Interesting Things About…Daylight Saving Time

Interesting Things About…Daylight Saving Time

Here are interesting things you may or may not know, about daylight saving time.

  • American inventor and politician Benjamin Franklin wrote a satirical essay, “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light,” suggesting the idea of daylight saving time. He published the essay in the Journal de Paris in April 1784. The idea was that Parisians could economize candle usage if they raised earlier, taking advantage of the natural morning light. In this same paper, he also included a list of other reforms like “blasting cannons and ringing church bells at dawn to rouse people from their beds.”
  • Hawaii and Arizona do not observe daylight saving time.
  • The U.S. Territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands remain on standard time year-round.
  • Ancient civilizations–from Ancient Rome to the Mayans, practiced a close cousin to daylight saving time, adjusting timekeeping with the sun’s behavior. Because their lives depended on agriculture, the ability to predict and measure the sun’s activity was important for day-to-day productivity.
  • On October 16, 1895, New Zealand entomologist, George Vernon Hudson, presented the modern-day daylight saving time as a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society in 1895. In it, he proposed a seasonal time adjustment. Due to mounting interest, in 1898 he followed that presentation with a paper.
  • In 1907 British builder, William Willet, published a pamphlet, “The Waste of Daylight”. In 1908, he distributed it to many members of Parliament, town councils, businesses and other organizations. It proposed a plan to advance clocks by 20 minutes in four incremental steps during April, reversing it in September.
  • Interestingly enough, William Willet’s ideas were shouted out of Parliament, BUT seven years later, on April 30, 1916, Germany became the first to put his ideas to use.
  • Germany embraced daylight saving time to conserve electricity. “Weeks later, the United Kingdom followed suit and introduced ‘summer time.”
  • Frequently believed that daylight saving time was intended to benefit farmers, when first implemented, farmers deeply opposed the time switch; the sun, not the clock, dictated their schedules
  • Implemented on March 21, 1918, in the United States during World War I, the purpose of daylight saving time was to save fuel by reducing the need to use artificial lighting. While some states and communities chose to observe daylight saving time between the wars, it was not observed nationally again until World War II.
  • National daylight saving time was repealed three weeks after World War II ended. Time magazine described the states and localities freedom to start and end daylight saving time whenever they pleased, a “chaos of clocks.”
  • In 1965, Iowa had 23 different pairs of start and end dates for daylight saving time. St. Paul, Minnesota began its daylight saving two weeks before its twin city, Minneapolis. On a 35-mile bus ride from Steubenville, Ohio, to Moundsville, West Virginia, passengers passed through seven time changes.
  • The Uniform Time Act enacted April 13, 1966, established a standardized system of when daylight saving time started and ended throughout the United States. It did allow individual states to remain on standard time if their local legislatures allowed it.
  • Countries closer to the equator do not observe daylight saving time because they don’t need it; their daylight hours don’t vary much across seasons.
  • Since 1915, the principal supporter of daylight saving in the United States has been the Chamber of Commerce on behalf of small business and retailers…The Chamber understood that if you give workers more sunlight at the end of the day they’ll stop and shop on their way home.
  • In 1984, Fortune magazine estimated that a seven-week extension of DST would yield an additional $30 million for 7-Eleven stores, and the National Golf Foundation estimated the extension would increase golf industry revenues $200 million to $300 million.

Daylight Saving Time 2015 begins at 2:00 am on Sunday, March 8th and will end at 2:00 am on Sunday, November 1st.


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