At 2:00 am this Sunday, March 11, we’ll turn the clocks ahead an hour and begin Daylight Saving Time for 2018. Here are fun facts about the practice of “springing ahead” in March and “falling back” in November.
Ben Franklin first wrote about changing the clocks in an essay titled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” published in The Journal of Paris in 1784. He proposed that manipulating time to lengthen daylight hours would cut down on candle use.
Germany was the first country to observe Daylight Saving Time (DST) on April 30, 1916. Last year marked the 100th anniversary.
In 1918 President Woodrow Wilson signed the Standard Time Act which created DST to conserve energy World War I. Only seven months later the time change was repealed. During World War II, DST was reinstated to once again conserve energy and remained in effect until after the war. In 1966, the Uniform Time Act mandated DST to begin on the last Sunday in April and end on the last Sunday in October. In 2005, President George W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act, which extended DST to begin on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November. A reason behind the extension in autumn was to improve safety for trick-or-treaters on Halloween night.
Most areas of North America, Europe and the Middle East observe DST. In the United States, all but Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and most of Arizona change the clocks. Interestingly, the majority of Africa, Asia and in South America countries near the equator do not have DST.
Many groan over changing the clocks. Losing an hour? Gaining an hour? Either way the time change disrupts our schedule. The good news is that springing ahead brings an extra hour of daylight to the evening—time to go for a jog or take an evening stroll.
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