Michigan State University

March 12, 2016 : Daylight Savings Time Trivia

Jon Harrison
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You might be surprised to know that Michigan didn't implement Daylight Saving Time (DST) when Congress initially ordered all states to use DST. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act requiring all 50 state to go on the same Daylight Saving Time.

After the initial order to go to DST in 1966, Michigan voters approved Public Act 6 of 1967, rejecting Daylight Saving Time. That meant Michigan remained on Standard Time.

But we Michiganders must have wanted Daylight Saving Time. In 1972, voters repealed Public Act 6 of 1967 in the state election. Michigan began observing Daylight Saving Time in 1973.

For a complete chronology of Michigan and Daylight Savings Time, see Mark Torregrossa, "Hate the time change? Michigan killed it once, then brought it back", MLive, March 12, 2016.

Amy Elliott Bragg, "Why is Michigan on Eastern Time? Thank (or Blame Detroit), Night Train, July 28, 2017.

Here's a timeline of all the time changes in Michigan.

Image result for 1883 railroad time zone map

November 18, 1883: Railroads Establish American Time Zones; Michigan Located in Central Time Zone.

A notable exception was Detroit, they used a local time basis until 1900, when the City Council decreed that clocks should be put back 28 minutes to Central Standard Time. About half the city businesses obeyed, while many individuals refused. Some saw exact time “dehumanizing” and used this as a reason to rebel. The decision was rescinded and the city reverted to solar time. After many railroad companies refused to use Detroit time, the city voted in 1905 to follow Central Standard Time.

By March 19, 1918, in the US Congress passed the Standard Time Act. In 1966 the Department of Transportation was formed and took over the function of time zones setting and modifications in the US.

Source :  Brian Roemmele, "How, When, and Why Were Time Zones Created?", Huffington Post, September 17, 2014.

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