Because I've been leading the charge against Daylight Saving Time clock-changing for years now, I sometimes lose track of the fact that misperceptions about the ridiculous practice still outweigh the truth.
I think if someone with a big budget took a poll, they'd find that a majority of people think we change the clocks twice per year because of “the farmers.”
If you stop and think about it, it's ridiculous. Everything about agriculture has changed in the last 100 years, and somehow we still change clocks because of what farmers wanted in 1918?
Why do we think “The Farmers” wanted DST?
Simple. It was a PR job. One of the greatest PR con jobs in history.
You see, the guy who ran the biggest department store in Boston decided that people would shop more if they had more time in the daylight after work to shop.
He wasn't wrong. A study done in this century is clear that more daylight does encourage people to get out of the home more and shop.
But in those days he couldn't come out and say that he wanted to change the clocks to make more money for himself, so he came up with a plan: Say “the farmers” want it.
It was brilliant! Everyone had a nostalgic love of the farmers just at the start of the trend of people migrating off the farms and into the cities.
So, Lincoln Filene (who's namesake store exists to this day as Filene's Basement) had a bunch of what can only be described as Fake News created. His team wrote that fruit was healthier when harvested with the dew still on it.
The reality was that it sucked for farmers. In those days dairy farmers milked cows and delivered the fresh milk to stores and homes at the start of the day. This meant they had to get up even earlier relative to the sun.
The Filene team even ran the equivalent in those days of a social media campaign, creating post cards that constituents could send in to Congress.
While that PR effort did help, it wasn't until WW1 that we actually started observing Daylight Saving Time, then called, “War Time” as a way of staying in synch with the British, who started doing it because the Germans did it.
So as John Oliver correctly points out: You lost an hour of sleep because of Kaiser Wilhelm.
So this will get fixed, but not this year, unfortunately.
For Monday, however, be sure to recognize National Turn Off Your Alarm Clock Day.
Yes, it's a thing. Go into work late on Monday. The life you save may be your own.