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Since that date, 90 percent of Alaska residents set their clocks to Alaska Standard Time same as Yukon , only one hour behind the West Coast. The far reaches of the Aleutian Islands and St. Before this change, Alaska’s time zones were Pacific time southeastern Alaska , Yukon time Yakutat , Alaska time from just east of Cold Bay and west of Yakutat northward, including Nome , and Bering time the north coast of Alaska and the Aleutian chain.

The sun will not reach culmination for another 2 hours and 18 minutes. For example, on June 12 at noon AKDT, the solar time at the extreme westerly points of the Alaskan time zone will be only a.

Very few people notice this, however, as these locations are virtually uninhabited, and for the very few people who do live there, the long days in the summer and short days in the winter make the sunrise and sunset times less important than areas closer to the equator. In Anchorage , visitors from more southerly latitudes are often surprised to see the sun set at p. Thus, Anchorage is one solar hour behind the legal time zone and observes daylight saving time as well for a two-hour discrepancy between legal time and solar time.

Some local residents refer to this phenomenon as “double daylight time”. In Fairbanks , the same circumstances cause sunset to occur at a. Even without daylight saving time, another anomaly is that on the winter solstice in Nome , the sunrise is after “noon” clock time, at p.

The territory of the state of Alaska spans almost as much longitude as the contiguous United States But political and logistical considerations have led to the use of two time zones, leading to the distortions mentioned above. On May 19, , the city council passed a resolution adopting Pacific Standard Time the year round, to be effective at midnight on May In May , Seattle launched a new daylight saving time experiment.

In reaction, Juneau city council member J. Unofficial time zones in Alaska Map by Carol Belenski. In its stead, Alaskans implemented a territory-wide system based on meridians, not names. A typical maritime table, therefore, might note that a steamship would depart from Seattle on Tuesday at 8 p. Pacific Time; it would sail north to Juneau, where it would arrive on Friday at 10 a. It would then continue on to Seward, where it would arrive on Sunday at 2 p. In May , Juneau commenced another, more sweeping time-change effort.

On April 2, , voters in the Juneau-Douglas area adopted the time-change move on a vote, and at 11 p. ASL-P, U. Because many southeastern communities had moved to Pacific Time in , adopting federally mandated war time in those communities brought no changes to local clocks.

Congress kept war time in force until V-J Day in the summer of Congress took up legislation in early September, President Truman signed repeal into law on September 25, and war time ended five days later. On that day, people throughout the United States turned their clocks back one hour; many Alaskans did the same. Most residents of southeastern Alaska, however, did not change their clocks. Alaskans, however, conveniently ignored the officially-designated time zone.

Telegraph offices, radio stations, road maps, and other media recognized four Alaska time zones during this period, just as they had since For more than twenty years after V-J Day, no Alaska communities observed daylight saving time.

In the spring of , Anchorage considered a time change. Various sports and recreation groups touted the idea of a two-hour change to Pacific Standard Time that would be honored from late May through late September. But transportation companies and broadcasters opposed the move, and they prevailed on the city council to delay the proposal until the city election that fall.

The council offered local voters a choice; they could opt for either Pacific Standard Time, two hours ahead on a year-round basis; daylight saving time, one hour ahead on a seasonal basis; or a continuation of the status quo. In the October 5 election, the status quo prevailed. Advocates of the existing system garnered 1, votes, far more than those who voted for either daylight saving time votes or Pacific Standard Time votes.

Railbelt legislators introduced bills to unify Alaska under a single time zone in and Efforts to shift the state to either Pacific or Alaska time, however, failed. The only change to occur in the early s was at Skagway.

In early , the Yukon Territorial Council voted to move the Territory from a year-round observance of Yukon Standard Time to Pacific Time with daylight saving time in summer.

The Council probably took this action to more easily communicate with British Columbia, which had a similar time system. Skagway residents, opting for closer ties with both Whitehorse and southeastern Alaska, circulated a petition requesting a change to Pacific Standard Time. In October town voters approved the change by an overwhelming margin.

These actions left Yakutat as the only substantial Alaska community observing Yukon Time. The bill had three primary impacts on the 49th state. First, it put all of Alaska on summer daylight saving time for the first time in its peacetime history. In April Alaskans adopted the four-time-zone plan and implemented daylight saving time. During the mid to late s, a major issue in state politics was whether the capital should be moved from Juneau to the booming Railbelt.

Any questions about time zones had to be considered in the context of the looming capital move issue. In the spring of , Juneau mayor Bill Overstreet and the city-borough assembly sought to lessen the tensions between Southeast and the Railbelt by sending a petition to the federal Department of Transportation DOT requesting that Juneau and other southeastern cities be moved to Yukon Time.

This move would reduce the time difference between Juneau and the Railbelt from two hours to one. On September 20, the DOT approved the petition; departmental officials decreed that on April 27, , Juneau and other nearby communities would move to Yukon Time.

Southeast, they declared, had closer business relationships to Seattle than to the Railbelt. Two weeks later, the Alaska State Senate unanimously passed a resolution asking that the time-change order be rescinded.

Despite that vote, the federal agency refused to back down, and the switch to Yukon Daylight Time took place in late April. Some Juneau residents became so upset about the time change that they initiated recall petitions against Mayor Overstreet and four assembly members. This turn of events may have prodded DOT officials to announce that they would re-analyze their previous decision. Juneau and other communities in northern Southeast reverted to Pacific Time on October For the next two years, the capital move issue dominated state politics.

