This Sunday, March 11, marks the beginning of Daylight Savings Time for 2012, so don’t forget to “spring forward” and set your clocks one hour ahead.
How did Daylight Savings Time get started? It was first proposed in New Zealand in 1895 by an amateur entomologist named George Vernon Hudson who wanted more time in the summer months after work to collect insects. The same idea was proposed independently in London by William Willett, who wanted more daylight after work to play golf. Daylight Savings Time was used during World War I and World War II as a fuel saving measure, but it also caught on with businesses as a way to promote after-work summertime leisure activities such as shopping, baseball games, and amusement parks.
The idea behind daylight savings time is that during the summer months, when the days are longer, the daylight is more useful to most people when it occurs in the evening, rather in the early morning hours. Chickens might be happy to get up at 4 a.m., but most people are still asleep then, and the early daylight is “wasted.”
In the United States DST became standard in 1966, although it is not mandatory, and the states of Arizona and Hawaii still do not observe it. Formerly it went from the first weekend in April to the last weekend in October. In 2007 it was extended to the cover from the second weekend in March to the first in November, a change supported by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association and the National Association of Convenience Stores. So now you know who is behind Daylight Savings Time!
Posted by Nancy, who was fine with the April-October dates.