Bright Idea to Adopt Year-Long Daylight Saving Time Was Tried Before


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Image via Unsplash.
One of the negative effects of a permanent adoption of Daylight Savings Time is the relative lateness of daily sunrise and the safety issues it creates.

With last year’s U.S. Senate passage of the Sunshine Protection Act (and ongoing discussion in its aftermath), efforts may again be underway to permanently orient the U.S. to Daylight Saving Time. But JD Mullane, in the Bucks County Courier Times, recalls the idea’s prior attempt.

The Nixon Administration nationalized the time change in January 1974 as an energy-saving initiative.

Any household budget relief on gas and power was quickly obscured, however, by a dire after-effect. Darkened mornings proved dangerous for children on their way to school under still-starlit skies.

In Florida, for example, eight children were killed en route to school. The tragedies represented a 300 percent increase in mortality over a handful of days, compared with student-related accident data for both terms the scholastic year prior.

Parents also complained about the challenges of getting children to bed at 9 PM with the sun still ablaze.

By October 1974, the idea was scrapped.

The current legislation’s future remains unclear (Pres. Biden has not commented). But public U.S. opinion on the idea is reportedly only at a lukewarm 56 percent.

More recollections on Daylight Saving Time are at the Bucks County Courier Times.

Editor’s Note: This MONTCO Today post ran originally on Mar. 30, 2021; it has been updated for accuracy.


NOVA examined why permanent Daylight Savings Time is inadvisable.

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