It’s that time of year again! Whether you love sleeping in an extra hour or hate the fact that it messes with your internal clock for days (or usually, both!), we’re about to set our clocks back one hour this weekend. But… why?
Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay that jokingly suggested getting out of bed earlier and making better use of the natural morning light. He pitched the idea as a money-saver (or rather candle wax saver) and was, in essence, poking fun at the French. The amount of sunlight that goes wasted each morning would come as a shock to his readers who "have never seen any signs of sunshine before noon".
Entomologist George Vernon Hudson presents the idea of daylight saving time to the Royal Society of New Zealand. After working a full day at the post office, he found that he did not have time or daylight to conduct his bug hunting during the summer. The idea was panned for being pointless and overly complicated.
Germany enacts Daylight Saving Time to conserve coal during World War I. Many European countries follow suit, and after a year of entering the war, America sets its clocks back as well. Most governments abandon this practice once the war is done.
Franklin Roosevelt instituted a year-round daylight saving time, which he termed 'war time' lasting until 1945.
In subsequent years, states and jurisdictions could choose whether to observe daylight saving time and when to begin and end it. This meant that cities could be an hour behind others even if they were only a few miles apart.
To minimize confusion, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act of 1966 to standardize the length of daylight saving time across the country within established time zones.
Due to the oil embargo, Congress tried a period of year-round daylight saving time to conserve energy in the winter months.
Daylight saving expanded from the last Sunday of April to the first Sunday of April at 2:00 AM. This was a big win for US Retail because the extra hour of sunlight allowed consumers to stop and shop in the daylight on their way home from work.
Congress passed the Energy Act of 2005, again shifting the beginning of daylight saving time one month earlier and extending it one week later, thru the first week of November. This was partly due to heavy lobbying by the candy industry to provide safer trick or treating for kids.
While you get ready to reset your watches, alarms, and microwaves, here are some fun facts about daylight saving time-
This weekend, whether you love it or hate it, we’ll steal an hour of daylight from the evening and add it to the morning. We often complain that we don’t have enough hours in the day; well, Sunday is your chance to get an extra hour! How will you make the most of it?