Clock change orgy of 1996-10-27

Chris Carrier 72157.3334 at CompuServe.COM
Wed Oct 30 05:13:27 UTC 1996

On 1996-10-28 05:04 GMT I posted:
more people changed time today, 1996 October 27, than on any other date
in history.
To which Paul Eggert commented:
>Could be.  1991-09-15 is another candidate; it's the last time that
>China changed its clocks.
Good point.  The magnitude of the clock changing orgy, in terms of number of
people, would have been about the same.  Speaking in very broad general terms,
the population of the US (ex. eastern IN, HI, and AZ) is about 250 million,
Mexico 100 million, EU 350 million, Russia 150 million, totalling 850 million,
plus or minus 100 M.  The population of China is somewhere in the range of
1100-1200 million, so it would take another 300 million people, in non-EU
Europe and the Central Asian republics of the CIS, changing time on 1996
October 27 to exceed the Chinese 1991 record.  Sounds like a close thing.
I furthermore posted an:
Editorial comment on the above: it should have been on the last Sunday in
September not October!
To which jhuggins at wanted to know:
>I am a rather new subscriber to this newsgroup.  Could you explain your
>editorial remark about September versus October.
I believe DST should end at the end of September because in October (in the
North Temperate Zone, where most but not all of the people on this list live)
there is simply not enough daylight in the morning when DST is used.  The
following examples for sunrise on the last day of DST this year (October 26)
in certain parts of the United States are used for illustration:
      Dallas, TX = 7:45       Seattle, WA = 7:45      Oklahoma City = 7:46
      Atlanta, GA = 7:51      Salt Lake City = 7:51   Russell, KS = 7:55
      Cincinnati = 8:00       Midland, TX = 8:00      N. Platte, NE = 8:06
      Louisville, KY = 8:02   Boise, ID = 8:12        Kalispell, MT = 8:13
      Marquette, MI = 8:22    Williston, ND = 8:30
And since the Europeans and Russians have adopted our bad habit: = 8:12 = 8:11 = 7:42 = 8:37 = 8:22 = 8:27
      St. = 9:04 = 8:42
Going back on Standard Time on the last Sunday in September would make each of
these sunrises an hour earlier; clearly a much better situation for public
convenience and the safety of children on their way to school; in fact a DST
ending of Labor Day (the American day, Mon => Sep 1) would serve
schoolchildren even better.
From:  Garrett Wollman > INTERNET:wollman at had a:
>Comment on the editorial comment: who cares when the sun rises?
Comment on the comment on the comment: Me, and anyone else who is sick and
tired of getting up in the dark.  Generally more DST is favored when it's not
being used; I remember polls in December 1973 in the US in which a 3:1
majority was in favor of year-round DST.  Then on 1974-01-06 we actually did
go on DST and the 3:1 majority in favor quickly became a 3:1 majority against.
The original advocates of DST did not favor DST in October.  When Franklin
semi-seriously suggested DST in the 18th century, he suggested that DST be
used to advance the sunrise to when most people wake up.  (He must have been
thinking of city people; the majority lived on farms and woke up with the sun
during his lifetime, whether sunrise was 3:00 or 9:00).  When William Willett
proposed it in 1905, he suggested advancing time 80m (20m on each of the first
four Sundays) in April and ending it be turning the clock back 20m on each of
the first four Sundays in SEPTEMBER, which would have meant reversion to
standard time not later than September 28.
My own personal view is that I don't really care (most of the time) if sunset
is 14:00 or 23:59, I just want it light when I have to get up to go to work!
Chris Carrier

More information about the tz mailing list