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Remember that time the Twin Cities were in different time zones for two weeks?

St. Paul was ahead of Minneapolis one hour for two weeks in 1965, and it went about as well as you might expect.

St. Paul was ahead of Minneapolis one hour for two weeks in 1965, and it went about as well as you might expect. Associated Press

There's a difference between living in Minneapolis and St. Paul. If you disagree, you are from St. Paul and you are also lying.

The rest of us can acknowledge there’s some kind of an invisible barrier between the two. But for a while, back in 1965, there was a real, literal divide between the Twin Cities: a divide made of time.

Back then, Minnesota state law designated May 23 as the day to turn your clocks forward for daylight savings. But that year, the St. Paul City Council decided to bring their city in line with pretty much the rest of the nation and switched the day to May 9. That meant for two weeks, St. Paul was one hour ahead of Minneapolis—and much of the rest of the state. Not everyone was thrilled. 

“Now Gov. Karl Rolmaag is angry and the State legislature is fighting mad that one of the Twin Cities has decided to ‘break the law,’” the St. Cloud Times reported on May 5, 1965. “Rolvaag accused St. Paul and other cities which have made the change of ‘rash, short-sighted, extreme and unwarranted’ action.”

Sounds like a harsh reaction, but perhaps he was right. An old Star Tribune article tells us pretty much how well it went.

Put simply? It was a mess. All federal offices were still on standard time. Some businesses stubbornly refused to move their clocks ahead, and nobody could say for sure who was leaving late or early. Sewage, as the article put it, “rolled into Minneapolis St. Paul Sanitary District plant from St. Paul on daylight time, but left on standard time.”

“Two St. Paul policemen arrived for work wearing a wrist watch on each arm,” the article said—and they were still out of step with the fire department.

This calamity was allowed to stand for only one year. Not because the Twin Cities worked out their differences, but because the Uniform Time Act was passed by Congress the following year. But let us not forget that for two glorious, messy weeks, St. Paul was ahead of Minneapolis—if only on paper.