1918 - March 19 – The United States Congress establishes time zones and approves daylight saving time (DST goes into effect on March 31).
Getting Used to the "Daylight Saving" Time.
"Daylight saving" is now a law, if not a fact, and as both the government and railroads are to adopt the new system, and most factories, the public will generally follow suit. This is not a mandatory law, but advisory, but a law of Congress was desired in this case for the same reason that it is desired in the case of prohibition. To avoid confusion and conflicting systems "daylight saving" must be national in scope.
In some localities the new arrangement will be more inconvenient than in others. Where the latitude corresponds fairly closely to the new time established in the time-zone system there will be little inconvenience. In Topeka we are near the western edge of a time-zone which extends from Pittsburg or Buffalo to Dodge City. We are therefore always, by the clock, considerably behind the actual time by the sun, and putting us ahead a full hour will make the time here in summer nearer what it would normally be, or was before the zone system was adopted many years ago. In readjusting the clock when the zone system went into effect the time here, as we remember, was set back about half an hour. Setting it forward an hour will place us no further from our proper latitude time than prior to the adoption of the zone system.
There will be inconvenience in becoming adjusted to an hour's change of time but it will be more than compensated by the "daylight saving" and the economy of fuel for light and heat. Families accustomed to have their evening meal at 6 o'clock if they keep the same nominal hour will have it at 5 o'clock, present time, and this will enable people to go to bed an hour earlier than formerly without making the evening after supper any shorter than heretofore. But if the hour for the evening time is put at 7 o'clock, new time, then the evening after supper will be an hour shorter than heretofore if the retiring hour is nominally the same as heretofore. It will make quite a difference, therefore, in habits. If everybody is to profit by "daylight saving" it is necessary to get up earlier in the morning than heretofore. If this is not gained at the expense of sleep it is of course necessary to to go to bed earlier than heretofore. And if the the time of the evening meal is put an hour later because of the lengthened day, because it seems too early at the new 6 o'clock or because at 6 o'clock it interferes with garden work or recreation, then evening customs and habits will be a good deal interfered with. The most convenient plan will be to keep the hours for meals nominally exactly what they have been.
The Topeka Daily Capital
March 20, 1918
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