Next Daylight Saving Time StartsSunday, 13 March 2022
Daylight Saving Time’s start happens every year on the second Sunday of March, at 2 a.m. However, because different states have different time zones, this time change occurs at different times.
At 2 a.m the clocks turn forward one hour, essentially taking one hour from the morning, to extend the evenings.
This change happens at 2 a.m because it causes the least disruption to everyday life. Most people are at home and sleeping, trains and public transport are few at this time of day, and bars and restaurants are usually not as busy, thus it doesn’t disturb business.
The History of Daylight Saving Time
There is some debate regarding the origins of Daylight Saving Time, as a few different people seem to have had the same idea throughout history.
The first record of a suggestion to change the clocks is attributed to Benjamin Franklin who, while living in Paris in 1784, wrote a letter to the editor of the journal of Paris entitled “An Economical Project” where he satirically suggests changing the clocks to economize time, as he observed that Parisians saved money on candles by getting up early. This letter had a satirical tone to it, and in reality, Franklin’s suggestion was not that the clocks changed, but actually that people changed their schedules to better adjust to nature’s cycles.
Over a century later, a man called George Hudson proposed something more similar to the modern Daylight Saving Time, in 1895, where he suggested a two-hour change in daylight. It is, however, William Willet who is credited with inventing Daylight Saving Time in 1905, when he noticed that people in London would sleep in late during the Summer, thus wasting daylight hours. In his proposition titled “Waste of Daylight,” he proposed advancing the clocks 20 minutes every Sunday in April and then changing them back every Sunday in October.
However, the time changes only became common during World War I, when soldiers needed to cut down on their use of electricity, to save fuel. After the War, this change was reverted as it proved to be unpopular with the American population. With the coming of World War II, President Roosevelt instated what he called “War Time”, which meant that Daylight Saving Time was in effect all year round. This lasted from 1942 until 1945.
Daylight Saving Time was adopted in some states in America in 1966 during an energy crisis and after the passing of the Uniform Time Act. In 1974 President Nixon officially signed a law stating that clocks would be set ahead from January until the beginning of October. This was amended in October, setting the Standard Time back to October 25 1974, and Daylight Saving Time resumed on February 1975.
Until 2005 Daylight Saving Time was observed from the first Sunday in April until the last Sunday in October. President George W. Bush ordered it to be extended for four weeks, and in 2007 Daylight Saving Time was officially set to run from the second Sunday of March until the first Sunday of November.
Why do we have Daylight Saving Time?
Daylight Saving Time was originally conceived to make better use of daylight and save energy.
The length of daylight hours is determined by the Earth’s axial tilt, which changes seasonally, meaning that daylight is longer in the summer and shorter in the winter.
By turning the clocks to one hour ahead during the summer season, people will have to wake up one hour earlier than usual, thus also finishing their work one hour earlier, which means that they will still have one extra hour of daylight to enjoy, as most people appreciate having long summer evenings.
However, some people are against Daylight Saving Time, as they have to adjust to a whole new sleeping schedule, which is difficult for those with sleeping disorders. It has been proven that people are at their most tired on the days after the clocks change, which is why productivity levels are low and traffic incidents see an increase during this time of year. This is why National Napping Day takes place on the day after Daylight Saving Time starts.