We will “lose” something early on next Sunday morning. That is something very dear to most of us. We will “lose” an hour set aside by most for some great sleeping.
Day Light Savings time starts for this year on March 10 It will run this year until Nov. 3. To help us remember what’s happening, we learned years ago “We spring forward in the spring and fall back in the fall.” While that may help us remember which way to set our clocks, the saying it is not totally true.
Be honest now, come next Sunday morning when that alarm goes off an hour earlier you may not “spring” awake as you did the Sunday before. It takes a while to get used to losing an hour each Spring. The start and end of Day Light Savings Time are set by the U.S. Department of Transportation, but each state determines whether they are going to follow it. Arizona and Hawaii elected out. The last state to elect it was Indiana. None of the territories elect to participate.
While I really don’t want to change the time, I must say it is best, in this case, to go with the majority. Can you remember when most states in our part of the country did not change to Day Light Savings Time? We had to learn a whole new schedule for the summer, and many would miss the evening news because is came on so early.
About seventy nations in the world have some form of Day Light Savings Time, though the ending and starting dates vary some between these nations. Most of Asia including China and Japan do not participate. China already has only national time where we would have five in that same amount of area. The last time Russia observed Day Light Savings time as in the fall of 2010. Most of Africa and South America do not observe Day Light Saving Time.
Some will say the Father of Daylight Savings Time was Benjamin Franklin. This is based on a letter he mailed to a magazine in Paris, while in 1784 he was serving as our ambassador to France. The letter entitled “Economic Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” simply suggested if everybody got up an hour earlier and went to bed an hour earlier, they would save on the use of candles. There was no mention of adjusting the clocks. Much less the government being involved to force that “savings.”
It seems the first use of Day Light Savings Time was in northern Ontario, in a called Thunder Bay. The year as 1908. Soon some other part of Canada followed the example. On a boarder stage, during World War I, Germany and Austria introduced in the spring of 1916 Day Light Savings in the hopes of saving energy. The United Kingdom and France followed their example
It was 1918 Daylight Savings was introduced in our nation. It was so unpopular it only lasted one year. It was brought back during World War Two and officially ended in 1945. It continued in a few states and cities. The need to be uniform was dealt with in the early sixties. It was adopted in most of the nation in the early seventies.
Let me suggest, if Daylight Savings Time really does save energy, and helps certain industries. If you enjoy that “extra” daylight at the end of the day, why change back? I for one would give up that hour I lost in the spring and never go through the change again.
We will never be sure of all the plus and minuses of this twice a year change. But come next Sunday morning when we feel the effect of losing an hour of sleep, most of us will have an opinion. I will never forget when someone called one of the talk radio stations in Atlanta the summer when we first observed Day Light Saving time and complained that hour of extra sunlight was “burning” up their garden. Whoever said the idea was logical?
Indiana, the last states to adopt Daylight Savings Time, found the use of electricity went up. There is an increase in Automobile accidents at both the beginning and ending of Day Light Savings Time. There also health issues that come from adjusting our sleep patterns as well. The issue seems mostly to be in the beginning and end of Daylight Savings Time. Again, I would suggest we just give up that hour next week but act quickly as a nation just of let it go and let the adjusted time become the new “standard” time year around.
B. Wiley Stephens is a retired United Methodist Minister and author who now resides in Covington.