Other claims point to Benjamin Franklin founding the idea of setting the clocks back in the spring and forward in the fall, to make for better use of the shortening of the day during the winter months and longer days during the spring, by rising earlier as the sun does.
However, the facts show there is one true reason. According to Ian R. Bartky and Elizabeth Harrison: “Standard and Daylight-saving Time,” the credit belongs to scientists.
“… In the 1870’s scientific pursuits requiring simultaneous observations from scattered points became important and those needs led to proposals for federal action in the early 1880’s,” said Bartky and Harrison. “In response to these pressures from scientists, railroad superintendents and managers implemented a standard time system on Nov. 18, 1883, a system tailored to their companies’ train schedules… As the railroads introduced standard time, most American cities collaborated, passing ordinances that shifted their civil times to the new system.”
According “Daylight Saving Time,” by Fred Espenak from the National Aeronautical Space Administration’s (NASA) website, DST was signed into action by President Lyndon Johnson in 1966, after DST was used during World War I.
“Daylight Saving Time has been in use throughout much of the United States, Canada and Europe since World War I,” said Espenak. “In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed an act into law whereby Daylight Saving Time begins on the last Sunday of April and ends on the last Sunday of October each year.”
DST litigation has transformed several times to make it what it is today. Although some states in the United States still do not recognize DST.
“US Federal law was amended in 1986 to begin Daylight Saving Time on the first Sunday in April: Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of April, Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. on the last Sunday of October,” said Espenak.
“In 2005, President Bush signed into law a new energy policy bill that would extend Daylight Saving Time by 4 weeks beginning in 2007: Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March, and Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November,” he said.
Though DST today begins on the second Sunday in March, a few states will not observe the time change.
“Hawaii does not observe Daylight Saving Time and neither does Arizona (although the Navajo Nation, in northeastern Arizona, does),” said Espenak.
Set your clocks ahead one hour before going to bed Saturday night, unless you want to go to work an hour earlier than everyone else.