What Is Daylight Savings Time?

Dec 31, 2023

As spring arrives, the clocks are set forward one hour, and in the fall, they are set back an hour as winter approaches. During Daylight Saving Time, clocks are put on by one hour so that people may enjoy more time outside during daylight hours. The months in which daylight saving time is observed in the Northern and Southern hemispheres are reversed.

When And Why Does DST Take Effect?

Some nations don't even include Daylight Saving Time in their time zone, while others have somewhat different DST schedules than the rest of the world.

U.S. territories such as American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Japan, India, and China are all good examples.

On the second Sunday of March and the first Sunday of November, clocks are advanced by one hour across most of the United States in preparation for Daylight Saving Time; however, neither Arizona nor Hawaii participate in DST.

When Did Daylight Saving Time Begin, And Why?

New Zealand entomologist and bug collector George Hudson proposed Daylight Saving Time in 1895. The purpose of Daylight Saving Time was to provide Hudson extra time in the evenings to go insect collecting. With the need to conserve energy growing during World War II, the concept of Daylight Saving Time spread to other countries. More than 70 nations presently observe DST.

Has Daylight Saving Time Changed Since Its Inception?

Congress approved the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005, and with it came the requirement to adjust the start and end of Daylight Saving Time by three and one weeks, respectively.

Time changes annually on the second Sunday of March and the first Sunday of November, starting on Sunday, March 11, 2007. The adjustment was made in the hopes that it would result in less demand for artificial lighting, which would reduce energy consumption.

Despite the adjustments, Daylight Saving Time is still a divisive issue. Others believe this method is useless and irrelevant in the modern world. Some have argued that the implementation of Daylight Saving Time has helped lower crime and road fatalities.

Explaining The Origins of DST

Who Exactly Started DST?

William Willet of England is credited as the first major proponent of Daylight Saving Time. While out riding his horse in the early hours of the morning in 1907, this thought came to him, a builder from London. Despite the rising sun, he saw that many people had their shutters closed.

Willet stated, "Everyone likes the long, light evenings," in "The Waste of Daylight," the doctrine of his light-saving crusade.

When the days get shorter in the fall, everyone starts to feel a little smaller, and almost everyone has expressed disappointment that the clear, bright light of an early morning in the spring and summer months is seldom seen or used.

DST Was Adopted After World War I

After the outbreak of World War I, people's perspectives shifted. Coal for home heating has become increasingly expensive, and the government and the public have realized that they must take action.

In 1915, the Germans were the first to formally use the light-extending system to save gasoline during World War I. For this reason, on May 21, 1916, British Summer Time was instituted, moving the country's clocks forward one hour from May 21 to October 1.

In 1918, the United States enacted its time zone legislation. However, this occurred despite the tremendous widespread outcry. A Congressional Committee in the United States studied the advantages of Daylight Saving Time. Many Americans considered the practice a foolish attempt to force late sleepers to wake up early.

Farmers Were NOT In Favor Of DST

It is a common misconception amongst American citizens that farmers were responsible for implementing Daylight Saving Time. As a group, farmers were among the most adamant resisters of the shift from the start.

After the war ended, quiet farmers and workers finally spoke up. They insisted that Daylight Saving Time be scrapped because it mainly benefitted the middle and upper classes. The dispute highlighted the widening divide between rural and urban areas.

Regional Variation and Inconsistency

Interstate bus and rail travel was greatly impeded by the states' inconsistent use of time zones. In 1966, Congress approved the Uniform Time Act to address the issue, making it law throughout the United States to observe Daylight Saving Time uniformly.

On the final Sunday of Spring and Fall each year, clocks are advanced by one hour. That was the standard, but some state legislators used a legal gap to make an exception. Neither did the majority of Arizona nor did those who live in Hawaii.

Different counties in Indiana, which straddles the Eastern and Central time zones, have other policies regarding Daylight Saving Time.