Thursday, June 23, 2016

Did You Know?

Did you know that Daylight Saving Time (DST) has been around since 1918? The concept of Daylight Saving Time was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, but some say he may have been "joking" about it. No joke, though. It was introduced to allow more daylight, or "summer," to do a farmer's work. Also, it was an effort to conserve fuel needed to produce electric power, especially during World War I.

After WWI, however, people did not want DST, it was not a popular concept. Sometimes referred to as "phony hours," since that time DST has been embroiled in controversy. Some states in the United States (US) embraced it, some did not. Some states even had locations on DST and some not. The Uniform Time Act in 1966, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, created DST to begin on the last Sunday of April and to end on the last Sunday of October, however, any state could pass a state law exempting them from this public law.

In the European Union, (EU), "Summer Time" begins and ends at 1:00 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time/Universal Time. It begins in March on the last Sunday of the month and ends on the last Sunday in October. All time zones in the EU change at once. In the US, each time zone ends DST at the designated time for their time zone.

"Spring Forward Fall Back" is the slogan regarding DST, making it easy to remember what to do when. In the US, we are also reminded to check the batteries on our smoke alarms on the same day we change our clocks.

You will be surprised to know that Arizona and Hawaii do not observe DST. Other US territories choose not to, either. American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands do not. Though the Navajo Nation is located partially in Arizona, they do observe DST; they are located in three different states.

In the US, in 2007, a new law to extend the DST law to the first Sunday in November was passed. This was done to provide more daylight for trick-or-treating on Halloween, thus making it safer for children in traffic. It is unclear whether this actually helped or not because many children prefer to go out after dark on Halloween.

In the 1950s and 1960s, US localities could start and end DST as they wished. This created chaos, costing money to industries, railroads, etc. One year in Iowa, there were 23 different pairs of start and end dates.

If you want to learn more about Daylight Saving Time, there are numerous, in-depth, studies on it available online.

Ta ta for now,

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