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What time is it? Time zones in the United States.

Suppose you wanted to take a train trip across the Midwest in the mid-1800s. It wouldn't have been easy to follow the schedule, because each city and town had its own official time, based on when the sun was directly overhead. When it was noon in Cleveland, Ohio, for instance, it might be 11:57 in Columbus, and 11:53 in Cincinnati.

That made rail travel a nightmare. So, in 1872, the railroad companies came up with a plan. They adopted a system of nearly 50 time zones for the entire U.S. But that was still too complicated.

In 1883, railroad managers met in St. Louis, Missouri, and voted to correct the problem. They reduced the number of standard U.S. time zones from 50 to 4: Eastern Standard Time (EST), Central Standard Time (CST), Mountain Standard Time (MST), and Pacific Standard Time (PST). Each time zone was about 1,000 miles wide (or 15[degrees] of longitude).

Since then, two more time zones have been added: Alaska Standard Time (AKST) and Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HAST). This map shows all six U.S. zones. Study it carefully before answering the questions.


1. The 50 U.S. states are now divided into how many time zones?--

2. Each time zone is approximately how many miles wide?--

3. In which time zone is Houston, Texas?--

4. It is 10 p.m. in Phoenix, Arizona. What time is it in Orlando, Florida?--

5. If the 2006 Super Bowl begins at 6:25 p.m. in Detroit, Michigan, what time is that in Los Angeles, California?--

6. If you took Amtrak's Sunset Limited train from Los Angeles, California, to Miami, Florida, through how many time zones would you travel?--

7. You live in Los Angeles, California, and want to call your friend in Chicago, Illinois. If it is 10 p.m. in Los Angeles, what time is it in Chicago?-

8. President Bush speaks to the nation at 8 p.m. in Washington, D.C. What time is that in Anchorage, Alaska?--

9. A small area of the westernmost part of Texas is in which time zone?--

10. It takes about two hours to fly from Chicago to New York City. If your plane were to leave Chicago at 4 p.m., when would it land, New York time?--


1. six

2. 1,000

3. Central Standard Time (CST)

4. 12 a.m. (midnight) 5.3:25 p.m. PST

6. four

7. 12 a.m. (midnight)

8. 4 p.m (AKST)

9. Mountain Standard Time (MST)

10. 7 p.m. EST
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Title Annotation:GEOSKILLS
Publication:Junior Scholastic
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 23, 2006
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