Telling the Time – and date!

What date is this 6/7/17? In the UK it would be the 6th of July 2017 and in the US, it is June 7th, 2017.

Confused about time? You will be. By law there are nine time zones in the US and its dependencies. To be strictly accurate, adding the time zones of two uninhabited US territories, Howland Island and Baker Island, brings the total count to eleven time zones.

The contiguous US has four standard time zones. In addition, Alaska, Hawaii, and five US dependencies all have their own time zones. As neither Hawaii nor the five dependencies use Daylight Saving Time (DST), there are only 6 corresponding DST time zones.

Starting on the Atlantic coast is the Eastern Standard Time (EST). Working west, the next is Central Time, followed by Mountain Time and Pacific Time. If you thought that was straightforward, add the time in Alaska, Hawaii and check which zones use Daylight Saving Time.

In 2022, the US Senate passed legislation to end the twice-annual changing of clocks by making DST permanent. The “Sunshine Protection Act” was passed unanimously. The House of Representatives must still pass the bill before it can go to the President to sign. According to supporters, the change would help enable children to play outdoors later and reduce seasonal depression.

To further complicate matters, but minimize confusion, at ExportAction we use the 24-hour clock – in the US usually called “Military Time.” That works for us on paper and computer screens but say out loud “twenty to ten.” Is it 9.40 in the morning or 10.10 in the evening?