Nov 18, 1883. Charles Ferdinand Dowd, a college professor and one of the early advocates of uniform time, proposed a time zone plan of the US (four zones of 15 degrees), which he and others persuaded the railroads to adopt and place in operation on this date. Because it didn’t involve the enactment of any law, some localities didn’t change their clocks. A year later, an international conference applied the same procedure to create time zones for the entire world. US time zones weren’t nationally legalized until 1918, with the passage of the Standard Time Act.
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