MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee is one of the several states that have two different time zones. According to Blount County Public Library, the Knoxville community came together to petition to change their time zone which led other cities to adapt.
Before 1947, Knoxville, and others in the state, were in the central time zone. Knoxville decided that the time zone should be changed due to the use of daylight savings time. This was during World War II when most people were in “wartime,” according to Dean Stone in his book Snapshots of Blount County History.
The Knoxville Senior and Junior Chambers of Commerce created a petition to extend the Eastern Standard Time zone. The Junior Chamber of Commerce sponsored a law that proclaimed Eastern Time for the city, which was passed, according to the Knoxville Journal.
The proposal was argued before the Supreme County in Nashville. When the proposal passed in court, there was no need for action by the City Council.
After the proposal passed in the State Supreme Court, Knoxville Mayor Cas Walker issued a proclamation setting Knoxville on Eastern Standard Time at midnight on April 27, 1946, according to the Knoxville Journal.
Once the change became official, Oak Ridge also agreed to follow behind Knoxville on changing to Eastern Standard Time.
Blount County Public Library shared an article from the Maryville-Alcoa Times newspaper written on Aug. 29, 1947, when Maryville voted to follow Knoxville in adapting to the eastern time zone.
The petition also wanted to extend the eastern time zone to Chattanooga. According to the article, at first, the Commerce Commission was unable to find an ‘adequate justification’ for including Chattanooga in the time zone change.
In 1949, the Knoxville Journal said the Interstate Commerce Commission moved the time zone boundary line to take Chattanooga out of Central Standard Time and place it into Eastern Standard Time.
Over 30 cities in East Tennessee have their time zone changed to Eastern Standard Time.