Mar 4, 2009

Spring Foward.....Fall Back

I thought I might do a small series of posts dealing with time, calendars and seasons so here is the first post, today I picked Daylight Savings Time....

Whether or not we notice it, the schedule of our life is affected by the movements of the earth, moon, and sun. In ancient Rome a priest observed the sky and announced a new moon cycle to the king. For centuries afterward, Romans referred to the first day of each new month as Kalends, (which means "to proclaim”).

This coming weekend it is time to set the clocks ahead for Daylight Saving Time which gives us the chance to enjoy sunny summer evenings. ( in my neck of the woods I really hope we have a sunny summer because the usual rain we're prone to getting is really dreary!) Yet, the beginning of Daylight Saving Time has been riddled with controversy since Benjamin Franklin first thought of the idea.

Even today different areas and countries routinely change their approaches to Daylight Saving Time.Most of the United States begins Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November. In the U.S., each time zone switches at a different time.

As I mentioned earlier, Benjamin Franklin first suggested Daylight Saving Time in 1784 but the thought was rejected until 1916 when it was adopted by several counties in Europe that initially rejected the idea.... at that time an effort to conserve fuel was needed to produce electric power and Germany and Austria took time by the forelock, and began saving daylight at 11:00 p.m. on April 30, 1916, by advancing the hands of the clock one hour until the following October. Daylight saving time was observed nationally again during World War II, but was not uniformly practiced after the war's end.

Finally, in 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the start and end dates for daylight saving time but allowed individual states to remain on standard time if their legislatures allowed it.

I had never thought that much about Daylight Savings Time but it was very interesting to re-learn what it was all about. It seems that the little events that go unnoticed by us in our hectic everyday lives are the events that shape those busy lives too. So, don't forget this weekend to set your clocks foward or you might end up out of sync with those around you.

1 comment:

Celestite said...

I have to say that I hate the whole daylight savings thing. Changing the household schedule upsets the animals for weeks, in this part of the country we don't need more summer hours of light, we wait for the sun to go down to enjoy the evening. And it seems intended to make sure that your internal clock is always in chaos. :-(
I do this rant twice a year. :-)