Higgins Time

Tales of batshit political supervillainy like this are why I still subscribe to the tz mailing list.

diff --git a/asia b/asia
index 7166380..5e27d85 100644
--- a/asia
+++ b/asia
@@ -2939,15 +2939,34 @@ Link Asia/Qatar Asia/Bahrain
 # Saudi Arabia
-# From Paul Eggert (2014-07-15):
+# From Paul Eggert (2018-08-29):
 # Time in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Arabian peninsula was not
-# standardized until relatively recently; we don't know when, and possibly it
+# standardized until 1968 or so; we don't know exactly when, and possibly it
 # has never been made official. Richard P Hunt, in "Islam city yielding to modern times", New York Times (1961-04-09), p 20, wrote that only airlines observed standard time, and that people in Jeddah mostly observed quasi-solar time, doing so by setting their watches at sunrise to 6 o'clock (or to 12 o'clock for "Arab" time).

+# Timekeeping differed depending on who you were and which part of Saudi Arabia you were in. In 1969, Elias Antar wrote that although a common practice had been to set one's watch to 12:00 (i.e., midnight) at sunset - which meant that the time on one side of a mountain could differ greatly from the time on the other side - many foreigners set their watches to 6pm instead, while airlines instead used UTC +03 (except in Dhahran, where they used UTC +04), Aramco used UTC +03 with DST, and the Trans-Arabian Pipe Line Company used Aramco time in eastern Saudi Arabia and airline time in western. (The American Military Aid Advisory Group used plain UTC.) Antar writes, "A man named Higgins, so the story goes, used to run a local power station. One day, the whole thing became too much for Higgins and he assembled his staff and laid down the law. 'I've had enough of this,' he shrieked. 'It is now 12 o'clock Higgins Time, and from now on this station is going to run on Higgins Time.' And so, until last year, it did." See: Antar E. Dinner at When? Saudi Aramco World, 1969 March/April. 2-3.
+# newspapers.com says a similar story about Higgins was published in the Port Angeles (WA) Evening News, 1965-03-10, page 5, but I lack access to the text.

 # The TZ database cannot represent quasi-solar time; airline time is the best we can do. The 1946 foreign air news digest of the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board (OCLC 42299995) reported that the "... Arabian Government, inaugurated
@@ -2957,7 +2976,8 @@ Link Asia/Qatar Asia/Bahrain
 # Shanks & Pottenger also state that until 1968-05-01 Saudi Arabia had two time zones; the other zone, at UT +04, was in the far eastern part of
-# the country. Ignore this, as it's before our 1970 cutoff.
+# the country. Presumably this is documenting airline time. Ignore this, as it's before our 1970 cutoff.
 # Zone  NAME            GMTOFF  RULES   FORMAT  [UNTIL]
 Zone    Asia/Riyadh     3:06:52 -       LMT     1947 Mar 14

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , , , ,

  • Previously