Spring Forward Sunday!!! It’s Daylight Saving Time

March 8, 2013

If you don’t already know it is that time again to (Spring forward) and set our clocks ahead by 1 hour this Sunday at 2:00am on March 10, 2013.

We have gone from measuring time based on the position of the sun to Sundials to mechanical clocks (with all cities being on a slightly different time) to all the various Daylight Saving Times implementations.

To give a brief history of Daylight Saving Time, Benjamin Franklin first conceived the idea of daylight saving in an essay in 1784 but it was not until 1907 when the idea was first advocated seriously by William Willett in a pamphlet, “Waste of Daylight” that proposed advancing clocks 20 minutes on each of four Sundays in April and retarding them by the same amount on four Sundays in September. George Hudson proposed the modern idea of daylight saving in 1895 and it was implemented during the First World War.  The U.S. formally adopted DST in 1918.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s most of the United States were using Daylight Saving Time. It was not until the 1970s energy crisis that the U.S. Congress extended Daylight Saving Time to 8 months instead of 6 due to the U.S. Department of Transportation. They found that observing DST saved the equivalent in energy of 10,000 barrels of oil each day which is a total of 300,000 barrels of oil a year. It was then signed into law by President Nixon in 1974 implementing the Daylight Saving Time Energy Act and then it was amended again later that year by Congress to run from February 23rd to October 26th.

The practice has been both praised and criticized. Through 2006, the Daylight Saving Time period has closed on the last Sunday in October, about one week before Election Day, which is held the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.  US Law extended the Daylight Saving Time in 2007 to the first Sunday in November to encourage greater voter participation. The theory being that more people would go to the polls if it was still light when they returned home from work.  There were many other obstacles that DST went through to get where we are at today from transportation and communications to Halloween. If you are interested in finding out more about the chaos and controversy I went to www.webexhibits.org

Many people intensely dislike DST because of the inconvenience of adjusting to a new sleep schedule but most people like DST simply because they like to enjoy long summer evenings. That’s me. I like having more time or should I say more daylight. It gives me the time to spend with my loved ones and makes me feel there is more to just going to work and going home to bed.

So, what do you think?