Time Out! Michigan Lawmaker Proposes Ending Daylight Saving Time

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – A state legislator aims to eliminate daylight saving time in Michigan, the standard that calls for clocks to be moved forward an hour in spring and back an hour in fall.

Ann Arbor Democratic Rep. Jeff Irwin introduced legislation Wednesday that would direct the state to follow the standard time of the zone in which it is located.

Irwin cites “well-documented” accidents and heart attacks in the days after the spring shift. He also says daylight saving time is supposed to save energy, but evidence from Indiana’s 2006 changeover found an increase in electricity usage.

The Alaska Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to eliminate daylight saving time in the state. The bill passed 16-4 and now goes to Alaska’s House.

History of Daylight Saving Time In The US

The concept of Daylight Saving Time has been around for centuries. Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay recommending, mostly tongue in cheek, that Parisians could save on candle usage by rising earlier with the sun.

In the United States Daylight Saving Time was first adopted when President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law to support the war effort during World War I. The initiative was sparked by Robert Garland, a Pittsburgh industrialist who had encountered the idea in the United Kingdom. A passionate campainer for the use of DST in the United States, he is often called the “father of Daylight Saving”.

Seasonal time change was repealed just seven months later. However, some cities – including Pittsburgh, Boston, and New York – continued to use it until President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted year-round DST in the United States in 1942.

Year-round DST, also called “War Time”, was in force during World War II, from February 9, 1942 to September 30, 1945. The change was implemented 40 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and during this time, the U.S. time zones were called “Eastern War Time”, “Central War Time”, and “Pacific War Time”. After the surrender of Japan in mid-August 1945, the time zones were relabeled “Peace Time”.

Modern Daylight Saving Time

From 1945 until 1966 there was much confusion because local and state governments were able to decide when or if they would follow DST. That led to the introduction of the Uniform Time Act of 1966 that set the time change uniformly beginning the last Sunday of April and ending on the last Sunday of October. However, states still had the ability to be exempt from DST by passing a local ordinance. And some did just that. Today, DST starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. Currently, most of the United States observes DST except for Hawaii and most of Arizona, as well as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam.

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