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Concept Behind Daylight Savings Time

Kathy Whyte

Set your clocks ahead when you go to bed. But what’s behind the idea of Daylight Savings Time?

Remember it’s spring forward and fall back. It’s a good idea to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors too.

The most important thing to remember is, you don’t need to stay awake until 2 am to make these changes. You may laugh but I have a friend that used to stay awake until 2 am because she thought that’s what you were supposed to do.

She claims that’s what she thought as a child.  My question is, if you were a child, then who let you stay up til 2am? I’m just saying.

The whole concept of Daylight Saving Time is thought to have begun with Benjamin Franklin. He wrote a letter to a French journal in 1774.

He said that they could save money by waking up earlier during the summer because it would prevent them from having to buy so many candles to light the evening hours.

In the US, it really didn’t start until WWI, when Congress decided t give the idea a try in 1918 in an effort to save energy.

They passed the law in the same act that created standard time zones, but it wasn’t popular and was repealed the following year.

In 1942, during the next big war, President Franklin Roosevelt tried out a concept he called “War Time,” which set the clocks permanently an hour earlier all-year round to save energy.

After the war ended in 1945, most of the states adopted a summer-only time change.

So it was created to save energy. According to the NY Times, the opposite might be true. Because of air conditioning, we supposedly us 1% more electricity during Daylight Savings.

[via Time and Date.comNY Times]


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