Everyone sing along: Spring forward, fall back

A reminder to set your clocks ahead one hour Saturday night. Undated. | Image by wwwebmeister/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The familiar refrain echoes across most of the nation – spring forward, fall back – and many will be scrambling Sunday morning because they forgot to set their clocks forward an hour before they went to bed.

Daylight saving time is rearing its head again, an unpopular one at that to some’s thinking. Before retiring Saturday night, set your clocks ahead one hour. Just a reminder that if you don’t, you will be an hour late to work, church, meetings, whatever you might have on your schedule.

You may lose an hour of sleep unless you plan ahead and adjust your bedtime schedule accordingly.

Originally instituted during World War I, the time change was intended to save energy for the war. President Woodrow Wilson wanted to keep the time change in place after the war ended, but farmers hated the time change. It put them out of sync with city dwellers who did business with them.

In a fairly rare occurrence, Congress repealed daylight saving time, Wilson vetoed it and Congress then overrode his veto. Then World War II hit and the time change was instituted again, this time called “war time” by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

After the war, it was chaos. When the law was repealed postwar, some towns liked the time change and stuck with it. The book “Seize The Daylight: The curious and contentious story of Daylight Saving Time” by David Prerau recounts that in one 35-minute bus ride from Moundsville, West Virginia, to Steubenville, Ohio, a rider would have to change his watch seven times. Also, the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, were on different times. Imagine the confusion workers felt who lived in one city and commuted to the other.

Something had to be done.

In 1966 Congress passed the Uniform Time Act. This said that states did not have to participate in the semiannual timepiece hokey-pokey if they did not want to, but the entire state had to conform to whatever its state government decided. Plus, the federal government would determine the dates that clocks were set forward and back, eliminating the problem of states and cities setting their own dates.

Since then, daylight saving time has been expanded several times. The most recent was in 2007, when the government expanded the time change into November. The National Public Radio program “All Things Considered” recently did an interview with  Michael Downing, author of “Spring Forward: The annual madness of Daylight Saving Time,” who explained why the change was made.

“For 25 years, candymakers have wanted to get trick-or-treat covered by daylight saving, figuring that if children have an extra hour of daylight, they’ll collect more candy,” Downing said.

It finally happened. Forbes magazine said Halloween is now the second largest commercial holiday in the United States, second only to Christmas.

And one other observation: Why is standard time now only four months out of the year, while daylight saving time is eight months? That pushes the definition of “standard” a bit.

However you slice it, if you’re not in Arizona or Hawaii, set your clocks ahead one hour tonight. See you in eight months.

American Red Cross advice

The American Red Cross reminds everyone to test the batteries in their smoke alarms as they turn their clocks ahead.

The organization urges people to take these steps now and know what they should do if an emergency occurs:

  • Check smoke alarm batteries. Test smoke alarms once a month. Change the batteries at least once a year if your model requires it.
  • If you don’t have smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Check local building codes for additional requirements.
  • Practice an escape plan. Make sure everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.

Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire. The Red Cross has been working to reduce that number through its Home Fire Campaign, a multiyear effort to reduce the number of home-fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent.

Email: rwayman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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6 Comments

  • DB March 10, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    “Also, the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, were on different times. Imagine the confusion workers felt who lived in one city and commuted to the other.” Sort of like going to Mesquite! DST doesn’t do very much nowadays, compared to the mid 20th century. Don’t know for sure, but it’s repeal probably came up during the UT legislative session and was shot down once again.

  • utahdiablo March 10, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Yes, the Repeal was started but abandoned in the Legislature as I contacted the State Rep doing just that to add my voice once again to get rid of this BS Daylight savings time….the repeal was dropped because of the Golfing Lobbyists, and No I’m not kidding….so a “pay for play” bunch of good ol’ boys once again can ride over all our lives here in good ol’ southern Utah and act like our King and overlord?? This BS needs to end and end now, if it get dark a hour early on the golf course or Zion hiking trail at 9 pm? Tough luck people, come back tomorrow…. but way beyond time to speak up all you citizens of Southern Utah.. to end this madness….and end these POS lobbyists controlling our lives

    • Striker4 March 11, 2018 at 5:52 am

      Yeah right stupid blame it all on southern Utah

  • utahdiablo March 10, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Oh…and Florida is also going to get off of Daylight savings time too.

  • ffwife March 10, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Utah! Please join Florida -lets make this the last time we change our clocks. Those that “need” the extra daylight or whatever can adjust their personal schedules. Quit making EVERYONE play!

  • Uncle Lenny March 11, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Live in Fredonia, AZ and work in Kanab, UT? It’s a mess.
    Farmers don’t need a time change…cows get milked regardless of the time.
    Somebody grow a pair and put an end to this nonsense.

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