SURRATT: Daylight saving time is on the horizon

Published 8:00 am Friday, March 3, 2023

It’s coming March 12; that great seasonal event we anticipate with great joy (or anxiety) — daylight saving time.

That’s right. In less than 10 days we’ll be looking at our clocks and watches and asking that age-old question, “Spring forward or fall back?” Those who own digital clocks will have no problem; like computers, most digital clocks will automatically spring forward at the right moment. Those people with old-fashion analog clocks that must be changed by hand will have something to do on March 11 before they go to bed.

The idea and implementation of daylight saving time is not a new idea. Just go and search the Internet, history books and encyclopedias and you’ll find daylight saving time has been around for a long time.

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According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Benjamin Franklin first suggested it in an essay in 1784.

In 1909 the British House of Commons rejected a bill to advance the clock by one hour in the spring and return to Greenwich Mean Time in the autumn.

Daylight saving time was promoted to help farmers have more time to plant or harvest crops and in World War I and II the United States, England and several other countries went to daylight saving time to save energy.

Somewhere along the way, someone decided to make daylight saving time a more permanent fixture in our society. True, there are some states that don’t follow daylight saving time, but for the most part, we adhere to the bill or presidential decree that was so ordered sometime in the past.

Since then, we have griped and complained at some point about daylight saving, but there is hope.

In 2022, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced a bill known as the “Sunshine Protection Act,” which had co-sponsors from both parties and amazingly passed the Senate unanimously. If the bill becomes law, we will no longer have to set our clock back. Of course, the bill must also be passed by the House, where the Republican majority is still trying to grow up.

But think; more time to spend outdoors for that extra round of golf or that extra set of tennis. Maybe a few more hours to work on that tan or cut the grass so you can have the weekend free or send your children to school in the dark. I’m not going to say save energy because with daylight savings time the super hot summer temps are going to last longer.

So many things can occur if the House passes and President Biden signs the Sunshine Protection Act into law.

For myself, it makes no difference whether we spring forward or spring back. I just want someone to make a decision on whether we stay with daylight saving time or not. My body wants continuity.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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