November 16, 2018

Today in History: Keeping Time

Standard time zones of the world 2011
Today in History–November 18–the Library of Congress features time. On this day in 1883, precisely at noon, North American railroads switched to Standard Railway Time (SRT). SRT was quickly adopted throughout the United States, resulting in the creation of four national time zones: eastern, central, mountain and Pacific. A year later, at an international conference in Washington D.C., the meridian passing through Greenwich was adopted as the initial or prime meridian for longitude and timekeeping, creating 24 time zones 15 degrees wide, on average. Individual time zone boundaries are not straight, however, because local populations have adjusted them to suit their needs. Learn more about time zones and time keeping by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more related resources.

Four Standard Time Zones for the Continental U.S. Were Introduced from America’s Library

Historic newspaper articles: Standard Railway Time

19th-century periodical articles

Books about time 1879-1919

Standard time legislation

Time Zone Chart of the World 1927

Time zone maps

Clock image set

Spring forward, fall back – it’s daylight saving time In Custodia Legis blog March 6, 2014

Historic newspaper articles: Daylight Savings Time

Featured Image: Congress passes daylight saving bill

Featured Image: Outside watch shop

Featured Image: Winged Time

A Walk Through Time online exhibition National Institute of Standards and Technology

World War I and Daylight Savings Time Teaching with the Library of Congress March 9, 2017

Learning from the Source: Technology Time Travel lesson plan

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