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Daylight saving time: 8 things to know

Adapted from the Chicago Tribune.

Daylight saving time, a change in the standard time designed to conserve energy and making better use of daylight, officially begins Sunday. This means at 2 a.m., clocks should be set one hour ahead. Daylight saving time officially ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, and that’s when clocks will “fall back” an hour.

  1. The United States wasn’t the first country to observe daylight saving time.

    Benjamin Franklin is credited with first proposing the concept of daylight saving time in 1784. Franklin said the change would save, “a considerable number of candles.” According to Time and Date, Germany was the first country to implement it during World War I on April 30, 1916.

  2. In March, more than 70 countries will switch to daylight saving time, but not on the same date. More than 160 countries around the world that don’t observe daylight saving time at all.

    Countries that adjust their clocks due to daylight saving time

  3. This topic has caused riots in Russia. President Vladimir Putin returned the country to standard time in October 2014.
  4. It’s federal law.

    » Daylight saving time, or “fast time” as it was previously called, was first introduced to the U.S. in 1918 when President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law to support the World War I effort. The seasonal time change was repealed seven months later.

    » President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted year-round daylight saving time in the U.S. in 1942.

    » It wasn’t until the Uniform Time Act of 1966, however, that it was decided the U.S. would observe daylight saving time from the last Sunday of April to last Sunday of October. (States could exempt themselves from this rule.)

    » Congress extended the daylight saving time period to 10 months in 1974 and eight months in 1975, in hopes to save energy following the 1973 oil embargo.

    » Further changes to the federal law were made in the 1970s and 1980s.

    » The Energy Policy Act of 2005, signed into law on Aug 8, 2005, states daylight saving time begins the second Sunday in March and ends the first Sunday in November. Parts of Canada have also adopted the same change.

  5. A few parts of the U.S. and its territories don’t change time.Arizona (except for the Navajo Nation), Hawaii, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands don’t recognize daylight saving time.
  6. Several states are trying to repeal daylight saving time.
  7. When the time changes, think fire.The National Fire Protection Association recommends testing your dwelling’s smoke and carbon monoxide alarms each time the clock changes.
  8. Be careful Monday.A study published in the Sept. 2009 Journal of Applied Psychology found American workers were more prone to injury in the workplace the Monday following the daylight saving time switch, mores than other days. For this study, the researchers looked at U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 14,310 interviews from 2004 to 2006. Results showed that after the switch to daylight saving time, people slept an average of 40 minutes less on the Sunday night they switched to daylight saving time.

Sources: Time and DateAssociated PressLibrary of Congress


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