And climb the stairs to the beach...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Morning Folks April 2, 2006


So did everyone get up when they were supposed to this morning to save daylight? One hour early, thank you very much Ben Franklin! At least Ben is who most people have come to blame for the idea of Daylight Savings time.

And I guess it was perhaps his idea. However, the one who promoted it and really started the ball rolling might well have been a relative of those of us with Hall blood flowing in our veins. Willett is my Grandmother Hall's maiden name. And I believe, from what I have recently read, a Willett was to blame for your having to lose that hour of sleep!

Ben did first propose the idea back in the late 1780s as near as everyone can determine. However, it really didn't go very far back then. And from what I have read, his suggestion was sort of tongue-in-cheek. He really just wanted people to go to bed earlier and get up earlier and to stop griping about it. He was really just kidding. Sort of an Early April Fool's Joke, maybe?

But then along came a London builder by the name of William Willett who was really gung ho on the idea and wrote a pamphlet to promote it in 1907.

British builder William Willett was up early for his pre-breakfast horseback ride in 1905.
He lamented how few people were enjoying the "best part of a summer day", and he came up with the idea of moving the clocks forward in summer to take advantage of the bright beautiful mornings and to give more light in the evening. William Willett (1857-1915) seriously advocated daylight savings time in a pamphlet in 1907 that proposed advancing clocks 20 minutes on each of four Sundays in April, and retarding them by the same amount on four Sundays in September. In his pamphlet "The Waste of Daylight" he wrote:

"Everyone appreciates the long, light evenings. Everyone laments their shortage as Autumn approaches; and everyone has given utterance to regret that the clear, bright light of an early morning during Spring and Summer months is so seldom seen or used."

So, Willett campaigned and lobbied hard until a bill was introduced to the House of Commons. Alas, it didn't pass and, although he didn't give up, Willett died in 1915 never to see his plan put into action. In 1916, during WWI, Germany did adopt such a plan and in turn Britain adopted it within a month's time. Poor William never got to enjoy his success.

And then DST took on a life of it's own. Adopted by the US in WWI, repealed. Readopted in WWII and local options for start and stop dates produced widespread confusion.
One year in Iowa alone, they had 23 different sets of start and stop dates.

And on one bus trip from West Virginia to Ohio travelers had to change their watches 7 times in 35 miles. So they changed all that somewhere along the way and made more uniform starts and stops in the US. Then again we changed the uniform start and stop dates in 1973 due to the oil embargo and extended it again in 1986. In an act passed in 2005, the U.S. DST period was extended by three weeks in the spring and one week in the fall, commencing 2007.
I am so confused! All I really need to know is that it started again this morning and if you aren't up yet, you better get up!

So, Rise and Shine and Give God your Glory, Glory... This very beautiful, if very early, sunny Sunday April morn inspires me to break out in song. Tra La!

And, I hope you are all in good voice today, too. And if you are looking for a tune to hum or holler, how about Happy Birthday?

Today is my niece, Steffanie Page Kahn's birthday and I wonder if she got up early this morning? Hmmmmm?

She isn't a morning person at all.

Happy Birthday Steff! And have a great day everyone!

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