Daylight Saving time springs ahead

Ben Franklin, the centerpiece of the $100 bill, is known for many of his inventions and ideas. However, one of the ideas he isn’t always associated with is the basic idea of Daylight Saving Time (DST).

Benjamin Franklin, in his essay ¨An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light,¨ shared his opinion about how it would be beneficial for Parisians to wake up earlier on some months and later on others. And, although he did coin the phrase “early to bed, early to rise…”, it had nothing to do with DST. I

According to, in a letter to the editor of the Journal of Paris, which was entitled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light”, Franklin simply suggested that Parisians could economize candle usage by getting people out of bed earlier in the morning. in actuality, Franklin meant it as a joke.

Yet it seemed to make sense as this concept for saving resources was officially put into use in 1916, when the German Empire and Austria-Hungary implemented a schedule to shift the official time of the country twice a year, making schedules more consistent.

The main purpose of switching the clock times around was to make better use of the sunlight during the daylight hours. In spring, the clocks are advanced one hour, and in winter, the clocks are reversed one hour. This accommodates the gradual shift in the day/night ratio over the year and makes sure that no daylight is wasted.

However, not all countries use Daylight Saving Time. Countries close to the equator, where the shift in day length is non-existent or minimal, do not implement the process because it’s not worth their time.

DST was officially implemented in the United States with the Uniform Time Act of 1966, which was signed into public law on April 12 by President Lyndon Johnson. This law stated that Daylight Saving Time would begin on the last Sunday of April and to conclude on the last Sunday of October.

According to,  the law was later amended in 1986 to move the uniform start date for DST to the first Sunday in April (effective 1987). The latest amendment, part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, extends DST by four or five weeks by moving the uniform start date for DST to the second Sunday in March and the end date to the first Sunday in November (effective 2007).

So, this March, most people all around the globe will set their clocks forward one hour just in time for the upcoming warmer months and longer days.


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