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Date Posted: 20:52:43 02/26/07 Mon
Subject: Present time or period time?
During the time we are portraying for this event, noon was based upon when the sun was at its zenith; i.e., "high noon." In present time, we don't keep time in that manner.
High noon can be determined by tying the ends of a string to a pair of sticks six or so inches high. The sticks should be perpendicular to the ground and placed onto a small platform. Below the string, draw a straight line on the platform which runs from one stick to the other. Place the platform in the sun with the string running north to south.
Eventually, the string will cast a shadow onto the west side of platform. When the shadow reaches and begins to pass the line drawn onto the platform, it's high noon.
Since too few people in olden communities had the leisure time to watch a shadow, someone at a designated public building would watch the shadow. About five minutes before high noon, a large ball on a rope would be run up a flag pole. At high noon, it would be dropped. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
High noon varies depending upon latitude and longitude. Since Natchitoches is farther east than Dallas, high noon arrives sooner in Natchitoches than Dallas. No surprise there. However, in the present day, noon central time is noon central time.
In reviewing charts for high noon at the latitude and longitude of this event, the sun reaches its zenith about 12:22 pm. However, this is based upon daylight standard time. Factor in daylight savings time which commences the weekend before Banks, and we've got the zenith occurring at 1:22 pm. That's pretty far off high noon.
Since we won't have any public battles occurring at designated time and since we're going to be away from people in the modern world, we don't have a need to remain on modern time. Shouldn't we be authentic in the time we use at this event? Call it, Banks Standard Time.
It wouldn't be too hard to get enough people onto Banks Standard Time. Most of us have cell phones. Most of these have some form of alarms. On the Wednesday of the event, set your alarm for 1:22 pm, set your pocket watch back an hour and twenty minutes, and have your pocket watch at the ready. When the alarm goes off, fine tune the time on the pocket watch to high noon. Since the time on cell phones are set to the atomic clock, you'd have precise time for high noon on your pocket watch.
If we're making large efforts to be authentic in so many other ways, why not set the time based upon how it was done 143 years ago?
Just wondering, asking and suggesting.
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