We’ve all been ‘springing forward’ and ‘falling back’ for some time now and most of us know that it takes place twice a year, in March and November, for the purpose of making the best use out of our daylight hours. But, when did this practice begin, how and who participates?
Here are the facts on Daylight Savings Time:
1. DST was first observed by Germany in 1916 as part of an initiative to conserve coal during WWI. Britain and many other European countries followed suit not soon after, followed by North America in 1918.
2. After the war ended, most countries ceased the practice of DST until the 1970’s during the energy crisis. Following the oil embargo of 1973, the US government imposed DST once again in 1974 in an effort to reduce public energy consumption.
3. If you don’t like springing forward and falling back, move to Arizona. DST is not mandated by Federal Law, so the state decided to skip it.
4. Internationally, 70 countries practice DST--that means 60% of all the countries in the world don’t, including China and Japan.
5. The reason it starts at 2:00 AM (rather than at the stroke of midnight, as some may expect) is to make it as minimally disruptive as possible. The idea is that most of us would be asleep at 2:00 AM and not notice the change until we wake up.
6. The candy industry lobbied to have DST moved from the end of October (before Halloween) to after Halloween, and won! A law moving DST to early November went into effect in 2007.
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