This weekend marks the "Spring Ahead" portion of Daylight Savings Time. At 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, 13 (or before you go to bed on Saturday night, March 12), remember to turn your clocks forward by one hour — for Daylight Saving Time adjustments.
While Daylight Savings Time in the USA begins on the second Sunday in March, some states don't participate in the springy action. In fact, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and most of Arizona abstain. The reasons are unclear — but then the reasons for Daylight Savings Time in the first place are unclear. History tells us the concept was developed to get more light in every day to an effort to conserve energy.
In fact, some say the idea dates back to American politician and inventor Benjamin Franklin, who, in a 1784 essay entitled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light,” suggested people get out of bed earlier in the morning to use the light instead of candles. Then, in 1895, a New Zealand entomologist, George Vernon Hudson, wanted more daylight time for his studies, so he presented a report to the Wellington Philosophical Society proposing a two-hour daylight savings time program wherein the clocks would change time so we could get more daylight. Slowly, these ideas laid the foundation for merit.
In 1905, British builder William Willett proposed the idea of setting clocks ahead in April and switching them back in September. His idea caught the attention of Robert Pearce, who introduced a bill to the House of Commons in 1908. The concept was opposed by farmers in England and did not pass, but other countries became interested in the value of more daylight. Germany was the first country to implement the idea in 1916, with several countries followed suit, including America.
In the United States after World War II, states could select if they wanted to implement the program, but this caused major confusion about what time it was in different states. As such, Congress established the Uniform Time Act in 1966, setting the protocol for DST times/dates. As part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the length of DST in America was extended by four weeks, starting in 2007. Today, we begin on the second Sunday of March — meaning this upcoming weekend. Another note, as you turn your clocks ahead, don't forget to reset your watches.
Clock image via Bigstockphoto.com