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Daylight Saving Time Begins (DST)
Sunday, March 11 2007
By: Melissa  
Hits: 1518
DST in the United States

Spring forward, Fall back

Daylight Saving Time, also known as "Summer Time", begins on the first Sunday in April and ends on the last Sunday in October (but not in Arizona and Hawaii).

The clock goes forward one hour at 2:00 AM on the first Sunday in April and back to normal time at 2:00 AM on the last Sunday in October. These dates were recently modified with the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Starting in March 2007, daylight time in the United States will begin on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November.

Safety Tip: Change the battery in your smoke detectors today!

Under the US Uniform Time Act of 1966, the Department of Transportation is in charge of time zones in the United States and ensuring that jurisdictions observing daylight saving time begin and end on the same date. The federal law that established "daylight time" in this country does not require any area to observe daylight saving time. But if a state chooses to observe DST, it must follow the starting and ending dates set by the law which since 1986 have been the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October.

The concept of Daylight Saving Time was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin as an American delegate in Paris. In a letter to the Journal de Paris Franklin noted that much discussion had followed the demonstration of an oil lamp the previous evening concerning the amount of oil used in relation to the quantity of light produced. He outlined several amusing regulations that Paris might adopt to help. He parodied himself, his love of thrift, his scientific papers and his passion for playing chess until the wee hours of the morning then sleeping until midday. The letter was published in the Journal on April 26, 1784, under the English title "An Economical Project".

Daylight Saving Time was first seriously proposed in London in 1907 by William Willett in the pamphlet, "Waste of Daylight". He proposed advancing clocks 20 minutes on each of four Sundays in April, and setting them back by the same amount on four Sundays in September. The idea met with ridicule and opposition and was rejected by the British government.

Daylight Saving Time was first implemented during World War I and again in World War II to conserve energy. Germany was the first nation to adopt daylight time during the First World War in 1915. Britain, parts of Europe, Canada and the United States quickly followed suit. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which requested all states to observe Daylight Saving Time, unless a state exempted itself. Currently, 47 states in the US and over 70 countries observe DST.

By observing Daylight Saving Time we, in effect, create an extra hour of daylight in the evening. An hour in which less lighting is used and thus less electricity. Studies from the 1970s by the U.S. Department of Transportation have shown that we reduce the entire country's usage of electricity by about 1% each day with Daylight Saving Time.

Other studies have shown that the extra hour of evening daylight relates to a reduction in traffic fatalities and the likelihood of pedestrians being killed on the roads. Crime is also reduced since more people have the opportunity to arrive home before darkness sets in, a time when burglars prefer to operate.


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