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Spring is here and it’s that time of year again to “spring” our clocks forward.  Every year I hear the discussion of why do we do this and hear things such as it was for the farmers, the trains, etc.  So this year I decided to do a bit of research and truly answer the question, why do we observe daylight saving time?

In 1784 when Benjamin Franklin was the ambassador to Paris, he wrote a letter to the Journal of Paris explaining his discovery that the sun provided light as soon as it rose.  With this discovery he figured that if the clocks were pushed ahead an hour during the summer months then the people would be able to take advantage of the daylight and conserve energy.

However, daylight saving time was not implemented until WWI.  In 1916 Germany was the 1st country to start using the benefits of moving the clock forward 1hour to take advantage of the sunlight.  Most of Europe followed soon after and the U.S. started in 1918.  After the war, President Woodrow Wilson wanted to keep DST but the farmers had protested saying they would lose and hour of time in the morning.  Therefor it was abolished for the time being.

By the time WWII started President Franklin Roosevelt brought back daylight saving time to help conserve energy during this time.  DST was then named “war time”, primarily because it had only be observed during times of war.

After WWII, each state or town was allowed to decide if they wanted to continue to observe DST or not.  By allowing this it caused chaos and in 1966 the Uniform Time Act was enacted to bring uniformity to each state.  If the state chooses to observe DST then the whole state would move their clocks forward the 1st Sunday of April and end the last Sunday in October.  In 2007 the Energy Policy Act of 2005 went into effect, expanding the length of DST to the present timing.

Remember to “spring” forward this Sunday!

 
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