Welcome to the Shortest Weekend of the Year!

by Austin Bank 8. March 2013 16:13

Great news, right? Well, some might consider it so.
 
Most of the United States begins Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March. This year, that falls on Sunday, March 10. The majority of people will change their clocks on Saturday evening before they go to bed, but you could wait and do it Sunday morning as well.
 
During DST, clocks are turned forward an hour, effectively moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. Daylight Saving Time (and not Daylight Savings Time with an "s") wasn't just created to confuse our schedules.
 

History of Daylight Saving Time:
 
Daylight Saving Time was instituted in the United States during World War I in order to save energy for war production by taking advantage of the later hours of daylight between April and October. During World War II the federal government again required the states to observe the time change. Between the wars and after World War II, states and communities chose whether or not to observe Daylight Saving Time. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the length of Daylight Saving Time.
 

Interesting Facts:

 

  • The first American to advocate for daylight saving was Benjamin Franklin. He realized in 1784 that many people burned candles at night yet slept past dawn in the summer, wasting early-morning sunlight.

 

  • During the eight-month period of Daylight Saving Time, the names of time in each of the time zones in the U.S. change as well. Eastern Standard Time (EST) becomes Eastern Daylight Time, Central Standard Time (CST) becomes Central Daylight Time (CDT), Mountain Standard Time (MST) becomes Mountain Daylight Time (MDT), Pacific Standard Time becomes Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), and so forth.

 

  • Daylight Saving Time is four weeks longer since 2007 due to the passage of the Energy Policy Act in 2005. The Act extended Daylight Saving Time by four weeks from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November, with the hope that it would save 10,000 barrels of oil each day through reduced use of power by businesses during daylight hours. Unfortunately, it is exceedingly difficult to determine energy savings from Daylight Saving Time and based on a variety of factors, it is possible that little or no energy is saved by Daylight Saving Time.

 

  • Arizona (except some Indian Reservations), Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa have chosen not to observe Daylight Saving Time. This choice does make sense for the areas closer to the equator because the days are more consistent in length throughout the year.

 

  • Kyrgyzstan and Iceland are the only countries that observe year-round Daylight Saving Time.

 

  • In 2005, Kazakhstan abolished daylight saving time, citing negative health effects. The country's government reportedly calculated that 51.6 percent of Kazakhs responded badly to the time change.

 

  • People are safer drivers during daylight hours, and researchers have found that DST reduces lethal car crashes and pedestrian strikes. In fact, a study concluded that observing DST year-round would annually prevent about 195 deaths of motor vehicle occupants and about 171 pedestrian fatalities.

 

  • The effect of DST on energy use has changed over time and varies from place to place. Experts even disagree on whether DST still saves the nation energy. But so many people like to "spring forward" that it might be hard for officials to end the tradition, even if they determined it's wasteful.
     


What about you? Are you excited about the time change and the extended daylight in the evening hours, or would you prefer things stay as they are? We’d love to hear your comments.
 


** And, take advantage of this time of year (and the change in the fall) to change the batteries in your smoke detectors. **

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