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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Nathaniel Greene. Victory! Congress Passes Daylight Saving Bill. United Cigar Store Company, 1918. Lithograph. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (070.00.00)

Daylight Saving Time

Following many of the other belligerent countries, the United States adopted daylight saving time on March 31, 1918, as a means to conserve electricity during wartime, not, as commonly believed, to allow farmers to work longer in the fields. In fact, the agriculture industry fervently opposed the measure because farming schedules are based on sunrise and sunset not the clock. The measure was far more popular in urban areas, where wartime gardeners cultivated a host of available spaces, and with retailers, including the United Cigar Store Company, which published the poster above. The agriculture industry lobbied for the repeal of daylight saving time that Congress passed over President Wilson's veto in 1919.