An Historical Guide to Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time is around the corner.  The average person may not think much about this shift in the clocks — that is until Monday morning after the change when we all collectively hit our alarm clocks and wonder ,”Whose bright idea was this?” The truth is that Daylight Savings Time has a long and interesting history in the United States.

We turn our clocks to take advantage of the extra daylight incrementally collected between the winter solstice (December 21) and the summer solstice (June 21). Benjamin Franklin originally suggested the change as a way to economize the use of candles, but it was not officially introduced to the United States until 1918. The procedure is not etched in stone and presidents have taken the liberty of changing Daylight Savings Time when it was necessary. For example, Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted year-round Daylight Savings Time during World War II. The most recent change took place in 2007 when George W. Bush extended the length of Daylight Savings Time by about one month.

Daylight Savings Infographic

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