Daylight Saving Time

andrewstahlman.com
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"Nevertheless, she persisted." – Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell

The cause languished for the next 9 years until one fateful summer morning in 1907. William Willett was out for a horseback ride in suburban London when he noticed that his neighbors' blinds were still drawn against the sun. This waste of daylight inspired Willett to write a pamphlet titled, "The Waste of Daylight."

Like Hudson, Willett called for the clocks to be adjusted during the summer months. Unlike Hudson, who called for a 2-hour spring forward and a 2-hour fallback, Willett proposed a series of 20 minute adjustments: 4 in the spring and 4 in the fall.

Willett's pamphlet echoed many of Hudson's talking points. But though the content was familiar, their rhetorical styles make for a study in contrast.

Hudson, the gentleman scientist, deployed a measured appeal to logic with some cheerful pathos thrown in for good measure: wouldn't it be nice if we had more daylight for nature walks?

Willett, on the other hand, rallied his readers for an assault on… disease, or something … Here's a representative excerpt:

Light is one of the great gifts of the Creator. While daylight surrounds us, cheerfulness reigns, anxieties press less heavily, and courage is bred for the struggle of life. Against our ever-besieging enemy, disease, light and fresh air act as guards in our defence, and when the conflict is close, supply us with most effective weapons with which to overcome the invader.

With fear sufficiently mongered, Willett closed his pamphlet with a call to action, urging "every man and woman, and every youth in particular" to write to their representatives in Parliament in support of a 6-month trial of seasonal time.

He paid out of pocket to have his pamphlet published and began distributing copies everywhere he went. Despite his zeal (or maybe because of it), the proposal didn't immediately gain traction. The Spectator, an influential London weekly, summed up its public reception: they were…
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