Many people feel it’s an inconvenience to push clocks ahead in Spring and then push them back in Fall. It seems like we all forget that one small clock in the dim hallway, then we’re happy 6 months later when it’s right again.
But why do we put ourselves through this ritual, and who came up with this idea anyway?
Daylight Savings Time (or Summer Time) as it’s known in many parts of the world, was created to make better use of the long sunlight hours of the summer. By springing clocks forward an hour on the second Sunday of March, we move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. On the first Sunday of November, we’ll fall back and return to Standard Time.
The idea of moving clocks twice each year was proposed in an essay written by Benjamin Franklin in 1784. It was again proposed in 1907 by Englishman William Willet to the British Parliament. It did not become common practice in the United States, however, until 1966.
Although we did use Daylight Savings Time in World War I and World War II to save energy, some states and communities adopted the idea intermittently for their own reasons. The US Congress soon recognized the confusion and passed the Uniform Time Act of 1966 establishing Daylight Savings Time as the standard practice for all.
Daylight Savings Time is most helpful to places furthest from the equator, because daylight is longer the further you get from the equator. This explains why many equatorial countries do not participate in Daylight Savings Time. Indeed, some states and territories have opted out of participation, most notably Arizona, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Today, about 70 countries participate, although not on the same schedule as the United States.
Daylight Savings Time is still popular in the United States. As we all paddle through our homes soon looking for clocks to adjust, perhaps this year we’ll find two clocks we missed. That would be a real time saver!
No matter how you feel about Daylight Savings Time, remember to also check the batteries in your smoke detectors. Now that could save your life.
If you feel like time continue to pass by without taking the steps you need to take to get your planning done once and for all, consider joining us for one of our upcoming educational workshops. We promise you’ll have a good time! Honest!