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TOPIC: Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time 09 Mar 2015 13:05 #1

  • annabelle
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It is said that daylight savings was originally the idea of Benjamin Franklin, the Founding Father himself, when he mentioned the idea in a letter he sent from Paris in 1784. In this letter, Franklin claimed that Paris would save 128 million candlelight hours in one season if people just woke up earlier.

Franklin stated, “If I had not been awakened so early in the morning, I should have slept six hours longer by the light of the sun, and in exchange have lived six hours the following night by candlelight; the latter being a much more expensive light than the former.”

This theory was presented once again in 1907 by William Willett, who published a pamphlet in England titled “The Waste of Daylight.” In this article he went on to calculate that over 4 million (converted to US dollars, just over 94 million when adjusted for inflation), would be saved in lighting costs if the clocks were shifted to align with the daylight.

Although it was introduced by Franklin and Willett in the 1700’s, it wasn’t officially used until World War II by Germany and the German axis to conserve coal. The United States and European nations adopted the idea soon after when they realized the great positive energy saving outcomes.

In August of 2005, President Bush signed into law the Energy Policy Act of 2005, a broad energy bill that extended daylight saving time by four weeks beginning in 2007. This bill required that daylight savings would begin three weeks earlier in March, and end a week later in November.

While polls indicated that most citizens supported the bill and extension of daylight saving, there were an array of opposers from the moment the bill was introduced. School systems feared that students would be waiting for the bus outside in darkness, and the airline industry suffered financial losses of millions of dollars when they had to change their flight schedules.

There were, however, incontestable benefits, and businesses that supported the change included many outdoor businesses such as theme parks and golf courses.

Although there were many supporters, there were a number of conspiracy theorists that believed daylight saving time, and especially the Energy Policy Act of 2005 have ulterior motives and that the only real goal of the practice is to make more money for businesses that have made deals with the government.

In addition to saving lighting costs, in present times daylight savings is greatly supported by big business in the United States. When Congress was considering repeal in 1919, the owner of the toothpaste company Colgate, testified to keep saving time because of the adjusted schedule which saved factories significant amounts of money.

Wall Street also prospers from the time change; so much that when it was repealed, New York City kept the saving time anyway, mainly so it would not be another hour behind the London stock exchange.

Experts have been coming out saying that many of them don’t believe that daylight savings time even saves the United States energy anymore. There is no question, however, about whether or not it saves businesses and factories money, it definitely does and has for a very long time.

While the main reason for daylight savings time has always been said to make good use of daylight and to save energy, another big reason behind it relates to the government’s connections with big corporations that benefit financially from the time change. After a little research and thought on this complicated, ever-growing conspiracy, no matter what your opinion on the subject is, your mind will likely be contemplating the possibility as spring daylight savings time approaches.


1. The United States wasn't the first country to observe daylight saving time.

Benjamin Franklin is credited with first proposing the concept of daylight saving time in 1784. In an essay called "An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light," Franklin said the change would save, "a considerable number of candles." According to Time and Date, Germany was the first country to implement it during World War I on April 30, 1916.

2. In March, more than 70 countries will switch to daylight saving time, but not on the same date.

Territories and states of these countries might also differ on the date when daylight saving time begins. More than 160 countries around the world don't observe daylight saving time at all.

3. This topic has caused riots in Russia.

The country has changed its stance on daylight saving time several times since January 2011. President Vladimir Putin returned the country to standard time in October 2014.

4. It's federal law.

» Daylight saving time, or "fast time" as it was previously called, was first introduced to the U.S. in 1918 when President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law to support the World War I effort. The seasonal time change was repealed seven months later.

» Robert Garland, a Pittsburgh industrialist, is considered the father of daylight saving time in the U.S., after he encountered the idea in the United Kingdom.

» President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted year-round daylight saving time in the U.S. in 1942.

» It wasn't until the Uniform Time Act of 1966, however, that it was decided the U.S. would observe daylight saving time from the last Sunday of April to last Sunday of October. (States could exempt themselves from this rule.)

» Congress extended the daylight saving time period to 10 months in 1974 and eight months in 1975, in hopes to save energy following the 1973 oil embargo.

» Further changes to the federal law were made in the 1970s and 1980s.

» The Energy Policy Act of 2005, signed into law on Aug 8, 2005, states daylight saving time begins the second Sunday in March and ends the first Sunday in November. Parts of Canada have also adopted the same change.

5. A few parts of the U.S. and its territories don't change time.

Arizona (except for the Navajo Nation), Hawaii, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands don't recognize daylight saving time.

6. Several others are trying to repeal daylight saving time.

Alaska: A state Senate committee has advanced a bill that would not just eliminate daylight saving time, but also add another time zone to the state. Most of Alaska is on one time zone, although the far western end of the state is in the Hawaii-Aleutian time zone, which is one hour behind the rest of the state.

Idaho: State House Majority Leader Mike Moyle plans to withdraw a bill he proposed that would have put Idaho on daylight saving time all year because it's against federal law. States have two daylight saving time options: stick with standard time year-round or change to daylight saving time in March. Yet, the federal government does allow some states to exempt themselves from time changes.

New Mexico: A bill has advanced to the state's Senate Judiciary Committee that would keep the state on daylight saving time year-round.


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