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This is another extract from my daylight saving time book, The Great Daylight Saving Time Controversy. It looks at the situation in Indiana, United States, in part of the post-World War II period or from 1949 to 1961. The book is available at Amazon, Kobo, Apple and Google. …
Yet another state to forbid daylight saving was Indiana where Central Standard Time, or GMT–6, had been the law since 1949. That didn’t stop most municipalities putting their clocks forward each summer. A meeting of mayors, councillors and attorneys in Indianapolis in October 1954 voted to have permanent daylight saving or Eastern Standard Time, or GMT–5, and the idea quickly gained support. Many eastern and northern counties were already on Eastern time. By September, Indiana had a confusing mixture of Central and Eastern standard time and daylight saving time, with each community deciding its time zone and when to finish fast time.
A vote was held in November 1956 to determine if residents wanted Eastern or Central standard time and with or without daylight saving. Eastern Standard Time year round got the most votes (32 per cent), followed by Central Standard Time all year (31 per cent), Central time with daylight saving (24 per cent) and Eastern time with daylight saving (13 per cent).
But the state legislature passed a bill in April 1957 for the third most popular option, Central time with daylight saving, figuring that none of the options had anywhere near half the vote, that Central time had more support overall (55 per cent) than Eastern time (45 per cent), and that Central Daylight Time was the same as Eastern Standard Time. That way, the politicians perhaps hoped to keep most people and communities at least partly happy although this seemed unlikely as only 37 per cent of voters wanted daylight saving. Any government official who broke the law would be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 and jail for up to 60 days. Also, state funds could be withheld from municipalities that dared contravene the order.
Straightaway, councils looked for ways to circumvent the new law, such as operating an hour later in winter months. Indianapolis had been on EST since 1955, which is the same as Central Daylight Time, and didn’t have to change its clocks in the summer of 1957. In autumn, it shifted to CST. North-eastern and south-eastern communities unofficially stayed on EST through winter and did this each year. The following summer, the capital changed back to EST and remained in this time zone.
This pattern continued and by late 1960, only the north-west and south-west corners were going back to CST although the changeovers were at different times, while the majority of the state kept to EST. The boundary between CST and EST areas went through the middle of many counties and seemed subjective. In December, The Indianapolis Star Magazine commented on the chaos as follows:
… this state has huffed and puffed itself into a condition of horological horror, a phrenetic, incongruous mixture of such a simple thing as the time of day. … The time map of Indiana is a cartographer’s nightmare, sort of speckled all over like a purebred Dalmatian. It’s a confusing, tremendously expensive, intolerable situation that we haven’t been able to straighten out ourselves by compromise, treaty, referendum or legislative act.
The state law demanding Central time with daylight saving was repealed in March 1961 and time was left to each community to sort out. Various bodies had been asking the Interstate Commerce Commission for some years to move the boundary between the Central and Eastern time zones to the west, which it did in June. After the shift, about half of Indiana, including the capital, was in the Eastern time zone although a considerably greater proportion of the state used this zone in practice and most or all of it kept on doing so.
 Joseph Shepard, “A time of confusion”, The Indianapolis Star Magazine, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, 4 December 1960, p. 9, Newspapers.com (subscription only), at https://www.newspapers.com/image/105784123