Daylight Saving Time: Its History and Why We Do It

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It’s that time of year again.

You know, the day when get to sleep in an extra hour? False.

Daylight saving time (DST) -which is mistakingly called ‘daylight savings time’ at large- will reach its conclusion on Sunday, November 6 at 2:00 a.m. So if you plan on invoking your inner garrulous party animal on Sunday evening, then prepare to set your clock back by one hour before that time.

However, if you plan on staying up past midnight, then take a break to set the clock back an hour before 2:00 a.m. approaches.

Here are some quick facts about the intriguing history and desired effects of daylight saving time:

  • DST was originally conceived to decrease electricity usage by prolonging morning hours. This was expounded upon through a study done by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 1975, which showed that DST decreased the country’s energy and electricity usage by almost one percent each day. This would be a result from of the extra hour of sleep that citizens would accrue throughout the year.
  • The main idea of DST was to allow for citizens to make better use of daylight. For example, if one lives closer the equator, then the amount of time for daylight and sunlight begins to become equal.  Since certain regions of the United States are further away from the equator, DST is used in an attempt to level out the daylight to sunlight ratio, thereby allowing for more of the said day to be utilized.
  • Benjamin Franklin was the first to submit the idea of DST in 1784.
  • While certain time zones are mapped across the United States, DST was repealed in 1919 and The Standard time Act was carried out nationwide.
  • However, it wasn’t an axiomatic system until 1966, during which The Uniform Time Act of 1966 established the first DST dates—last Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October. Not all states were required to observe the new law.
  • It was initially not a requirement for all states to implement DST.
  • Not all countries observe DST, including China and Japan.
  • Nearly all of Arizona and the entirety of Hawaii do not observe DST.
  • In 2005 President George W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was passed a month earlier to his signing. The law -an initial attempt to stem the tide of domestic energy problems- increased DST from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday in November.
  • A bill (HB 1479) was made by Washington State to eschew DST for its region altogether in February of last year, but the motion eventually became null in the legislature.

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