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Columns

January 6, 2014

Moving clocks forward caused local controversy in January 1974

(Continued)

For the critics of DST, “They have a friend on the Oneonta Board of Education. Mrs. Eloise Ellis, president of the board, plans to ask board members Wednesday night to initiate proceedings which could result in a return to Standard Time,” the Star reported on Monday, Jan. 21.

Mrs. Ellis was hopeful the board could contact the state and national School Board Associations to urge a reverse on the new law. The Oneonta Board of Education approved the Ellis motion, and decided to send a letter to Gov. Malcolm Wilson to reinforce their position.

The State School Board Association adopted a resolution calling on state and federal authorities to repeal the Daylight Saving Time Law. Executive Director Donald Brossman noted that the action “followed the action suggested by the Oneonta School Board.”

Brossman noted in a letter to Mrs. Ellis that compromise may be necessary on the issue, perhaps extending DST in the spring and fall, saving some energy while assuring daylight travel to and from school all year.

As for the winter of 1974, nothing changed as the days grew longer and the problem soon solved itself. The Oneonta Star offered a suggestion in the meantime in an editorial on Saturday, Jan. 26.

“Why don’t we all leave our porch lights on? This light will help our children when they go to school. In short: Let’s light the way for our youngsters.”

“As for saving energy, how much is worth saving when we balance that against a potential tragedy such as a student getting injured while going to school.”

The experiment with DST on a year-round basis might have saved energy, reduced crime and automobile accidents, but nationally it remained so unpopular that summer-only DST was resumed in 1975.

This weekend: Worcester residents dealt with winter in varying ways in 1914.

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