It’s Almost Time to “Fall Back” November 2nd

 

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Looking forward to gaining an extra hour of shuteye this weekend? We bet you are! Gloomy that the days are going to be shorter? We bet you are? Did it ever cross your mind as to why this occurs? Daylight Saving Time (DST) is a change in the standard time with the objective of conserving energy and making better use of daylight. Daylight saving time or summer time is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months so that people get up earlier in the morning and experience more daylight in the evening, enhancing their enjoyment of the season. Typically, users of DST adjust clocks forward one hour near the start of spring and adjust them backward in the autumn. Most of the United States begins Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 am on the second Sunday in March and reverts to Standard time this Sunday, November 2nd.

Although DST has only been used for about 100 years, the idea was conceived many years before. Ancient civilizations are known to have engaged in a practice similar to modern DST where they would alter their daily schedules to the sun’s schedule. For example, the Roman water clocks used various scales for different months of the year.

Benjamin Franklin, American inventor and politician, is often credited with being the pioneer of DST, even though it was never put into practice in his lifetime. In his 1784 essay “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” he introduced the idea, although a little jokingly, to economize the use of candles by getting people out of bed earlier in the morning, making use of the natural morning light instead.

The DST schedule in the U.S. has been amended several times throughout the years. From 1987 to 2006, the country observed DST for about seven months each year. The current schedule was introduced in 2007 and follows the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which extended the period by about one month. Currently, most of the United States observes DST. The implementation of this new schedule provides trick-or-treaters more daylight during the holiday and therefore increases safety. For decades, candy manufacturers lobbied for a Daylight Saving Time extension to Halloween, as many of the young trick-or-treaters gathering candy are not allowed out after dark, and thus an added hour of light means a big treat for the candy industry. Anecdotally, the 2007 switch may not have had much effect, as it appeared that children simply waited until nightfall to go trick-or-treating.

“Fall back” November 2nd at 2am.

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