Spring forward this Sunday

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 7, 2015

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday at 2 a.m., which means it’s time to set clocks forward by one hour again.

DST is a period of the year when time springs forward an hour ahead in an effort to provide more sunlight hours during the seasons of spring and summer, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Currently, most of the country and its territories observe it, except Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and most of the state of Arizona, according to NIST.

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Alaska might be another U.S. state to opt out.

Tuesday, a senate committee advanced legislation to eliminate the practice in Alaska, according to Alaska Dispatch News.

The news source reported that the bill would exempt residents from moving their clocks forward each spring and includes consideration to move all or parts of Alaska to Pacific time.

However, most U.S. states, including Mississippi, will observe DST, which the U.S. first adopted in 1918.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Daylight Saving Time was initiated in 1918 as an “act to preserve daylight and provide standard time for the U.S.”

Since then, DST has been repealed, readopted and amended various times.

After World War I, the act became unpopular because people normally woke up and went to bed earlier. The law was repealed in 1919, according to webexhibits.com

The website reported that DST was optional until World War II began. Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted a year-round daylight saving time called war time, which lasted until 1945.

From 1945 to 1966, the observance of DST became optional again, which caused confusion since different regions of the country were running on different times, the website reported.

In the 1960s, the Uniform Time Act established a system of standard time across the country but allowed states to exempt themselves from observing DST, according to the website.

Over the years, the law has been revised to become the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The act, which went into practice in 2007, created the version of Daylight Saving Time currently used. Under the act, DST begins at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March and ends at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of Nov., according to the site.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s website offered several reasons why DST is observed:

—Since the sun sets an hour later, it lowers the need to use electricity in the household, which saves energy.

—It saves lives and prevents car accidents due to the extra hour of sunlight.

—It reduces crime since most people are out doing their errands during the daylight instead of at nighttime.

On Nov. 1., clocks fall back an hour.