Mason’s Musings November 3rd, 2023
It’s almost that time of the year, when the nights get shorter and we gain one more hour of blissful sleep. I am of course referring to daylight savings time, the unmistakable omen of winter’s chill descent upon the northern hemisphere. It’s a tradition that more than 70 countries world-wide observe. But why? What’s the reasoning behind pushing our clocks backwards and forwards for winter and spring? The answer…trains!
Before the establishment of time-zones in the United States there were over 144 different local time-zones. The sheer number of time-zones made it incredibly difficult to coordinate departures and arrivals, and it even resulted in some collisions. To solve this issue in 1883 the major railroad companies came together and established the time-zones that we still use to this day: The Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific, and Alaskan Zones. With these time-zones now established the trainlines could run much more smoothly. Government officials, seeing how the railroad companies greatly improved American citizens’ quality of life, created a new executive department.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) was established in 1966 and passed into effect the Uniform Time Act. This was the first time that daylight savings had been written into law. Previously daylight savings had been observed during WWI and WWII to help conserve energy for the war effort. However, after the wars ended most states chose to abolish their observance of DST. With the passing of the Uniform Time Act, states were required to either observe DST, switching between daylight savings and standard time, or exempt themselves. The reason the DOT passed this law is because they cited the usage of DST lowered crime rates, conserved energy, and reduced traffic related injuries.
It’s funny to think that our whole establishment of time-zones was made up by train companies. However, it makes sense when you think about how integral railroads were to early America. They were like veins pumping economy into each and every state. I had always been led to believe that DST was established because of farmers so they could better tend to their harvest but it’s nice to know the truth now.
I’m not sure about you all but I’m ready for my extra hour of night time, though being a night-owl at heart that’s not so surprising. What are your thoughts on DST? Do you wish it was permanent, do you wish Texas opted-out, or would you just like to leave it the way it is? It’s hard for me to visualize what life would be like without DST so I’d like to keep it just the way it is, even if it does mess up my sleep schedule a little. Have a great weekend everyone and relish that extra hour of rest.
Library Events 11/3-11/10:
Friday November 3rd – Friday Free Play! Preschoolers and their adults are invited to come to the library for a free play time every Friday 11 AM to Noon. Come have fun with the new November toys!
Wednesday November 8th – Children’s Hour with Ms. Katie! Bring the little ones for story time with Ms. Katie. Stories, songs, activities, and crafts are all part of the fun. Children’s Hour starts at 10:00 AM and occurs every Wednesday of each month (excluding January and August).
Thursday November 9th – Book Club with Librarian Katrina! Come down for a friendly discussion and dissection of this month’s book, My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier. Book Club starts at 6:30 PM every second Thursday of each month
Friday November 10th – Friday Free Play! Preschoolers and their adults are invited to come to the library for a free play time every Friday 11 AM to Noon.