Happy Birthday, Daylight Saving Time!

Daylight Saving Time starts this weekend, and it’s also celebrating a 100th birthday to boot! Here’s some background info about Daylight Saving.

By nowproducerdave on March 9, 2018
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Daylight Saving Time, or “that evil time change that robs us of an hour of sleep” as some of us know it, is turning 100 years old this year! Happy Birthday to that! Specifically, March 19th, 1918. Wooo!….

Ahem. First things first, let’s remind you that DST “begins” and we “spring forward” on Sunday the 10th at 2am. Basically the 2 o’clock hour disappears, and we go from 1:59am straight to 3am. This causes us to lose a precious hour of sleep, giving us a weekend of only 47 hours. Ugh! However, good news if you’re working an overnight shift into Sunday morning – you get to work an hour less than usual, so there’s that.

First used to relieve the use of coal during World War I, it was actually discontinued later that year (though was still used by some states), it wasn’t until 1966 when it became officially recognized by the government once again under the “Uniform Time Act.” Today, believe it or not, the Department of Transportation officially oversees DST, since there are a lot of forms of transportation that rely on accurate time control like busses, trains, etc. The DOT says that not only does Daylight Saving Time save energy, it also makes commutes more safe, giving commuters daylight during rush hour commutes, and argue that it helps as a “crime deterrent.”

Individual states can still opt-out of using DST, and many people argue that while we may use less lighting and save energy, that energy savings is offset by the use of heating and/or air conditioning, so the “advertised” savings are moot. Hawaii and Arizona do not partake in DST, however some native american tribes in Arizona do. Florida is trying to introduce a bill that would keep DST active year-round (constantly sprung-forward), however that is “illegal” for now, but they’re trying to make the change. Another 26 states want to do the same. Right now, Florida is actually in TWO time zones, which makes things really confusing. Check out a time zone map here.

See also: Florida mail carrier refuses delivering to nudist resort.

So for now, remember to change your clocks this weekend so you don’t wake up late on Monday when your alarm clock doesn’t know the difference (though your laptops, tablets, and phones will do this automatically as usual). Also, it’s a good time to check and change the batteries in your smoke alarms and fire detectors. Check out some more info on Daylight Saving Time here.

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