The history of Daylight Savings Time is confusing and well, messy. Much ink has been spilled in arguments for and against the practice from its first implementation in the early 1900s to the present day, where some states are doing away with the practice entirely.
To make things even more complicated, how do we know if our smartphones updated the time? Is it automatic? Help! We might need a sundial to figure it out!
With Daylight Savings just around the corner and all this confusion, why do we continue to “Fall Back” and “Spring Forward”?
Hit Us With the History, Brainiac!
The history of Daylight Savings is confusing, even for the most studious of investigators, but here are some of the most important moments in the life of Daylight Savings:
- To conserve fuel needed for producing electric power during World War I, Germany and Austria set the clock forward at 11 PM on August 30, 1916. They really needed fuel for those tanks, and soon many other European countries followed suit.
- In 1918, the United States adopted the law, but only for two years. It was so unpopular with the people, who rose and slept earlier than we do these days, the policy was repealed at the end of the war. Phew!
- But the timeline doesn’t end there. Along came World War II, and Franklin Roosevelt reinstituted the policy from 1942-1945, again to conserve energy and fuel needed for the boys on the front lines.
- Confused yet? Everyone was. From 1945-1966, states and localities could decide whether or not they wanted to observe Daylight Savings, which was chaos for train schedules, radio stations, and anyone trying to catch The Bing Crosby Show.
- To end the time mania, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into legislation the Uniform Time Act of 1966, but farmers weren’t too happy with this. States in two or more time zones could opt out of the practice, so really this law only helped to muddy the time waters further.
- If your head wasn’t already spinning, in 1974, President Richard Nixon signed into law Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act of 1973, which attempted to set official dates and times for Daylight Savings, but oh no, the story doesn’t end here!
- Congressional amendments also came around in 1986 and again in 2005. Effective in 2007, what we now know as Daylight Savings Time went into effect. It begins at 2:00 AM on the second Sunday in March and ends at 2:00 AM on the first Sunday in November. Makes perfect sense, right?
The argument over Daylight Savings still continues. For businesses, they appreciate the extra hour of daylight when customers are more likely to come to their stores. For parents, they might not like the idea of their kids running to catch the bus in the darkness of the early morning. For most people, it seems they’re just tired of the darn flipping back and forth twice a year! Fortunately, whether we’re in Daylight Savings Time or not, Southtree is always working hard to produce high-quality digital files from your analog media. No matter the time change, we’ve got you covered!