In the late 1940s, the use of daylight saving time, known as fast time, became popular in cities. Indiana is officially in the central time zone, but some communities choose to follow fast time throughout the year, essentially aligning themselves with the Eastern time zone. When the bill reaches the House of Representatives, there is chaos in the plenary, as legislators who represent cities (who generally favor fast time) fight against legislators in agricultural areas (where changing the clock is considered unnatural and unhealthy for cows). However, the law prohibits communities from fasting during the winter months (which many communities used to do).
In 1949, the Indiana Senate quietly passed a bill that would keep the state in central time and prohibit daylight saving time. Mitch Daniels included daylight saving time as part of his economic plan, arguing that Indiana time was bad for the state's economy because companies outside the state couldn't keep track of the time in Indiana. As a result, parts of Indiana sometimes switch between the eastern and central time zones as the economic fortunes of their neighbors increase and decline. During World War II, the federal government re-invoked daylight saving time for conservation purposes, but after the war, the mandate was lifted.
Whitcomb says the bill would cause Indiana's times to conflict with those of neighboring states, but is accused of siding with the television broadcast lobby (which wants program schedules to fit those on the East Coast). The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Brian Bosma, and other key legislative leaders also supported the change, but many legislators strongly opposed it, particularly those in western counties near the border with central time. When leaving Chicago, heading east to Indiana, the clocks change once again at the same county border mentioned above. In 1956, a non-binding state referendum was held, in which voters in the general elections were asked their preference between Eastern and Central Time and whether they should use daylight saving time in the summer months.
Most of the state of Indiana observes Eastern Time, except for the northwest and southwest corners that observe Central Time. It is in these states that the change from the central time zone to the eastern time zone or vice versa occurs.