It’s a staple of the fall season. Following the springing forward of the clocks in the springtime where everyone loses an hour of sleep, we now get that hour back. Tonight before you go to bed, make sure the clocks are set back one hour. In the United States, DST runs from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November. Other countries observe DST with their own time frames. And you may not be aware of this, but the origins of Daylight Saving Time go back to the concept of saving energy.
According to AccuWeather, The Standard Time Act was passed in 1918, with established time zones and daylight savings put into effect. This was done for World War I. The idea was that if daytime hours would sync up better with natural light, fewer tasks would need to be done at night, so we’d save energy.
After World War I, the government pulled the plug on DST. But with the onset of WWII, it was reinstated, spanning early February until the end of September. After the war ended, DST began to be dealt with at local levels. Who thought this was a good idea?
So along came the Uniform Time Act in 1966, and that was that. States could opt out of DST “if they passed proper ordinances.” Arizona and Hawaii do not observe DST, along with some U.S. territories. Arizona in particular takes the weather into account — with such heat, there’s no upside to people being out in as much daylight as possible. AccuWeather also notes that Hawaii’s location closer to the equator gives it more consistency when it comes to daylight hours. It would not gain too much by making the DST switch. Besides, who cares about the time if you live in Hawaii? Mahalo and all that.
You have to wonder if DST is really needed anymore. Work schedules are fragmented and energy conservation is at the top of everyone’s minds (or should be), so it bears asking if this is one of those outdated concepts that we can file away.
Here’s just the website to make sure your clocks are accurate to the second. As an aside to all inventors out there — wouldn’t it be great to have a gadget where you hit one button, and all the clocks in your house changed at the same time? Just a dream. Oh, and don’t worry about that extra second.