Image Courtesy: Anita Martinz

Why Daylight Savings?

By Jennifer Wojcicki @yourmetjenny March 9, 2018 8:20 am CST
This Sunday, March 11th, Americans will "spring foward" and push their clocks forward an hour at 2am. This will bring an end to Standard Time and put us into Daylight Savings Time. But where did it come from?

Historic Timeline

Daylight Saving has been practiced since the beginning of ancient civilization. People adjusted their daily schedules and work hours based on the sun. In 1784, Benjamin Franklin suggested that waking up earlier would help people save money on candle costs. In 1895, a New Zealand entomologist and astronomer, George Vernon Hudson, suggested a 2 hour time shift for daylight saving. His shift-work job allowed him time to leisurely collect insects during after-hours daylight, which he began to value strongly. Not long after, in 1907, William Willett, a British builder, suggested advancing clocks by 80 minutes in four incremental steps. He came upon the suggestion when he noticed how many people were sleeping through a big portion of the summer's day while on a pre-breakfast ride. Daylight Saving was officially first used in Germany in 1916 during World War I in hopes that turning the clock ahead in the spring would help conserve energy by using less artificial light at night. The benefit believed was that Germany would be able to use more coal for the war. 31 countries followed Germany's example in hopes of saving money during this time as well. After the war, Daylight Saving was repealed, but then brought back during World War II and the 1970s energy crisis.


Since then, there have been many adjustments and repeals for Daylight Saving. Over 70 countries worldwide currently implement it, but more and more are beginning to doubt the current benefits that it once seemed to promise, such as energy reduction. In the United States, states have the option to opt out of Daylight Saving, and two currently do: Arizona and Hawaii, along with some US territories.
So, prepare for spring and summer with daylight creeping longer into the evening!

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