Kentucky Historical Society


Moments in Kentucky
Legislative History

50. Daylight Saving Time (1942)

In an act "adopting and putting into effect daylight saving time throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky," approved on March 5, 1942, the General Assembly followed the lead of the federal government. The federal government had taken this step "during the period of national emergency." The need to avoid confusion quickly led the General Assembly to announce that "an emergency is now declared and this Act shall go into effect at midnight following its final passage and approval by the governor."

Kenneth and Maurice Ebelhar pose with brand-new milkers.

Kenneth and Maurice Ebelhar pose with brand-new "milkers" at the family dairy farm in Sorgho, Kentucky, 1940. When the first Daylight Saving Time law was making its way through Congress in 1918, farmers lobbied against it. Dairy farmers were especially upset, claiming their cows wanted to be milked every twelve hours, and it would be difficult to deliver to local creameries an hour earlier. The time shift still has its proponents and critics. In 2001 Rep. Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland noted, "I ran a dairy, so I know about dairy, and none of the cows that I had could read a clock. . . . Just keep the cows on a schedule that they are happy with and they won't know." Photograph contributed by Grady Ebelhar to the Ohio River Portrait Project, Kentucky Historical Society Collections.

Kentucky Unbridled Spirit

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