Daylight Saving Time
In 1908, Port Arthur, now known as Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada, was the first place to use Daylight Saving Time. However, during World War I, Germany was the first country to use the concept of turning the clocks ahead an hour in the spring, in order to conserve energy and to save on artificial lighting. President Woodrow Wilson also adopted the time change during World War I and then abolished it after the war was over. However some cities such as New York, Boston and Pittsburgh kept the time change.
In 1942, during World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented the time change again. This time the year round time change was called war time and the time zones in the United States were changed to Eastern War Time, Central War Time, Mountain War Time, and Pacific War Time. They stayed this way until 1945 when the war ended. After Japan had surrendered, the time zone names were changed to peace time.
Between the years of 1945 and 1966, there was no set time for the time change and this caused havoc in the transportation and broadcast industries so in 1966 the Uniform Time Act was enacted by Congress in which Daylight Saving Time would begin on the last Sunday in April and end on the last Sunday in October but states were allowed to be exempt from the time change by passing an ordinance, if they chose to do so.
The DST schedule in the United States changed several times over the years after the energy crisis in 1976. From 1987 until 2006, the United States observed DST for seven months. In 2005, the Energy Policy Act was put in place in the US and this extended Daylight Saving Time by one month. This gives us the schedule of DST beginning on the second Sunday in March and ending on the first Sunday in November.
Contrary to popular belief, Benjamin Franklin did not come up with the idea of the time change and it was not created for the farmers in the US. As a matter of fact, the farmers hate the time change. It is the sun, not the clock, which the farmers go to work by and the time change is very unsettling to them. They now have to wait an extra hour for the morning dew to burn off of the hay, farm hands work less time because they still go home to dinner at the same time and cows are not ready to be milked an hour earlier to keep up with delivery schedules. As a matter of fact, it was retail outlets and recreational businesses that have advocated for Daylight Saving Time and one more fact is that the word saving, in Daylight Saving Time is an adjective and not a verb so there is no “s” on the end of the word.
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