Daylight Savings Time began in Germany during World War I. It was officially instituted on May 1, 1916, in an effort to conserve fuel. The rest of Europe followed Germany’s move. The United States adopted the plan on March 19, 1918 when it enacted the Standard Time Act. Congress, however, abolished Daylight Savings Time after the war. DST continued to be observed by some states until the beginning of World War II. In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt announced a year-round Daylight Savings Time called War Time, which lasted until September 1945.
After the war, some states continued with DST until the Uniform Time Act of 1966 mandated the establishment of time zones and provided for Daylight Savings Time during summer only. During OPEC’s oil embargo in 1973, Congress tried to reinstate a year-round DST. It received so much opposition, however, that the nation returned to summer-only DST.
Benefits of Daylight Savings
With the adoption of Daylight Savings Time, we humans try to make our lives conform to the sun’s patterns. DST maximizes our daylight hours, giving us more time to spend outside. This can provide health benefits because it often encourages us to be more active rather than simply staying cooped up inside our homes.
Daylight Savings Time can also boost the economy, especially when it comes to the sell of products associated with outdoor activities and sporting equipment. The increased amount of daytime hours facilitated by DST also contributes to a reduction of crime rates and traffic accidents, both of which occur more when it is dark.
The Perks of Daylight Savings Time
DST covers eight months of the year. It allows us to go outside after school or work and take in natural light rather than staying inside and conducting activities with artificial light. Some people may argue that we use less energy during DST, but that is debatable. While it’s true that we may save energy in the early evenings because the sun stays out later, DST also means that the mornings are darker. Thus, people may need artificial light to offset the dimness of the early hours.
Even still, coming home from a long day of work and still being able to enjoy a barbecue or a walk in the sunset are just a couple perks that make Daylight Savings a valued tradition for many.
All Good Things Must End
As DST comes to a close for the fall and winter months, enjoy the last gasps of the light evenings, and find consolation in the fact that you’re about to get a bonus hour of sleep. At 2 a.m. on November 6, set your clock back to 1 a.m. and enjoy a little extra rest.