It's that time of year again: daylight-saving time will soon come to an end at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 5. Set your clocks back one hour as 2 a.m. becomes 1 a.m., ensuring you're ready for the time change.
The Origins of Daylight-saving Time
Over a century ago, the practice of daylight-saving time emerged in the United States. It has since faced scrutiny and debate, particularly in recent years. But where did the idea originate, and is there a case against it?
Benjamin Franklin's Influence
Although commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin, the notion that he invented daylight-saving time is not entirely accurate. During his time in Paris, Franklin observed that people were wasting precious daylight when waking up long after the sun had risen at 6 a.m. He even saw the economic potential, suggesting that significant savings could be achieved by utilizing sunlight instead of relying on candles.
The Global Adoption
The idea gained traction over time. In 1908, two Canadian towns became early adopters of daylight-saving time. By 1916, it had spread to Europe as an energy-saving measure with a strong connection to World War I. Subsequently, in 1918, the United States officially implemented daylight-saving time.
The Evolution of Daylight-saving Time in the U.S.
Has daylight-saving time remained constant since its introduction in 1918? The answer is no. In fact, the U.S. discontinued the practice on a national scale by 1919. However, some states and municipalities chose to continue observing daylight-saving time independently. It wasn't until 1942, during World War II, that the nation once again adopted daylight-saving time on a national level. Following the war, it was left to individual locales to decide whether they wanted to participate in the biannual time change.
The confusion surrounding daylight-saving time finally subsided in 1966 with the establishment of the Uniform Time Act. This legislation solidified daylight-saving time as a national practice.
As we prepare for another turn of the clock, it's worth reflecting on the origins and evolution of daylight-saving time. Whether you embrace it or question its necessity, its impact remains a part of our modern lives.
Resetting the Clocks: A Nationwide Phenomenon?
Even though the idea of resetting clocks is widely accepted in the country, not everyone is on board with it. Certain states have chosen to exempt themselves from this practice. Arizona and Hawaii are among the two states that do not follow daylight-saving time for various reasons.
Arizona, known for its scorching heat, has opted out of daylight-saving time. According to Arizona State University history professor Calvin Schemerhorn, the intense heat in the state makes it unnecessary for them to gain an additional hour of sunlight. After all, who needs more sun when it's already so hot?
Similarly, Hawaii has made the decision not to observe daylight-saving time. The World Population Review website explains that due to the state's geographical location, there are fewer variations in daylight hours between winter and summer. Hence, it is practical for Hawaii to forgo changing their clocks.
Reconsideration on a State and National Level
Reevaluation of this practice is not limited to just Arizona and Hawaii. Numerous states across the country are contemplating bills regarding time changes, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Furthermore, there is ongoing discussion at the national level regarding the possibility of eliminating the biannual clock changes altogether.
This alteration could lead to less disruption during weekend nights. It is important to note that the 2 a.m. time change occurs independently in each respective U.S. time zone and not simultaneously throughout the entire country. Initially, daylight-saving time was established over a century ago to avoid interfering with train schedules. Time magazine explains that the decision to set the time change at 2 a.m. on Sunday was deliberate. At that hour, there were no train departures from New York City, allowing for a smooth transition without impacting railroad timetables.
Future Adjustments Await
The next occurrence of daylight-saving time will begin on March 10, 2024, at 2 a.m. During this transition, time will leap forward to 3 a.m., requiring individuals to readjust their clocks accordingly.
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