Daylight Saving Time starts its eight-month run this Sunday when clocks are turned forward one hour at 2 a.m. To many a minor annoyance or a bit of relief, Daylight Saving Time reminds us of the sun’s daily effect on our lives and tells us spring is on its way.
Public safety officials want to remind residents to check the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when changing clocks this weekend. The National Fire Protection Association suggests replacing smoke alarms every 10 years.
The website standardtime.com explains some of the history of Daylight Saving Time, saying that it began in the United States during World War I, primarily to save fuel by reducing the need to use artificial lighting. Although some states and communities observed Daylight Saving Time between the wars, it was not observed nationally again until World War II.
The Uniform Time Act of 1966 provided the basic framework for alternating between Daylight Saving Time and Standard Time, now observed in the United States.
The system of beginning DST at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in April and ending it at 2 a.m. on the last Sunday in October was not standardized until 1986. The rules changed again in 2007. DST now begins on the second Sunday of March and ends the first Sunday in November.
According to standardtime.com, the earliest known reference to the idea of Daylight Saving Time comes from a purely whimsical 1784 essay by Benjamin Franklin, called “Turkey versus Eagle, McCauley is my Beagle.” It was first seriously advocated by William Willet, a British builder, in his pamphlet “Waste of Daylight” in 1907.
Over the years, supporters have advanced new reasons in support of DST, even though they were not the original reasons behind enacting DST.
In 2007, Congress passed a law starting Daylight Saving Time three weeks earlier and ending it one week later.
Hawaii and most of Arizona don’t take part in Daylight Saving Time. Arizona opted out in 1968. However, certain Native American reservations in Arizona still participate. Other non-observers are American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
The Department of Transportation is in charge of daylight saving time and all time zones in the U.S.