Daylight Saving Time
Daylight Saving Time: A Guide to When, Why, What and How
Do you remember that every March we set our clocks an hour forward and in November we set them an hour back? Have you ever wondered why we do that? It’s not just some pointless ritual. Daylight saving time is actually a long-time tradition that was started by Benjamin Franklin with an aim to save energy. Read on to learn more about the history and meaning of daylight saving time, as well as the dates we are going to do it in 2017.
How Did It Begin?
Benjamin Franklin was the one who came up with the idea of resetting the clocks to save energy. When the clocks are moved forward, people can use the extra evening daylight instead of wasting electricity. But officially, daylight saving time (DST) began only a century after Franklin’s idea. Germany established it during World War I in May 1916 to conserve fuel. Shortly after, the rest of Europe did it as well, and only in 1918, the USA also established DST.
After WWI, farmers objected to DST, and it was abolished. When WWII began, it was established again and was even called “War Time” by President Roosevelt. When the war ended, all the states could choose whether or not they wanted to observe DST, which led to total chaos. In 1966, Congress enacted the Uniform Time Act that made all states follow a single DST protocol. Back then, it had to start on the first Sunday of April and finish on the last Sunday of October.
When Does It Start and End?
In 2007, the timing changed again. Today, in the Unites States, DST begins on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November. In March, we move our clocks forward an hour at 2 AM local time (therefore, it becomes 3 AM local time) and in November, we set them back an hour at 2 AM local time (therefore, it becomes 1 AM local time).
As a result, in 2017, DST will begin on March 12 and end on November 5.
Why Do We Still Have It?
Today, less than 40% of all countries in the world observe DST. And those who keep on sticking to it can take advantage of the natural daylight more than those who don’t. In addition, due to extra daylight in the evening, there are fewer road accidents and less traffic on the streets during the dark time of the day. For full-time workers, more daylight in the evening means additional ability to exercise outdoors or have a walk after work. Therefore, there are multiple advantages of observing DST.