If you’re wondering what time it is in Iowa, the answer depends on which part of the state you’re in. Iowa is located in the central time zone, also known as Central Standard Time (CST). However, there is an exception in the state where one county, called the “western tier” of Iowa, follows Mountain Standard Time (MST) instead. This unique time zone situation in Iowa adds an interesting aspect to the state’s history and the way its residents live.
History of Time in Iowa
The implementation of time zones in the United States began in the late 19th century, with the aim of standardizing time and helping with train schedules. In 1883, the country was divided into four time zones, and Iowa was included in the Central Time Zone along with 13 other states. This decision was made based on the state’s geographic location, situated in the heart of the country.
Since then, Iowa has remained in the same time zone, with the exception of Kossuth County in the western tier. In 1965, the county changed its time zone from CST to MST, in an attempt to align their schedules with surrounding states like Nebraska and South Dakota.
When is Daylight Saving Time in Iowa?
Like most states in the US, Iowa follows the practice of Daylight Saving Time (DST) where clocks are adjusted one hour ahead in the spring season and turned back in the fall. The DST period in Iowa typically begins on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November.
Importance of Time in Iowa
Time is a crucial element in the daily lives of Iowans, from the timing of school and work schedules to farming practices and community events. The state relies heavily on agriculture, and farmers often follow strict schedules that revolve around the weather conditions and the time of day. With daylight saving time, the days are longer, allowing for more time in the fields and increased productivity.
Moreover, time plays a significant role in Iowa’s economy. The state is home to many large companies, including John Deere, which are vital in the manufacturing and production of farm equipment. These companies are highly dependent on efficient time management to keep up with their busy production schedules and meet customer demand.
Celebration of Time in Iowa
Iowa has its own unique way of celebrating time. The state holds an annual event called the “Timeball Drop” in the capital city of Des Moines. This event started in 2014, where a giant timeball is dropped at midnight to signify the start of the new year. The idea was inspired by the ball drop that takes place in New York City’s Times Square. The event has become a popular tradition in Iowa, attracting thousands of people every year.
Facts about Time in Iowa
1. Iowa is the only state in the U.S. with a county that observes a different time zone.
2. The western tier of Iowa adopted the Mountain Standard Time after the suggestion by the manager of the local telephone company to improve communication with their customers in the neighboring states.
3. Despite being in different time zones, Iowa’s western tier still follows the same DST schedule as the rest of the state.
4. Some towns along the border of Iowa and Illinois have unique time limits, where their city hall and other official buildings are in Illinois, but their residential areas are in Iowa. This situation makes it challenging for residents to keep track of time.
5. Iowa law forbids changing state lines to accommodate time zone changes. This means that Kossuth County cannot join the Mountain Time Zone permanently unless legislation is passed to redraw the state border.
The time in Iowa may seem like a straightforward topic, but the state’s unique situation with time zones adds an interesting aspect to its history and daily life. Whether it’s farming schedules, company productions, or community events, time plays a crucial role in the state’s economy and traditions. So next time you’re in Iowa, remember to check whether you’re in CST or MST and be on time for all your plans.