Daylight Savings Time is rapidly approaching, and for those craving more daylight after a long winter, it couldn’t come soon enough. By springing ahead, we gain an extra hour of daylight in the evening. The clock moves ahead (thus, losing one hour) when DST starts in the spring, and falls back one hour (thus, gaining one hour) when DST ends in the fall. To make it easier to remember which way the clock goes, keep in mind one of these sayings: “spring forward, fall back” or “spring ahead, fall behind.”
Daylight Saving Time (not Daylight Savings Time with an “s”) begins at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 14, 2010. Since most families are long asleep at that hour, it’s best to reset your clocks before going to bed on Saturday night. Yes, you’ll lose an hour of sleep, but you’ll gain it back when we reset the clocks and fall back on November 7th. Be forewarned though. Many school children will have to wait for the bus in the dark for the first month or so of DST, especially if they’re on one of those early first loads.
Ten facts about Daylight Saving Time:
- The main purpose of Daylight Saving Time is to make better use of daylight. DST was created to help conserve energy because less artificial light was needed during the evening hours.
- Benjamin Franklin first suggested Daylight Saving Time in 1784, but it was not until 1916 during World War I when several European countries adopted the idea.
- In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the start and end dates for daylight saving time but allowed individual states to remain on standard time if their legislatures allowed it.
- The United States, Canada and some other countries extended DST in 2007. The new start date is the second Sunday in March (previously the first Sunday in April) through to the first Sunday in November (previously the last Sunday in October).
- Sometimes DST is used for a longer period than just the summer, as it was in the United States during World War II. From February 3, 1942 to September 30, 1945 most of the United States had DST all year; it was called “War Time.”
- Note that local time between 2:00:00 — 2:59:59 does not exist during the transition from normal to DST. This hour is skipped; therefore this day has only 23 hours. Anyone who worked during the night from midnight to 8:00 a.m. has worked only seven hours because of the skipped hour.
- A poll conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation indicated that Americans liked Daylight Saving Time because “there is more light in the evenings / can do more in the evenings.”
- Residents of Arizona and Hawaii – along with the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands do not observe Daylight Saving Time. Those locales never deviated from standard time within their particular time zones.
- Contrary to popular belief, no federal rule mandates that states or territories observe daylight saving time.
- About 70 countries around the world observe daylight-saving time. Neither China nor Japan observes daylight-saving time.
Sources: National Geographic, CNN
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