In the November election, Alaskans solidly defeated the capital move proposal. But William Sheffield, who won the governorship in that same election, tried to moderate the tension between Southeast and the Railbelt by proposing to the Alaska legislature that the two-hour time-zone gap be eliminated altogether.



Time Zones | Geophysical Institute –


Changes in how residents have kept time have been rare and related primarily to wars, energy crises, and the imposition of daylight saving time. In Alaska, however, the issue of time measurement resurfaces with some regularity. Until fairly recently, people throughout the world gave little or no thought to measuring the time of day. Farmers, ranchers, hunters, gatherers, and other subsistence users rose with the sun and carried on their daily activities until dusk.

When the sun set, some people responded by lighting a fire or a candle, while others went straight to bed. Most people, however, cared little about the exactness of time; in , for example, fewer than 10 percent of Americans had a clock of any kind, and most of those clocks had no minute hand. In lieu of time zones, people kept time on the basis of longitude. This system proved slightly vexing to ship captains and commercial traders who traveled long distances.

In cities that were served by more than one railroad, travelers learned that there might be several official railroad times in addition to the clock that local residents used. To bring order, the railroads in November established the Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific time zones, based on the 75th, 90th, th, and th meridians, respectively.

Alaska, which had no railroads, was not included in the system. Because of its isolation and lack of commercial infrastructure, Alaska during this period was less concerned about time measurement than the rest of North America. Alaska and adjacent areas of Canada were splendidly isolated from Seattle, Edmonton, and other southern points; no telegraph reached the far northern latitudes, and steamship travel between Puget Sound and the nearest Alaskan port was a two- or three-day endeavor.

Prior to , towns in Alaska and the Yukon set their clocks to a local time based on longitude. Historical accounts from the gold rush period reveal a relaxed attitude toward time.

But once the stampeders disembarked in the north country, time became less important. This attitude is reflected in the general omission of time references in the early Skagway and Dyea newspapers, even for store hours or steamship departure times, and most diarists paid little attention to time once they headed inland. Telegraph station, Ft Gibbon, Tanana, Alaska, circa Photo by George M. UAF,Edward R. Uniform time keeping finally came to Alaska in the wake of the turn-of-the-century gold rushes.

The U. Army, which around established a series of forts across the territory, was primarily responsible for the change. Unwilling to rely on the Canadians, though, the U. These additional time zones were observed in everything except telegraphic communications. It must not be concluded, however, that Alaskans immediately became more time-conscious merely because of the increasing reach of the telegraph system.

Although most Alaskans during this period paid attention to some form of time measurement-a church bell, a cannery or mine whistle, or a railroad timetable-it also appears that most Alaskans, even those in the larger towns, lived by the clock far less than today.

Not long after Alaska adopted standard time zones, territorial residents began to consider daylight saving time. In May both Germany and Great Britain adopted daylight saving time. The idea also took hold in various U. Alaska, at first blush, seemed an unlikely area for experimentation with this concept.

It had a scant manufacturing presence, and it was also situated in the high latitudes, where the length of daylight, both in summer and winter, made daylight saving time largely irrelevant. The city council, however, refused to sanction the idea, and neither the cable office nor steamship companies expressed interest in changing over to the new system.

Local enthusiasm for the idea, moreover, proved short-lived. This was done either because of geographical centrality-the th meridian neatly bisected the territory-or perhaps because an increasing percentage of Alaskans were now living outside of the southeastern panhandle. But the act, whatever its virtues, had no enforcement mechanism.

Beginning in the mids, Southeast communities began to grow restless because their commonly observed time was an hour behind that in Seattle. Perhaps based on a move to summer daylight saving time in Seattle, Panhandle residents agitated to move area clocks ahead to Pacific Standard Time in order to narrow the two-hour seasonal time zone gap. Listen to pronunciation. Time Zone Time Zone On September 15, , Secretary Elizabeth Dole signed a plan to reduce the number of time zones in Alaska from four to two; two weeks later, the plan became effective.

The zone includes nearly all of the U. The western Aleutian Islands observe Hawaii—Aleutian Time , one hour behind the remainder of the state. The Anchorage Metropolitan Area is the largest metropolitan area in the zone. The sun will not reach culmination for another 2 hours and 18 minutes. For example, on June 12 at noon AKDT, the solar time at the extreme westerly points of the Alaskan time zone will be only a. Very few people notice this, however, as these locations are virtually uninhabited, and for the very few people who do live there, the long days in the summer and short days in the winter make the sunrise and sunset times less important than areas closer to the equator.

In Anchorage , visitors from more southerly latitudes are often surprised to see the sun set at p. Now that Southeast Alaska wants to emphasize its strong ties with the rest of Alaska rather than the “Remote 48” especially after the last vote on moving the capital , the subject of going back to its proper time zone is again an issue. One of the proposals being considered would put all of Alaska on its easternmost time zone Yukon Time.

As can be seen in the diagram, this would be equivalent to putting all of the coterminous U. Thus from Boston to Seattle, i. When Alaska and Hawaii became states, the east-west midpoint of the U.

The two new states fill the four time zones west of it, while the 48 old states fill the four zones east of it. Recent Posts. Grains of Alaska made into art.


Alaska time zone –

Current Local Time in Anchorage, Alaska, USA ; Solar Noon. Sun in South: pm. Altitude: ° ; Astronomical Twilight. am – am pm – pm. The US/Alaska time zone has been deemed obsolete. It has been replaced by America/Anchorage. Time Zone America/Anchorage. Current Date and Time in America/. Alaska Standard Time is consistent with UTC Countries with the Alaska Standard Time, in which a switch to daylight savings time is common, turn the clock.

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