Friday, November 4, 2016

The Clocks Fall Back U.S.A. - 6th November 2016

The clocks fall back in America soon. But at what time?

Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends at exactly at 2:00 am on Nov 6th 2016 as the clocks go backward an hour to make it 1:00am.

The mornings will get lighter and the evenings darker and those living in participating states of the United States had an extra hour in bed.

Several states and territories of the United States practice DST, which is the act of setting clocks one hour forward during the spring, and one hour back during the fall.

Daylight Saving Time occurs in many states and territories except Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Island. Utah is considering the ending its participation in DST also.

The end of Daylight Saving time in the US signals the onset of winter
Daylight Saving or Daylight Savings?
'Daylight Savings' = wrong. Daylight Saving Time or DST is correct. To remember which way to set your watch, there's a useful mnemonic: “spring forward, fall back”.
Who first thought up the idea of DST?

During the nine years he spent as American ambassador to France, Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay called "An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light". In it, he suggested people get up earlier to make better use of available light and save on candle wax.

But the idea really took off in 1907, when a man called William Willett introduced the idea of British Summer Time, also known as Daylight Saving Time, in 1907.

He wanted to prevent people from wasting valuable hours of light during summer mornings.

He published a pamphlet called 'The Waste of Daylight' in a bid to get people out of bed earlier by changing the nation’s clocks.

Willett proposed that the clocks should be advanced by 80 minutes in four incremental steps during April and reversed during September.

Willett then spent the rest of his life trying to convince people his scheme was a good one.

Sadly, he died of the flu in 1915 at the age of 58; a year before Germany adopted his clock-changing plan on April 30, 1916 when the clocks were set forward at 11 pm. Britain followed suit a month later on May 21.

The concept was brought to America by Robert Garland, a businessman from Pittsburgh who first came upon the idea in the UK.
Why do we change the clocks every year?

Supporters for the proposal argued that such a scheme could reduce coal consumption and increase the supplies available for manufacturing and the war effort during the First World War.

The idea was not a new one, however.

In 1895 an entomologist (that's an insect expert) in New Zealand, George Vernon Hudson, came up with the idea to the Wellington Philosophical Society outlining a daylight saving scheme which was trialled successfully in the country in 1927.
George W Bush and Daylight Saving Time

From 1986-2006, Daylight Saving Time began on the first Sunday in April and ended on the last Sunday in October.

The current timetable for Daylight Saving Time was introduced on Aug 8th 2005, however, when President Bush signed the Energy Policy Act. On this day the official end time for DST was set as the first Sunday in November.

But DST was not observed in the United States until 1981.
Has the time difference always been one hour?
Today clocks are almost always set one hour back or ahead, but throughout history there have been several variations, like half adjustment (30 minutes) or double adjustment (two hours), and adjustments of 20 and 40 minutes have also been used. A two-hour adjustment was used in several countries during the 1940s and elsewhere at times.

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