A familiar part of the fall season is turning the clocks back by one hour. Who doesn’t enjoy getting that extra hour of sleep! On Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 it was time again to fall back.
How did Daylight Savings Time originate?
The idea was first proposed by New Zealand scientist George Vernon Hudson in 1895 after he presented a research report to Wellington Philosophical Society proposing a two hour shift forward in October and a two hour shift back in March. The idea was met with interest, but nothing materialized. In 1905, William Willet, a British builder proposed setting clocks ahead by 20 minutes on each of the four Sundays in April, then setting them back by 20 minutes on each of the four Sundays in October, a total of eight times changes a year! Willet submitted a daylight savings bill to the House of Commons in February 1908, but the bill was opposed.
On July 1, 1908, residents in Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada turned their clocks ahead by one hour to start a daylight savings plan for the very first time. In May, 1916 Germany and Austria were the first two countries to utilize a daylight savings plan. The rationale was to minimize the use of artificial light to save fuel for the war efforts during World War I. The United Kingdom, France, and several other countries abroad followed with the plan.
The United States started what was known as "Fast Time" in 1918, initiated by Pittsburg industrialist Robert Garland. Some U.S. cities rejected the idea at first.
In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt reintroduced the idea as "War Time Daylight Savings," which became effective Feb. 9, 1942 through Sept. 30, 1945. It was during this period that the "Eastern, Mountain, Central, and Pacific War Times" were started. In August of 1945 the time zones were re-labeled as "Eastern, Mountain, Central, and Pacific Peace Time."
From 1945-1966 there was no uniform rules for the Daylight Savings Time plan. This caused much confusion, mainly with the transportation and broadcasting services. The Uniform Act of 1966 later resolved the issue, and was established as a frame work for a national synchronized schedule for Daylight Savings.
This became the plan for springing ahead by one hour the last Sunday in April, and falling back by one hour the last Sunday on October.