Spring clocks forward Sunday

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 8, 2014

Mississippi residents and most United States residents will move their clocks up one hour on Sunday at 2 a.m. in observance of daylight saving time, but not everyone will be “springing forward”.

Each March and November, people become confused about when daylight saving time goes into effect and sometimes people even forget to set their clocks, which can create problems for some.

According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will not be resetting their clocks. Until 2006, Indiana didn’t observe daylight saving time. The federal government does not require DST and the decision to observe daylight saving time is up to each state legislature.

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According to a National Geographic article, at least 10 and 30 bills appear in state legislature each year to propose ending daylight saving.

According to congressional research conducted by Heidi G. Yacker, Benjamin Franklin first thought up the idea of DST in 1784 when he was Minister to France. Franklin thought resetting clocks during the time of the year when the sun rises while people were still sleeping would save French shopkeepers one million francs per year on candles.

Daylight saving was first implemented in Germany on May 1, 1916. In an effort to conserve fuel during World War I Germany began observing DST, along with the rest of Europe soon after as the war progressed, according to Yacker’s research.

Yacker also found the United States enacted a law on March 19, 1918 that not only established the observance of DST, but also established standard time zones that had been in use since 1883 in the train industry, but never formally enacted.

After the war ended in 1919, the U.S. abolished DST, but kept standard time zones. The decision to observe DST was left up to local officials until World War II. On Feb. 9, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted year-round DST, also called “War Time” until the last Sunday in September 1945. In 1946, many states adopted summer DST.

The idea of a year-round DST was enacted once again in 1974 in an effort to conserve fuel during the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ oil embargo. It began on Jan. 6, 1974 and lasted until April 17, 1975. Yacker said it was a hotly debated topic with opposition coming “from farmers and others whose hours are set by the sun rather than by a clock.” Some who opposed the bill were also concerned with children leaving school after dark. Those in favor of the bill said the benefits of increased daylight hours in the winter included time for recreation, reduced heating and lighting demands, reduced crime and a reduced number of car accidents.

Yacker said in the report, “With later sunrises and sunsets, they were unable to arrive at work on time after morning activities or participate in evening activities.”

According to the National Geographic, in 2007, DST was extended by one month. Instead of beginning the first Sunday in April and ending the last Sunday in October, DST now begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November at 2 a.m.