It’s 1784. Benjamin Franklin is huddled in his warm living room, next to the hot embers of his fire.
“Oh, how I wish the days could be longer,” he mutters to himself. An idea springs to his head. He grabs the nearest piece of parchment and starts writing with his ink-tipped quill. This parchment will not be found for another 111 years.
George Hudson to Grover Cleveland. I’ve got this brilliant proposal…
“Sir, there’s a telegraph for you.”
“Oh, forget it, I’m too busy naming a city in Ohio after myself.”
Fast Forward 20 years.
“Sergeants, today we implement the newest technology we have… Daylight Savings Time!”
And Wholla! That’s how we have everyday modern DST.
OK, I reassure you that’s not how DST was founded (and that our 22nd and 24th president didn’t waste all his time)
Still yet, the founding of DST is quite a surprising one.
And it also happened to save 300+ lives. How, you may ask?
On June 22, 1985, the bags of a passenger named M. Singh were checked in at Vancouver for Canadian Pacific Airlines 003 to New Tokyo International Airport in Narita, Japan, near Tokyo. This bag was transferred to Air India Flight 301 leaving for Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand. M. Singh was assigned seat 38H on Flight 003.
At 20:37 GMT, Canadian Pacific Air Flight 003 departed Vancouver; M. Singh was not in seat 38H or any other. He was not on the plane.
At 05:41 GMT (now June 23), Canadian Pacific Air 003 arrived in Tokyo Narita International Airport 14 minutes early.
At 06:19 GMT, a piece of luggage that had come from Canadian Pacific Air 003 exploded as it was being transferred to Air India Flight 301; the explosion killed two Japanese baggage handlers in Narita Airport and injured four other people.
At 07:14 GMT, Air India Flight 182 exploded in mid-air off the west coast of Ireland, falling into the sea. All 329 people on board were killed. Investigation by Canada has revealed connections between the two bombings.
55 minutes passed between the Narita Explosion and the Air India Flight 182 explosion. The people that planned the explosions were based in Canada and a Sikh separist group called Babbar Khalsa. Those 55 minutes were crucial. Why? Because if those 55 minutes never happened, 300+ people on Air India Flight 301 would have died. And the Sikh Separatist group actually wanted both explosions to happen simultaneously. Why didn’t they?
Because Canada observes DST but Japan doesn’t.
55 minutes was the one hour that saved 300+ people, all thanks to one Founding Father’s great thought.