It was not easy getting out of bed this morning. My body was on standard time, the clocks on daylight saving time. Curious tonight, I looked up the history behind all this clock-changing; did you know that the idea of daylight saving was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin during his sojourn as an American delegate in Paris in 1784, in the essay “An Economical Project“? It obviously wasn’t put into place until much later, but he certainly was a man born before his time. The website I found had several anecdotes about daylight saving time too, including:
In September 1999, the West Bank was on Daylight Saving Time while Israel had just switched back to standard time. West Bank terrorists prepared time bombs and smuggled them to their Israeli counterparts, who misunderstood the time on the bombs. As the bombs were being planted, they exploded–one hour too early–killing three terrorists instead of the intended victims–two busloads of people.
Patrons of bars that stay open past 2:00 a.m. lose one hour of drinking time on the day when Daylight Saving Time springs forward one hour. This has led to annual problems in numerous locations, and sometimes even to riots. For example, at a “time disturbance” in Athens, Ohio, site of Ohio University, over 1,000 students and other late night partiers chanted “Freedom,” as they threw liquor bottles at the police attempting to control the riot.
And last but not least:
As with the U.S., Great Britain has had a checkered past with Daylight Saving Time (or Summer Time, as it is known there). In the early part of the 20th century, citizens protested at the change, using the slogan, “Give us back our stolen hour.”
Benjamin Franklin didn’t know what he’d started!