Spring Forward Sunday

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 AM Sunday so remember to set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed Saturday night.

Daylight saving time dates back centuries. Most people say Ben Franklin invented daylight saving time, but it was actually a New Zealand entomologist named George Hudson who officially came up with the concept in 1895. Franklin is often considered the creator because of a satirical essay he wrote in a French journal in 1784. According to The Franklin Institute, his piece, “An Economical Project,” argues for the benefits of daylight hours, saying it would make Parisians more money.

Daylight saving time wasn’t introduced until Germany implemented it during World War I. The Germans thought having more daylight hours would help conserve energy. Other European countries and the United States soon adopted it as well. After the war, the practice fizzled out until it was implemented again during World War II to save fuel and resources.

Individual U.S. states continued to observe daylight saving time, but there was no standardization about when it would start and end until Congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966. The schedule was updated in 2007 when we received an extra four weeks of daylight saving time thanks to the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Today, about 70 countries observe daylight saving time. Domestically, 48 states recognize it, but Hawaii, most of Arizona, and U.S. Territories like Puerto Rico and Guam do not.

The question of whether we still should utilize daylight saving time has come up recently.

Proponents argue daylight saving time saves energy. During the eight months we implement it, we get an hour more of sunshine in the evenings, which means we use less power. Studies have also shown that when it is lighter out longer, people spend more time outside. They also spend more money, which is good for the economy. The U.S. Department of Transportation claims there is less crime during daylight saving time and it prevents traffic injuries.

Opponents have differing opinions citing studies that say there are actually more accidents, heart attacks, and other health problems in the days after standard time begins or ends. People also report feeling disoriented and unproductive. Challengers also doubt that we save any energy, or if we do it is negligible.

More states may join Hawaii and Arizona in opting out of the Uniform Time Act. However, Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott and Representative Vern Buchanan reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act, which would implement Daylight Saving Time all year.