American Airlines, Steubenville Ohio discussed on C-SPAN2 Book TV

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Airline American Airlines reports that every day every day it was getting four thousand calls from customers trying to figure out what time it was in the city of their destination it had started to cost the country millions of dollars just to rewrite time tables every few weeks there's a famous very famous bus trip from Steubenville Ohio thirty five miles you went through seven time changes in those thirty five miles that's nineteen sixty five this is when we're at war allegedly the Cold War is on and we have these precision instruments on split second timing and literally when the state department has sent six people out to Alaska to go meet about a crisis that's happening near the Russian border they're all two hours late they had no idea what times on Alaska was on or if they were observing daylight saving or not it really became a comedy of errors on Marshall Tito shows up at an airport nobody's there to greet him it's because everybody forgot we turn the clocks it's just a humiliation and the country can't catch up with itself because there's no one in charge in fact they have put the Congress to put the interstate commerce commission in charge in and by the way the day after that among the ticket they received were very specific they were to arbitrate time in this country at the convenience of commerce time zones are not political boundaries their commercial boundaries the railroad divvied up the world to make sense of its roots and then another fact maybe you all knew I never knew it I thought our time zones were fixed net our time was our time the time zones in this country have been changed more than fifty times they just keep moving the boundaries that's how Detroit got to be an east coast city it just up and move itself from the central zone to the eastern zone it wanted to be in time with New York there's a point in the story where Chicago is so envious of what's the choice on Chicago think about a map makes itself an eastern city end put itself on daylight saving time it's clocks are running ahead of Washington DC at that point because Washington DC has no daylight saving time and nobody's in control and the interstate Commerce Commission supposedly controlling this finally in nineteen sixty literally writes a letter to Congress and say we give up we can't do this we have no idea what we're doing anymore there's so many petitions and here's the catch it's really fascinating every states like Georgia which word deeply resistant to daylight saving time both on the sort of religious grounds and also just that states rights issue really became a big deal Georgia moves itself the it's a divided state has central eastern time zone Jordan was itself entirely into the eastern time zone well that's year round daylight saving time but Georgia doesn't call it that they call themselves an eastern time zone statement so the states keep moving every single petition to move a time zone boundary is always a petition to move into an easterly times on every state that was resisting daylight saving is backing the ICC to give them a life saver under a different name how was your fantastically unstable I so wish I could play it was stable tremendously so we we have Indiana is a perfect example right Indiana has two times on the divided state notably that was not always so Indiana got its boundary mixed up when Detroit jumped ship and went to the eastern time zone pulling half of Michigan with it so that boundary started to move Indiana has two times on central and Eastern I almost I almost can't believe I understand this if I get it wrong I will be the least bit surprised I feel so confused myself but here's the deal some counties in central the central time zone spring forward and some don't some counties in the eastern time zone spring forward and some don't so Indiana has essentially four time zones they could easily petition themselves into a single time zone there's every reason to believe but the time zones in the next ten or fifteen years I would say are gonna be collapse from four to three that is causing too much confusion in the country so I think that will change there is no question but that the amount of daylight saving we have is going to change many of you probably know I don't know why I say that as if everyone is obsessed with this topic is it's a preposterous thing I I really apologize for indicting even though I have been obsessed with delight saving and know that the Congress is presently considering a two month extension this won't surprise me it's a it's a pro is that it's being proposed on the basis of energy saving there have been studies and debates before Congress for a hundred years we will hear repeatedly that it saves you want ten thousand barrels of oil a day that's what you will be told here's what all I know that comes from a statistic that was done of the fantastically failed experiment by Richard Nixon by the department's transportation what what the congressmen are proposing this don't say is that the study reads literally it might save something like ten thousand barrels of oil it likely will also increase the use of heating oil and gasoline the one thing we know daylight saving does is push people out doors and when you push Americans out doors they get into their cars the petroleum industry has known this since nineteen thirty they have been tremendous supporters of daylight saving in nineteen eighty six we had six months of daylight saving there was a push on to expand we eventually expanded to the system we have now which is seven months one month extra daylight saving to the barbecue industry one hundred and fifty million dollars a year to the golf industry two hundred to four hundred million dollars a year that's why I will have more daylight saving the only losers that year I'll tell ya they will there was a push on to extend daylight saving not just back if they did into the beginning of April but they wanted to go to the first Sunday November and this became a really hotly debated issue in in the house and it's not hard to penetrate the congressional hearings and one thing I have to say if you've never read them they're the greatest comic document the last hundred years it's fantastic what it said before the Congress and I don't mean that really truly don't mean it disrespectfully about Congress the P. people will come into public forum and say absolutely anything hoping for the best so they came with the daylight saving proposal it was a tremendously orchestrated lobbying effort and there was this desperate push on to get an extra week at the end of it finally a couple of it was really a couple of southern senators who just got so fed up that they said you know we can't have that week you can have the other month we can't have that week and that was basically why it went down that way here's a wanted it the candy manufacturers that we can close trick or treat and this only comes out because what happens is when the Senate leads to consider this week when they come back the next day they're all these little pumpkins filled with candies on their chairs Michael Downey he says changing our clocks is a new will match the name of his book spring forward I'm not making this stuff up Australia absolutely we have a problem with them what fascinated me was when you go from the South Wales to folk office printer is a half hour difference now if you want to find out where you're going when you're gonna get this hi half hour and especially if you're on the Murray river we're across very well you have the boundary between the two states and we got a half an hour difference in OC it is that you know that sort of solution is is a desperate solution we know but it's from people can't agree which time zone to be it and that's considered a compromise India has a to a half hour time zones as does New from land above us Newfoundland is a half hour ahead of us if they're famous in Canada because Newfoundlanders as a result have used some new year's thirty minutes of daylight saving some years ninety seven years a hundred and twenty they just make it up and so they sometimes have sunrise sunset from St John's bay there is light at ten thirty at night apparently because they like it but these half hour differences were actually that's a solution that came up several times Paris when you're put itself on half hour daylight saving because professionals who lived in Perris were deeply they loved it the doctors and the lawyers so the doctors ginned up this study where they claim that it daylight saving really strong calm the nervous disorders and they went through and figured out how many fewer suicides happen what during daylight saving time it as almost everyone tried to point out to them most suicides actually occurred at night so waiting an hour most people are gonna kill themselves had another hour you know I would hold off for that hour of darkness if every debate has that quality of almost having a logic until you look at it again you know it's it's almost sensible it's like the the savings on only seven I don't you think well it should save a little bit and then as you know congressman have bagged people to explain so it's dark until nine o'clock don't you turn on your lights were you wouldn't have before another person just looks stunned at the other side of the microphone and things no no it's a big call saving the big big home heating oil and the confidence again but when we get in seventy four the school said that we didn't have Sunday the building so we had to add more heat to those buildings to get them warmed up for the children no no it's a big electricity so and you can see that every time you press set up part of the problem is repeatedly and I can hear you it's sort of touching because I I mean I love the other people are as confused as I was I thought I was alone you know I thought I was the stupidest person in America who couldn't get this our thing straight you still read constantly this week I've been reading it all over America the idea of well the if we have more daylight we use less electricity well that would be lovely if we could get more daylight but we can't invent more daylight so we have a fixed number of hours of sun every day but people really get caught up with the notion of will give ourselves an extra hour you know it's sort of on the house and spend as you please it's it's compelling because it's a romantic idea that we can somehow length in our day but it's a problem you know I was saying earlier every culture has dealt with that the Romans were Scott themselves deeply attached to the idea of even day and night they love this idea of perfect symmetry so what they did is they change the length of the hour so as summer came that Roman our grew to be seventy.

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