PROTESTS ON DAYLIGHT TIME PERSIST DESPITE

NEW FEDERAL LAW ON UNIFORMITY

by

Douglas E. Kneeland

 

Kansas City, MO., Feb. 26...

            The uniform time law that Congress passed last year has muffled the annual uproar over daylight saving time, but rumblings of discontent are still heard in the backlands.

            The legislation signed last April by President Johnson requires uniform time, either standard or daylight saving, within each state, effective this year.

            Each state observing daylight saving time must set its clocks ahead an hour on the last Sunday in April and keep them that way until the last Sunday in October.

            A state will automatically go on daylight saving time unless its legislature takes action to prevent it.  All past state laws on the subject are considered invalid.

            Several states that have been split between daylight and standard time, or are entirely on standard, have casually agreed to daylight saving.

 Protests Are Heard

             In others, legislators are getting protests from farmers who object to doing chores in the morning darkness, from drive-in movie proprietors, from early-to-bed, early-to-rise communities, from the mothers of children who will not sleep until the sun goes down, and from indignant defenders of "God's time."

            State Senator Bobby Rowan of Enigma, GA, rose recently in the Senate chamber and said:

            "Not since Biblical times has there been a man who could change sunrise and sunset, but the bureaucrats are attempting to do it."

            And Gov. Harold E. Hughes of Iowa, who has promised to veto any legislative action that would keep his state off daylight saving time, was criticized sharply by a rural delegation a short time back.

            A spokesman for the group, Hugh A. Vail of Indianola, told the Governor that daylight saving time would weaken are resistance of Iowa's children to Communism.

            "A child gets up in the morning under daylight time and cries because he has lost an hour of sleep," Mr. Vail asserted.  "A parent has to whip him to get him to go to school.  Maybe he has had breakfast and maybe not.

            "He whines all day.  When he comes home, his parents give him aspirin.  We are living in a drug age.  The schoolchildren are so busted that they have to have drugs.  Then when Communism comes along, what are we going to do?"

            In Nebraska, however, where the legislative debate still rages, Dr. D.F. Eberle, a physiciam from Ogallala in the western part of the state, testified before a committee that daylight time might save the lives of 100 young men a year in his area.

            Because they live in a mountain standard time zone, where it gets dark earlier than in the central standard time zone a few miles to the east, Dr. Eberle said, they lack opportunities for such exercise as golfing and are more susceptible to heart disease.

            He said the heart disease death rate among young men in western Nebraska was 8 percent higher than among young men in the rest of the state.

            Kentucky, despite the opposition of such powerful forces as the State Congress of Parents and Teachers, the State Farm Bureau, and the National Farmers Organization, apparently will go on daylight time by default.

            Kentucky is one of three states--the others are Virginia and Mississippi--that do not have legislative sessions this year.

            Gov. Edward T. Breathitt of Kentucky has refused because of the expense to call a special session to consider the daylight time question.           

Yearly Confusion Cited

             But Governor Breathitt, who is hoping Congress will pass a bill exempting Kentucky from the Federal law until the Legislature meets next year, must stay in the state to prevent a special session.

            Lieut. Gov. Harry Lee Waterfield has declared that he would use his authority in the Governor's absence to call the Legislature and have Kentucky put on standard time.

            Congress acted last year to end the annual confusion that resulted when various areas within a state, particularly those split by time zones, adopted different times.

            Railroads, airlines, and bus companies had complained that it cost them millions of dollars each year to adjust their schedules to the various communities.  Television stations had lodged similar complaints.

            Urban residents, many businesses, and the outdoor recreation industry had pleaded for more daylight at the end of the day.

            A New York Times check showed that of the 17 states previously permitting local option on time, seven almost certainly would go on daylight time April 30.  They are Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, and Virginia.

            Six others--Alabama, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Utah--are believed likely to accept daylight time, but legislative action is still pending.

            With bills before their legislatures, Indiana and Michigan are expected to go entirely on standard time.  The legislative outcome is still in doubt in Nebraska and Tennessee.

            Among the 14 states that have had no daylight saving time, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Wyoming will switch this year.  Arkansas, North Carolina, and South Carolina are also expected to make the change.

            Legislative action is pending in Alaska, Georgia, Hawaii, and North Dakota, but all are almost certain to stay on standard time.

            There was no clear indication of which way the legislatures would go in Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas.

            Nineteen states and the District of Columbia were entirely on daylight saving time last year.  Although the debate has continued in some, such as Iowa, none is expected to take action to remain on standard time for the summer.

  In addition to Iowa, these states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. 

[Source: The New York Times, February 27, 1967.]

 

 

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