How was date for Daylight Saving Time chosen? - FOX 32 News Chicago

How was date for Daylight Saving Time chosen?

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Last Sunday was painful and exhausting for most of us. That was the day our clocks moved ahead one hour as part of a yearly spring ritual. Have you ever asked yourself why we do it?

The idea behind Daylight Saving Time was to conserve energy. By moving clocks ahead 1 hour in the spring the need for man made light was lessened during the evening hours.

It was Benjamin Franklin that originally launched the idea, but it was World War I that created a concern over fuel shortages. Daylight Saving Time was a way to alleviate some of the shortages. In 1918 it became an official part of yearly schedules in the United States and much of Europe. After WW I Daylight Saving Time was ended due to protests from farmers and laborers that preferred keeping hours aligned with the natural sunrise and sunset.

In 1942 Daylight Saving Time was trotted out again as a way to save energy during WW II. After the war chaos erupted as individual states chose whether or not to continue the practice. Even within many states there were differing start and stop dates for Daylight Saving Time. The need for uniformity among states led to the appropriately named Uniform Time Act in 1966. Under the Act any state observing Daylight Saving Time must do so on pre-set dates every year. Originally the dates chosen were the first Sunday of April to start Daylight Saving Time and the last Sunday of October to end it. However, in an effort to better conserve of energy the start date was changed to the second Sunday in March and the end was changed to the first Sunday in November as part of the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which went into effect in 2007.

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