So what is this daylight savings time (DST) that went into effect last Saturday? Simply put, as the days start get longer, we set our clocks one hour forward in the spring and set them back one hour in the fall. But we didn’t always have daylight savings time here in the US and in fact it has a pretty controversial history.
In 1784 Benjamin Franklin came up with an idea as a way to save money on candles only he didn’t want to change the time but the time people wake up. His idea? By firing cannons to wake people up! How’s that for a wake up call!
Actually the first implemented DST was done by the Germans in World War I as an energy saving measure. The US followed soon with its own version of DST but was it met with stiff resistance being repealed by Congress within a year of it being put into practice. For the next 5 decades it was up to the individual states to decide if they would practice Daylight Saving which became rather confusing for travelers.
In 1966 Congress passed a bill called the ‘Uniform Time Act’ which tried to make it unanimous but there were a few state holdouts that refused to participate so in 2005 Congress revisited the law and moved the start date of Daylight Savings Time from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday in March. There are still some state holdouts such as Arizona, Indiana and Hawaii that don’t observe Daylight Savings Time but overall there is no more controversy over it except in my house where everyone complains of losing an hour’s worth of sleep in spring-except me. I’m happy to have more sunlight at the end of the day so can get off work and still go out in my garden and dream of what will be this gardening season.