Daylight Saving Time

Yes it’s singular, not plural

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice to set clocks forward by one hour in the spring (“spring forward”) and set clocks back by one hour in autumn (“fall back”) to return to standard time. As a result, there is one 23-hour day in late winter or early spring and one 25-hour day in autumn.

Ancient civilizations adjusted daily schedules to the sun more flexibly than DST does, often dividing daylight into 12 hours regardless of daytime, so that each daylight hour became progressively longer during spring and shorter during autumn.

For example, the Romans kept time with water clocks that had different scales for different months of the year; at Rome’s latitude, the third hour from sunrise (hora Tertia) started at 09:02 solar time and lasted 44 minutes at the winter solstice, but at the summer solstice it started at 06:58 and lasted 75 minutes.

To give him more time to collect insects, New Zealand entomologist George Hudson proposed the first modern DST in 1898. In 1905, English builder and outdoorsman William Willett noticed people were sleeping through a good portion of the day. He was a golfer and suggested lengthening the hours on summer days. He posted a formal proposal in 1907 and Liberal Party member of parliament Robert Pearce introduced the first Daylight Saving Bill to the House of Commons on February 12, 1908.

It did not become law and Willett lobbied for passage until his death in 1915. Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada, was the first city in the world to enact DST, on July 1, 1908, followed by Orillia, Ontario. Next, the German Empire and its World War I ally Austria-Hungary started observing DST commencing April 30, 1916.

This was followed by Russia and the United States in 1918. Most countries discontinued the practice after World War I with exceptions including Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, and the United States.

Proponents of DST generally argue that it saves energy, promotes outdoor leisure activity in the evening (in summer), and is therefore good for physical and psychological health, reduces traffic accidents, reduces crime, or is good for business. DST in most of the United States starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

All the states with the exception of Arizona and Hawaii observe. Some have complained that daylight saving time permanently unhinges the natural flow of time and throws them into some odd, incredibly aggravating timeless vortex. In the past, there have actually been time change riots from college students and bar patrons angry that they were losing an extra hour of drinking time.

I hate the time change. It makes me feel awful for weeks. I actually never do really get used to it, and then we have to adjust to it again in the fall. I am very angry over the loss of early light in the spring. I used to love this time of year when the morning light came early. Now that has been taken away.

R. Wilson, from Florida wrote on a U.S. News and World Report forum

Some studies have found that daylight saving time may actually cause more traffic accidents in the following week because commuters haven’t slept as well.

I personally don’t like it in the fall, because here in Georgia there is still plenty of good weather to work outside in the evening after work but it is dark when I get home. The spring change is great, getting a lot of time to enjoy the evenings after a workday.


The Street

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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