History and Historiography

President Wilson signs Standard Time Act, March 19, 1918

It’s not surprising that three of the shittiest presidents in US history-Wilson, FDR, and LBJ- were also the ones behind Daylight Savings Time.

By Andrew Glass, Politico

On this day in 1918, 100 years ago, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Standard Time Act. The legislation established federally mandated time zones across the nation and called for daylight saving time to begin on March 31. In adopting daylight saving time, the United States followed the lead of other major combatants in World War I, beginning with Germany, which had made the time shift on May 1, 1916.

However, the idea of setting clocks forward an hour during the warmer months of the year so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less, proved unpopular in a nation that still had a sizable agrarian population. After the armistice, Congress, acting over Wilson’s veto, scuttled the practice.


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