History of Daylight Saving Time

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

With daylight already shorter, it is that time of year again, to turn our clocks back an hour on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 2 a.m.

According to www.livescience.com in the article ‘Who Started Daylight Saving Time?’, Benjamin Franklin originated the idea of adjusting the clocks in the spring and fall by an hour in his essay published in the Journal de Paris in April 1784, “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light.”

New Zealand scientist George Vernon Hudson presented the idea to Wellington Philosophical Society in a paper about implementing a two-hour shift of time forward in October and shift back in March. Then in 1905, Englishman William Willett presented the idea that the United Kingdom should move clocks forward by 80 minutes for the months of April through October so many people could enjoy more sunlight. According to www.history.com, in 1905, Willett had this “epiphany” while riding horseback one early morning on the outskirts of London. He published a brochure, “The Waste of Daylight” in 1907 and spent much of his “personal fortune evangelizing with missionary zeal for the adoption of “summertime.” However, this was not accepted by British Parliament and Willett never saw his idea come to pass by his death at the age of 58 in 1915.

According to www.timeanddate.com, daylight saving time was first used in Canada on July 1, 1908, when “residents of Port Arthur, Ontario, today’s Thunder Bay, turned their clocks forward by one hour to start the world’s first DST period.”

Efforts to conserve the use of fuel during World War I was what initially led Germany and Austria to implement daylight saving time on April 30, 1916. Just a few weeks later, other countries including the United Kingdom and France enacted the practice.

Many believe daylight saving time is to help benefit farmers in the United States. However, many in the agriculture industry were against implementing daylight-saving, which was enacted on March 31, 1918 due to wartime. This was disruptive to farmers as their schedules relied on the sun.

Most of the United States implements the use of daylight saving time except for Hawaii and Arizona. However, the Navajo Nation that covers the northeastern portion of Arizona does, while the Hopi Reservation, which resides in the Navajo Nation does not observe DST.

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