Sunday, November 7, 2010

Daylight Savings in WWII

Daylight savings ended early this morning and I earned back the hour I lost last spring. It’s almost like I banked that hour to revel in today. I’m going to spend it well. Reading.

I’m on Eastern Standard Time, not Eastern Daylight Time anymore. But if I had been around on that September day in 1942 on the very first first day of school at Pilot Mountain Schoolhouse, my clock would have been on something entirely different. EWT. Eastern War Time. From February 9, 1942 to September 30, 1945 the entire continental US was on daylight savings year round to conserve energy for the war effort. One person I interviewed said they were on a two hour difference, double daylight savings, but I’ve not seen proof of that. Even one hour made a difference in this rural, milk-the-cow-before-school society. It worked fine in spring, summer, and fall. Come winter, though, with the long dark nights, it was a different story.

To remedy this, school days started at ten in the morning and released after four in the evenings, safer for children catching the bus or walking on the side of the road in the mornings. After school, they hurried off the bus to get their chores finished before dark, so they weren’t playing around at the bus stop.

They worked it out for the good of the country. No questions, no rebellion. They just did it.

Catch of the day,


1 comment:

  1. Gretchen,

    Thanks for the trivia. I don't recall hearing of EWT. Thanks for the info.