For two weeks in 1965, you had a pretty good excuse for missing a bus or being late for work in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The two cities could not agree when to start daylight saving time. State law designated May 23 as day to turn clocks forward. St. Paul’s City Council decided to make the move on May 9, in line with most of the rest of the nation. Minneapolis decided to go by state law and fell an hour behind St. Paul on the second Sunday in May. It was a mess, but people muddled through. The Minneapolis Star story below describes some of the complications.

A year later, Congress stepped in and passed the Uniform Time Act of 1966 to "foster and promote widespread and uniform adoption and observance of the same standard of time within and throughout each such standard time zone."

 

Confusion Reigns as
St. Paul Goes on DST

 

St. Paul was on “wrist watch time” today.

That was really the only way you could be sure of the time in this city, which went on daylight saving time (DST) Sunday morning, two weeks ahead of Minneapolis and much of the rest of Minnesota.

Most business places moved their clocks ahead one hour, but some remained on standard time and moved the starting times of their employes ahead one hour.

All state federal offices, however, were on standard time. The Ramsey County Board opened its regular weekly meeting at 10 a.m. standard time.

The telephone company was still giving out standard time in its recorded time-of-day message.

Sewage rolled into the Minneapolis St. Paul Sanitary District plant from St. Paul on daylight time, but left on standard time.

If you called a cop, he arrived to take care of your problem on standard time. But if you needed a fireman, he showed up on daylight time.

Two St. Paul policemen arrived for work wearing a wrist watch on each arm, one for standard time and one for daylight time.

Mail arrived an hour earlier at St. Paul homes because the post office is on standard time.

Staggered Shifts

All city and county offices in which records with deadline times are filed staggered the shifts of some employes to remain open from 7:20 a.m. standard time to 4:30 p.m. daylight time.

Most St. Paul business firms reported little confusion with employes arriving late – or early – for work.

Two clocks were set up at the Northwest Orient Airlines registration desk to aid employes in informing passengers about flight times. Warren Phillips of the United Airlines desk said, “We just ask people what time it shows on their watch and give them directions according to that.”

Al Olson, St. Paul City Council recorder, probably had the best solution. “I don’t have any watch,” he said. “I’m going to work when I’m hungry.”

 
In 1965, the St. Paul Ford plant employed hundreds of clock-punching “employes,” a spelling adopted by the Minneapolis Star, the New York Daily News, the Chicago Tribune and other U.S. newspapers beginning in the 1930s as part of a spelling simplification effort. “Thru,” “tho,” “subpena” and “cigaret” are other examples of this early form of text messaging.

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