Daylight Savings Time Begins Sunday

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Spring Forward
Don’t forget! Before you go to bed on Saturday night to forward your clocks one hour. Most computers do this automatically and so do cellphones.

HISTORY: Daylight saving time (DST) has been a subject of recurring debate in the United States, the United Kingdom, and many other countries around the world for about a hundred years. Ancient civilizations were known to practice a similar process of the concept of DST where they would adjust their daily schedules in accordance to the sun, such as the Roman water clocks that used different scales for different months of the year.

The idea of daylight saving time was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 during his stay in Paris. He published an essay titled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” that proposed to economize the use of candles by rising earlier to make use of the morning sunlight.

Although many believe that Benjamin Franklin invented DST, some say that modern DST was first proposed in 1895 by George Vernon Hudson, an entomologist from New Zealand. Hudson presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society that proposed a two-hour shift forward in October and a two-hour shift back in March. He followed up his proposal with an article in 1898, and although there was interest in the idea, it was never followed through.

DST caused widespread confusion from 1945 to 1966 for trains, buses and the broadcasting industry in the US because many states and localities were free to choose when and if they would observe DST. Congress decided to end the confusion and establish the Uniform Time Act of 1966 that stated DST would begin on the last Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of October. However, states still had the ability to be exempt from DST by passing a local ordinance.

The US Congress extended DST to a period of ten months in 1974 and eight months in 1975, in hopes to save energy following the 1973 oil embargo. The trial period showed that DST saved the equivalent in energy of 10,000 barrels of oil each day, but DST still proved to be controversial. Many complained that the dark winter mornings endangered the lives of children going to school. After the energy crisis was over in 1976, the US changed their DST schedule again to begin on the last Sunday in April. DST was amended again to begin on the first Sunday in April in 1987. Further changes were made after the introduction of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Most of the US observes DST except for Hawaii and most of Arizona, and the US insular areas of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 8th, 2013 and is filed under Local News.