Saturday, November 3, 2007

Daylight Savings Time - Why? Why? Why?

Tomorrow morning (Sunday at 2 a.m.) it will be time to turn back your clocks an hour as part of daylight savings time. This year’s movement is one week later than years past in an effort by Congress to conserve more energy.
Whether that has been successful is a matter of debate, but it did create quite a problem in many people’s homes last week. Many residents owned electronic appliances that were automatically programmed to make the change based on the old date of changing back the last Sunday in October rather than the new one of the first Sunday in November. Trick-or-treaters certainly were safer while on the streets of the region this week as a result of the change, as it remained light longer into the evening.
Why do we even fool with changing the clocks twice a year?
The concept first dates back to Benjamin Franklin. However, it wasn’t until 1918 that Congress — under pressure from the railroad industry — approved time zones as we know them today to help the railroads eliminate timetable confusion. Daylight savings time was instituted during World War I in the United States and much of Europe as an energy saving tool. It wasn’t until 1986, however, before Congress passed legislation authorizing the establishment of daylight savings time across the United States. Even so, some locations — such as Arizona — do not follow the daylight savings time practice.
It's a topic of discussion every spring and fall with most people either loving it or hating it. Whichever way you feel about it enjoy the extra hour you’ll be gaining tomorrow morning and don't worry about it again until next spring.

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