I realize that I may be the only one in the world mesmerized by this minutae, but I just got through reading the CRS Report to Congress on Daylight Saving Time. (Yes, it's saving, no "s" please.)
There were some interesting facts there, like:
- Benjamin Franklin was the first person to suggest the use of Daylight Saving Time, in 1784, when he was the Minister of France, to save money on candles by making the most of daylight hours.
- In 1907, William Willett, a British builder, Member of Parliament and fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, proposed the adoption of advanced time, but he was shot down.
- During World War I, in an effort to conserve fuel, Germany began observing DST on May 1, 1916. As the war progressed, the rest of Europe adopted DST. The plan was not formally adopted in the United States until 1918. (And the idea was unpopular in the U.S. and eventually abolished after the War, even overriding a presidential veto by Woodrow Wilson.)
- DST became a local option and was observed in some states until World War II, when President Franklin Roosevelt instituted year-round DST, called “War Time,” on February 9, 1942.
- By 1962, the transportation industry found the lack of nationwide consistency in time observance confusing enough to push for federal regulation. This drive resulted in the Uniform Time Act of 1966 (P.L. 89-387). The Act mandated standard time within the established time zones and provided for advanced time: clocks would be advanced one hour beginning at 2:00 a.m. on the last Sunday in April and turned back one hour at 2:00
a.m. on the last Sunday in October. States were allowed to exempt themselves from DST as long as the entire state did so. If a state chose to observe DST, the time changes were required to begin and end on the established dates.
- In 1968, Arizona became the first state to exempt itself from DST. In 1972, the Act was amended (P.L. 92-267), allowing those states split between time zones to exempt either the entire state or that part of the state lying within a different time zone.
- Currently, the following states do not observe DST: Arizona, Hawaii, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
- During the 1973 oil embargo by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), in an effort to conserve fuel Congress enacted a trial period of year-round DST (P.L. 93-182), beginning January 6, 1974, and ending April 27, 1975. The Act was amended in October 1974 (P.L. 93-434) to return to standard time for the period beginning October 27, 1974, and ending February 23, 1975, when DST resumed.
- In 1986 the 99th Congress enacted P.L. 99-359, which amended the Uniform Time Act, changing the beginning of DST to the first Sunday in April and having the end remain the last Sunday in October.
- In 2005 the 109th Congress enacted P.L. 109-58, the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Section 110 of this Act amends the Uniform Time Act, changing the beginning of DST to the second Sunday in March and the ending of DST to the first Sunday in November. This change will take effect in March of 2007. The Act requires the Secretary of Commerce to report to Congress within nine months of this date on the impact of this section on energy consumption in the United States.
Time marches on.