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Spring Clocks Forward Saturday Night
Updated March 5, 2014 7:10 AM
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(UNDATED) - Remember to set your clocks an hour ahead before you go to bed on Saturday night.

Daylight Saving Times begins at 2 a.m. Sunday so spring those clocks forward, effectively moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening.

Local fire departments are encouraging people to change the batteries in their smoke detectors when they change their clocks.

"A working smoke detector more than doubles a person's chances of surviving a home fire," says Bedford Fire Department Chief Jon Wagner. "More than 90 percent of homes in the United States have smoke detectors, but one-third are estimated to have dead or missing batteries."

Brief history of DST

According to timeanddate.com, Benjamin Franklin first suggested Daylight Saving Time in 1784, but modern DST was not proposed until 1895 when an entomologist from New Zealand, George Vernon Hudson, presented a proposal for a two-hour daylight saving shift to the Wellington Philosophical Society.

The conception of DST was mainly credited to an English builder, William Willett in 1905, when he presented the idea to advance the clock during the summer months. His proposal was published two years later and introduced to the House of Commons in February 1908. The first Daylight Saving Bill was examined by a select committee but was never made into a law. It was not until World War I, in 1916, that DST was adopted and implemented by several countries in Europe who initially rejected the idea.

The Start of Daylight Saving

DST was first adopted to replace artificial lighting so they could save fuel for the war effort in Germany during World War I at 11:00pm (23:00) on April 30, 1916. It was quickly followed by Britain and many countries from both sides, including the United States. Many countries reverted back to standard time post-World War I, and it wasn't until the next World War that DST would make its return to many countries in order to save vital energy resources for the war.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted year-round DST in the United States, called "War Time" during World War II from February 9, 1942 to September 30, 1945. The law was enforced 40 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and during this time, time zones were called "Eastern War Time", "Central War Time", and "Pacific War Time". After the surrender of Japan in mid-August 1945, the time zones were relabeled "Peace Time".

Daylight saving was first recognized as an energy saving aspect during World War II when Double Summer Time was applied in Britain which moved the clocks two hours ahead of GMT during the summer and one hour ahead of GMT during the winter.

DST in the United States

DST caused widespread confusion from 1945 to 1966 for trains, buses and the broadcasting industry in the US because many states and localities were free to choose when and if they would observe DST. Congress decided to end the confusion and establish the Uniform Time Act of 1966 that stated DST would begin on the last Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of October. However, states still had the ability to be exempt from DST by passing a local ordinance.

The US Congress extended DST to a period of ten months in 1974 and eight months in 1975, in hopes to save energy following the 1973 oil embargo. The trial period showed that DST saved the equivalent in energy of 10,000 barrels of oil each day, but DST still proved to be controversial. Many complained that the dark winter mornings endangered the lives of children going to school. After the energy crisis was over in 1976, the US changed their DST schedule again to begin on the last Sunday in April. DST was amended again to begin on the first Sunday in April in 1987. Further changes were made after the introduction of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

DST Now

Daylight saving time is now implemented in over seventy countries worldwide and affects over a billion people each year. Although many countries observe DST, the beginning and end dates are often different than the US. The European Union adopted the summer time period that was used in the United Kingdom for many years which begins on the last Sunday in March and ends on the last Sunday in October.

The DST schedule in the US was revised several times throughout the years, in which the DST schedule period lasted for about seven months from 1987 to 2006. The current schedule began in 2007 and follows the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which extended the period by about one month where DST starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. Currently, most of the US observes DST except for Hawaii and most of Arizona, and the US insular areas of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam.



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