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The History of Day Light Saving Time


The recent time change has had me wondering how Day Light Saving Time(DST) started and why it still exists today.  DST began in World War I as a means to conserve fuel needed to produce electricity.  The war put a strain on many countries so by moving time, it allowed for more daylight and less time that electricity needed to be used.  Germany and Austria are credited with starting DST on April 30, 1916, and were soon followed by the rest of the world.  The United States formally adopted DST in 1918 but was so unpopular after the war ended that it was repealed in 1919 but remained a local option.  A few states continued to use DST such as New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.  During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt instituted year-round Daylight Saving Time, called "War Time," from February 9, 1942 to September 30, 1945.  From 1945 to 1966, there was no federal law regarding Daylight Saving Time, so states and localities were free to choose whether or not to observe Daylight Saving Time and could choose when it began and ended. This caused confusion, especially for the broadcasting industry, railways, airlines, and bus companies. Because of the different local customs and laws, radio and TV stations and the transportation companies had to publish new schedules every time a state or town began or ended Daylight Saving Time.  

The Uniform Time Act of 1966 established a system of uniform (within each time zone) Daylight Saving Time throughout the U.S. and its possessions, exempting only those states in which the legislatures voted to keep the entire state on standard time.  In 1972, Congress revised the law to provide that, if a state was in two or more time zones, the state could exempt the part of the state that was in one time zone while providing that the part of the state in a different time zone would observe Daylight Saving Time. The Federal law was amended in 1986 to begin Daylight Saving Time on the first Sunday in April.  Under legislation enacted in 1986, Daylight Saving Time in the U.S. began at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of April and ended at 2:00 a.m. on the last Sunday of October.  

 

Today's Day Light Saving Time: begins at 2AM on the second Sunday of March and ends at 2AM on the first Sunday of November.

 

Source:

http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/e.html By Dillon Landfried - Nov 6, 2019

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