Interesting Facts About Daylight Saving Time: Do You Observe It?

Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time

Some people think Daylight Saving Time is the worst, while others can’t wait to use up that extra hour of sunlight we’re able to get. Whether you savor the extra sunlight in the summer or dread the jarring time jump, Daylight Saving Time is inevitable (at least in most parts of the country).
Daylight saving time (abbreviated DST), commonly referred to as daylight savings time in speech, and known as summer time in some countries, is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months so that evening daylight lasts longer, while sacrificing normal sunrise times. Typically, regions that use daylight saving time adjust clocks forward one hour close to the start of spring and adjust them backward in the autumn to standard time.
DST is generally not observed near the equator, where sunrise times do not vary enough to justify it. Some countries observe it only in some regions; for example, southern Brazil observes it while equatorial Brazil does not. Only a minority of the world’s population uses DST, because Asia and Africa generally do not observe it.
DST clock shifts sometimes complicate timekeeping and can disrupt travel, billing, record keeping, medical devices, heavy equipment, and sleep patterns. Computer software often adjusts clocks automatically, but policy changes by various jurisdictions of DST dates and timings may be confusing.
Without further ado, let’s now look at some interesting facts about Daylight Saving Time.
1. When President Wilson signed daylight saving time into law during WW I, it was commonly called “fast time.” During WW II, when it was again put in force after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, it was called “War Time.”
2. In September 1999, daylight saving time helped prevent a terrorist bombing. When West Bank terrorists failed to realize that Israel had switched back to standard time, their bombs exploded an hour too early—killing three terrorists instead of the intended victims.
3. In the United States, daylight saving time is not observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and Arizona (with the exception of the state’s Navajo Nation).
4. The barbecue industry strongly supports daylight saving time because it time change creates an extra $100 million in sales of grills and charcoal briquettes.
5. Contrary to common belief, Germany was not the first to implement daylight saving time. The first was Nova Scotia and Winnipeg in Canada on April 23, 1916, one week before Germany.
6. In 1987, Chile delayed daylight saving time to accommodate a visit from the Pope. Chile also delayed switching the time in 1990 for a presidential inauguration.
7. Globally, about one-quarter of people in approximately 70 countries around the world implement daylight saving time, though different countries change their clocks at different times. The only major industrialized countries that do not observe DST are Japan, India, and China.
8. In Antarctica, there is no daylight in the winter months and there is 24-hour daylight in the summer; however, researcher stations there still observe daylight saving to coincide with their supply stations in New Zealand or Chile.
9. Daylight saving time was first enacted in Europe during World War I. Germany and Austria moved their clocks forward one hour between April 30th and October 1st to conserve fuel. The UK and several other European countries soon followed suit.
10. William Willett (1856-1915), an early-rising Englishman, was the first to propose to the English parliament a type of daylight saving time. Rather than setting the clocks an hour all at once, he suggested setting the clocks forward in 20-minute increments over 4 Sundays in April and back in 20-minute increments over 4 Sundays in September. His proposal was rejected.
11. The correct spelling is daylight saving time and not daylight savings time, as is commonly believed. “Saving” is used as a participle and not as a possessive.
12. Daylight saving was chosen to start at 2:00 a.m. because it is when the fewest trains were running, and it prevents the date from switching to yesterday. Additionally, 2:00 a.m. is before most shift workers leave for work, and it causes minimal disruption to bars, which close at 1:59 a.m.
13. In the United States, daylight saving time begins at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and ends at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday in November.
14. During the 1950s and 60s, each U.S. region could begin and end daylight saving time whenever they wanted. Due to widespread chaos, Congress passed the Uniform Time act of 1966, which created a standard time.

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