Saving the Day – A Closer Look at Daylight Saving Time

It’s here again – for most of the United States, it is time to change the clocks! If you remember “spring forward, fall back,” you’ll know that Daylight Saving Time (DST) is ending on Sunday, November 4, and it is time to move clocks back one hour.


Daylight Saving Time was actually suggested by Benjamin Franklin in 1784! Yet, it was not formally proposed until 1895 by a entomologist from New Zealand. The actual invention of DST is credited to William Willett of the United Kingdom, who noted that the clocks could be changed in the summer to better take advantage of daylight in both the mornings and the evenings. His plan was to move clocks 20 minutes forward each Sunday in April, then 20 minutes back each Sunday in September.

Daylight Saving Time began in the United States during World War I. It began in Germany in an effort to save fuel, but was adopted in the U.S., the U.K., and countries from both sides of the war. Many returned back to standard time after the war ended. President Franklin D. Roosevelt reinstated DST during World War II, calling it “War Time.” After the war ended, it was aptly called “Peace Time.” While the whole concept caused confusion for industries from transportation to broadcasting, the Uniform Time Act of 1966 stated DST would begin the last Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of October.

States then, and still, do not have to take part in DST. The specifics of DST have changed multiple times since, in 1973, 1987, and more recently in 2005. Read a full history of DST here.

Many people all over the world take part in DST, though the dates may differ! Daylight Saving Time is used in 70 countries worldwide, and observed by over a billion people have to remember to change their clocks.

Now haven’t you seen it referred to as Daylight Savings Time? While commonly used, the singular “saving” is actually proper. In the United Kingdom, Daylight Saving Time is often referred to as “Summer Time”. Makes sense!

A fun personal note – now that the weekends that Daylight Saving Time begins and ends have changed, this likely will not happen again! But, my 21st birthday fell on the Sunday that DST ended, meaning the time moved back and my birthday was technically 25 hours long! Maybe not as cool as people who were born on February 29, but a neat fact nonetheless.

In the spirit of saving, we are running a unique sale right now on the website! You’d know if you were signed up for our Email Updates (if you aren’t, sign-up now!) You can see the details here. (But hurry, this sale ends on Sunday, November 4th!)

Teach young ones about how to read a clock with the Wooden Shape Sorter Clock from Melissa & Doug!

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