As we all struggle with the end of daylight savings, I decided to look back in history to see who’s bright idea it was in the first place. Congratulations Benjamin Franklin, for taking the honor (in most cases blame) for daylight savings time! He had good intentions, he conjured up DST in order to conserve energy during the summer months. Longer daylight hours would mean less energy on lighting. He wrote a witty letter to the Journal of Paris exclaiming his discovery of the sun provides light as soon as it rises.
Much to Ben’s dismay, DST didn’t officially begin until more than a century later. Germany was the first, in May 1916 to establish daylight savings time to conserve fuel during World War I. The rest of Europe followed suit shortly thereafter and the United States adopted DST in 1918. After the war, President Woodrow Wilson wanted to keep daylight savings, but most of the US was rural, representing farming and the farmers objected to losing an hour of sunlight in the morning.
It wasn’t until World War II when President Roosevelt denoted DST year round and called it ‘War Time’. After the war, states and towns were then given a choice to observe daylight savings and complete chaos arose. Eventually, in 1966 the Uniform Time Act was established and the states that did not wish to observe daylight savings time, needed to follow a uniform time protocol throughout their state.
Finally, in 2007, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 went into effect expanding the length of daylight savings time to the present timing and consistent timing across the US. Now that we have a little history to back up this time change that wreaks havoc on our lives twice a year, here are some interesting facts:
- Did you know fewer than 40% of the world’s countries observe daylight savings time?
- Heart attacks increase by 24% on the Monday following the ‘spring forward’ to daylight savings time.
- At one point Minneapolis and St. Paul were on different clocks.
- A 35 mile bus trip before the Uniform Time Act could pass through no fewer than 7 time changes!
- A study from 2009 shows that the week following ‘spring forward’ mine workers got 40 minutes less sleep per night and workplace injuries increased by 5.7%
There is your history lessen for the day about Daylight Savings Time. If this blog wasn’t that interesting to you, ast least it got your mind off this ridiculous election for a few minutes! You’re welcome.