Daylight Saving Time
March 05, 2013
Daylight Saving Time is the practice of advancing time to get better use of the daylight by having the sun rise one hour later and the sun set one hour later. Ever wonder how it all started? I did, so here we go...
The idea went through several versions before landing on the one we know today. Benjamin Franklin was the first to come up with idea in 1784 as a way to save on candles. George Vernon Hudson, an entomologist from New Zealand, was the first to propose the idea in 1895. William Willett proposed a plan in 1905, which was then introduced as a bill to the House of Congress in February 1908 by Robert Pearce. The bill was drafted in 1909 but was never made into law.
During World War I, on April 30, 1916, Germany was the first to adopt Daylight Saving Time in an effort to save fuel for the war. It was then adopted by many other countries, including the United States. After the end of World War I, most countries went back to standard time.
During World War II, on February 9, 1942 (forty days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor), President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted Daylight Saving Time year-round, calling it “War Time." It stayed this way until September 30, 1945. The time zones were known as "East Wartime," "Central Wartime," and "Pacific Wartime." In August 1945, after the surrender of Japan, the time zones were referred to as "Peace Times."
From 1945 to 1966, individual states and localities could choose whether to observe Daylight Saving Time or not. This brought on much confusion, so in 1966, Congress established the "Uniform Time Act of 1966," which stated that Daylight Saving Time would start on the last Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of October.
In 1974, Congress extended Daylight Saving Time to last ten months, and then to 8 months in 1975 in hopes to save energy during the energy crisis. During this time, the energy equivalent of 10,000 barrels of oil was saved each day. It was amended again in 1976 and 1987.
Our current Daylight Saving Time schedule began in 2007. It starts the second Sunday in March and ends the first Sunday in November, so don’t forget to set your clocks forward this weekend on March 10!