Why do we change our clocks twice a year?

6:07 AM, Mar 8, 2010   |    comments
Monica Woods
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    It's time to "spring" forward this Sunday when we set our clocks forward  one hour, meaning the time of sunrise and sunset will be one hour later.  Many people wonder why we go through the hassle every year to change our clocks.

    Much of the early discussions regarding Daylight Saving Time (DST), were based on using energy efficiently.  This first idea came from Benjamin Franklin in 1784 when he produced an essay "An Economical Project."  In May 1916, England became the first country to adopt Daylight Saving Time to reduce coal consumption.   Longer hours of light at night meant less coal needed to heat the house.

    The United States first adopted Daylight Saving Time in 1918 during World War I to also conserve fuel.  The law was so unpopular though, it was repealed in 1919.  The law was reenacted during World War II from February 2, 1942-September 30, 1945.  From 1945-1966 there was no standard for Daylight Saving Time, however each area was allowed to decide whether they wanted to follow DST.  As you might imagine, this led to great confusion.  So on April 13, 1966, the Uniform Time Act of 1966 was passed during President Lyndon Johnson's administration.  This created a standard for Daylight Saving Time to start on the last Sunday in April and end on the last Sunday in October.

    In 1986, the Uniform Time Act of 1966 was amended during President Ronald Reagan's administration.  The Federal Law changed the starting date for Daylight Saving Time from the last to first Sunday in April.  A couple of years ago President Bush once again changed the dates.  Now we set our clocks forward one hour on the second Sunday in March and fall back one hour the first Sunday in November.



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