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This weekend we reset the clocks, spring forward, fall back and all of that.

The idea for Daylight Savings Time is often attributed to Ben Franklin, who thought it would be a good way to get more daylight into people's lives, and thereby enhance productivity. It didn't, actually, but Ben gets credit because he wrote about it.

Daylight Time didn't officially start until World War I, and it was Germany that started it, not the US. (There were a few scattered locales that did it on their own, and standardized time zones had begun 30 years prior thanks to the railroads.) People in cities actually liked it for all the obvious reasons, but rural folk hated it: they had to get up an hour earlier if they were going to get their farm chores done in time to get their produce and goods to market via rail, which was really the only way commodity transport worked in the early 20th century.

In fact, they hated it so much that they petitioned their Senators and Congressmen to repeal it following the war, and the rural-dominated Congress did, in fact, repeal it. President Wilson vetoed the repeal, so Congress passed a repeal again. And Wilson vetoed it again. Finally Congress got a veto proof majority and the law was repealed - until World War II again made it seem important to lower energy costs and get more daylight work out of the factories that were arming America.

Note to the Tea Party: this is how you repeal a law. You get your representative government to vote to repeal it, and if it is vetoed, you get enough votes to override the veto. Not a complicated thing, but I suspect if you had tried your way of shutting everything down at the height of the war you would have been decried as a traitor, and perhaps summarily shot.

Just thought you'd enjoy a historical note for the weekend, with a contemporary footnote. Enjoy.
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