By Tracey Squaire
This past week, clocks everywhere were set back one hour. Many people simply refer to this event as “Daylight Saving Time,” but that is a misconception. Clocks being set back an hour actually marks the end of Daylight Saving Time.
In the US, Daylight Saving Time (DST) happens during the summer to essentially give an extra hour of daylight to get things done and save money. Starting on the second Sunday in March, DST lasts all the way until the first Sunday in November.
DST was implemented during World War I, and the idea was to minimize the use of resources such as artificial lighting to save money. Germany was the first country to start using DST, but other countries soon followed.
The US first began using DST in 1918, though it wasn’t used nationwide until 1942 during World War II when a year round DST was enforced to help save money for the war effort.
Even after the war, DST was still used, and there was a lot of confusion for people because there was no nationally accepted day that DST was to start. This lasted until 1966 when Congress signed the Uniform Time Act of 1966 that made it so DST would start on the last Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of October, though individual states had the right to opt out of DST. Over the years, this date was changed several times, most recently in 2007 when the current second Sunday of March to first Sunday in November date was implemented.
Though DST is observed almost everywhere in the US, not every part of the country recognizes DST. Hawaii, some parts of Arizona and several US territories are exceptions to the rule.
DST is extremely unpopular in Arizona for many reasons, one of which is that the residents feel it is better to do things after the sun has gone down and it isn’t as hot outside, so the state operates mostly in Mountain Time. The only areas that don’t operate in this time, and which also observe DST, are the areas which hold Navajo Nation lands.
For Hawaii, DST simply does nothing for them because they are so close to the equator and have little variances in the amount of daylight that they get year round.
Whether DST still serves its original purpose by saving resources today is a topic that’s up for debate. One thing that is for sure, there are many students who are happy to have an extra hour of sleep in the morning before their classes begin!