contrary to Wood’s little rant Daylight Saving Time was never implemented during the Great Depression. In fact, DST was so unpopular in the U.S. in 1918 that it was not implemented again until World War II, when it was proposed as–you guessed it!–a measure to save energy during wartime. In fact, the U.S. remained on DST for nearly all of World War II, from February 9, 1942 to September 30, 1945, over three and a half continuous years.
Thus endeth the history lesson. I always feel a bit better, even with my DST-induced fatigue, laying the cluestick on an idiot like Chip Wood.