San Francisco: Don’t forget to change your clocks tonight forward one hour. We spring forward in the spring and fall back in the fall. Beginning in 2007, Daylight Saving Time got some new start and stop dates in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and now Daylight Saving Time is extended one month and begins for most of the United States at:
2 a.m. on the Second Sunday in March (March 13, 2011 this year) and its lasts until 2 a.m. on the First Sunday of November.
Did you know that Daylight Saving Time – for the U.S. and its territories – is NOT observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and by most of Arizona. Also, Indiana, which used to be split with a portion of the state observing DST and the other half not, is now whole. A state law was passed in 2005 that has the entire state of Indiana observing DST beginning in April 2006.
What Does The Rest of the World Do for Daylight Saving Time?
According to Mining Co. Guide to Geography, DST is also observed in about 70 countries:
“Other parts of the world observe Daylight Saving Time as well. While European nations have been taking advantage of the time change for decades, in 1996 the European Union (EU) standardized an EU-wide “summertime period.” The EU version of Daylight Saving Time runs from the last Sunday in March through the last Sunday in October. During the summer, Russia’s clocks are two hours ahead of standard time. During the winter, all 11 of the Russian time zones are an hour ahead of standard time. During the summer months, Russian clocks are advanced another hour ahead. With their high latitude, the two hours of Daylight Saving Time really helps to save daylight. In the southern hemisphere where summer comes in December, Daylight Saving Time is observed from October to March. Equatorial and tropical countries (lower latitudes) don’t observe Daylight Saving Time since the daylight hours are similar during every season, so there’s no advantage to moving clocks forward during the summer”
History of Daylight Savings Time
Daylight Saving Time has been around for most of this century and even earlier. Benjamin Franklin, while a minister to France, first suggested the idea in an essay titled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light.” The essay was first published in the Journal de Paris in April 1784. But it wasn’t for more than a century later that an Englishman, William Willett, suggested it again in 1907. Willett was reportedly passing by homes where the shades were down, even though the sun was up. He wrote a pamphlet called “The Waste of Daylight” because of his observations. Willett wanted to move the clock ahead by 80 minutes in four moves of 20 minutes each during the spring and summer months. In 1908, the British House of Commons rejected advancing the clock by one hour in the spring and back again in the autumn.
Willett’s idea didn’t die, and it culminated in the introduction of British Summer Time by an Act of Parliament in 1916. Clocks were put one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) during the summer months. England recognized that the nation could save energy and changed their clocks during the first World War.
In 1918, in order to conserve resources for the war effort, the U.S. Congress placed the country on Daylight Saving Time for the remainder of WW I. It was observed for seven months in 1918 and 1919. The law, however, proved so unpopular that it was later repealed. When America went to war again, Congress reinstated Daylight Saving Time on February 9, 1942. Time in the U.S. was advanced one hour to save energy. It remained advanced one hour forward year-round until September 30, 1945.
In England, the energy saving aspects of Daylight Saving were recognized again during WWII. Clocks were changed two hours ahead of GMT during the summer, which became known as Double Summer Time. But it didn’t stop with the summer. During the war, clocks remained one hour ahead of GMT though the winter. From 1945 to 1966, there was no U.S. law about Daylight Saving Time. So, states and localities were free to observe Daylight Saving Time or not.
This, however, caused confusion — especially for the broadcasting industry, and for trains and buses. Because of the different local customs and laws, radio and TV stations and the transportation companies had to publish new schedules every time a state or town began or ended Daylight Saving Time.
By 1966, some 100 million Americans were observing Daylight Saving Time through their own local laws and customs. Congress decided to step in end the confusion and establish one pattern across the country. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 (15 U.S. Code Section 260a) created Daylight Saving Time to begin on the last Sunday of April and to end on the last Sunday of October. Any area that wanted to be exempt from Daylight Saving Time could do so by passing a local ordinance. The law was amended in 1986 to begin Daylight Saving Time on the first Sunday in April.