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Time for a Change
Once again, it is time to change the clocks! You might be thinking, “why do we need to do this”? or “when do we need to do this?” or “I thought this was going to stop!” Well, here are some answers, misconceptions, fun facts, and good news about this biannual event.
Let us start with some history. Daylight saving time was first implemented in the U.S. in 1918 during World War I with the Standard Time Act. The Standard Time Act, also known as The Calder Act, is also responsible for defining time zones across the United States. The purpose was to add more daylight hours to conserve energy. Under the Standard Time Act, clocks would move forward an hour on the last Sunday of March and move back an hour on the last Sunday of October. The rules for DST changed in 2007 for the first time in more than 20 years. The new changes were enacted by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which extended the length of DST in the interest of reducing energy consumption.
And now for some common misconceptions.
It is daylight-saving time, not daylight savings time.
While it is common to hear people say, “daylight savings time” or just “daylight savings,” the correct term is “daylight-saving time.” There is a grammatical reason for keeping “saving” singular, but you can also think of it this way: What are you doing during this time? Saving daylight. Thus, daylight-saving time.
Benjamin Franklin did not “invent” it.
“The biggest misconception is that it was Ben Franklin’s idea,” says Peter Geiger, editor of the Farmers’ Almanac. While Franklin is often credited with inventing the concept of daylight-saving time as we know it, he merely suggested that Parisians wake up earlier to save money on lamp oil and candles in a satirical essay published in the Journal de Paris in 1784. If they were to rise with the sun, Franklin wrote, the city could save an “immense sum” from the candles burned in the dark evening hours. He never suggested a shift in clocks, however, instead offering other amusing solutions to the problem that included cannons firing in the street to rouse people from sleep, taxes for shuttered windows, and candle sales restrictions.
It was not implemented for farmers, either.
Not only did the agricultural industry lobby against daylight saving time, but many farmers also still continue to oppose the practice. Think of the cows, they prefer to be milked at the same time every day (they also do not wear a watch).
Not everyone observes.
Not all U.S. states practice daylight saving time, either. Hawaii and Arizona are on permanent standard time, as are Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Since they are close enough to the equator that there is no significant difference in sunrise and sunset times across the year, there are no benefits from changing the hour. Most African and Asian countries, including India, China, and Japan, skip the clock change altogether. It has even been known that springing your clocks forward each year can take a toll on your health. The shift to daylight saving time has been linked to an uptick in heart attacks, strokes, traffic fatalities and workplace injuries.
And now the good news! That extra one hour of sleep you longingly look forward to each fall, may be no more. A proposal to end the clocks changing was put before Congress in the last couple of years, when the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Sunshine Protection Act in 2022, a bill that would make daylight saving time permanent.
Although the Sunshine Protection Act was passed unanimously by the Senate in 2022, it did not pass in the U.S. House of Representatives and was not signed into law by President Joe Biden.
If the US is to pass permanent Daylight Saving Time, you will no longer be 1 hour late or 1 hour early for your Sunday morning events (or at least you will not feel that way). For more news, communications, and blogs check out Dandelions Digital at www.dandelionsdigital.com.