It is Time to Fall Back!

Daylight savings time ends Sunday.

It is fall and it’s also November. Not only does it mean the start of the Holiday season, but it is the end of Daylight Savings for 2021.

Hello darkness, my old friend #daylightsavingends

Daylight saving time (DST), also known as daylight savings time or daylight time (United StatesCanada, and Australia), and summer time (United KingdomEuropean Union, and some other countries), is the practice of advancing clocks (typically by one hour) during warmer months so that darkness falls at a later clock time. The typical implementation of DST is to set clocks forward by one hour in the spring (“spring forward”) and set clocks back by one hour in autumn (“fall back”) to return to standard time. As a result, there is one 23-hour day in late winter or early spring and one 25-hour day in the autumn.

The idea of aligning waking hours to daylight hours to conserve candles was first proposed in 1784 by American inventor Benjamin Franklin. In a satirical letter to the editor of The Journal of Paris, the American inventor suggested that waking up earlier in the summer would economize candle usage and calculated considerable savings. In 1895, New Zealand entomologist and astronomer George Hudson seriously proposed the idea of changing clocks by two hours every spring to the Wellington Philosophical Society. He wanted to have more daylight hours to devote to collecting and examining insects. Though the idea received some serious consideration in 1907 in the United Kingdom when British resident William Willett presented it as a way to save energy, it was never implemented.

Starting on April 30, 1916, the German Empire and Austria-Hungary each organized the first nationwide implementation in their jurisdictions. Many countries have used DST at various times since then, particularly since the 1970s energy crisis. DST is generally not observed near the equator, where sunrise and sunset times do not vary enough to justify it. Some countries observe it only in some regions: for example, parts of Australia observe it, while other parts do not. The United States observes it, except for the states of Hawaii and Arizona. (Within the latter, however, the Navajo Nation does observe it, conforming to national practice). A minority of the world’s population uses DST; Asia and Africa generally do not observe it.

DST clock shifts sometimes complicate timekeeping and can disrupt travel, billing, record keeping, medical devices, and sleep patterns. Computer software generally adjusts clocks automatically.

Daylight saving time in the United States is the practice of setting the clock forward by one hour when there is longer daylight during the day, so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less. Most areas of the United States observe daylight saving time (DST), the exceptions being Arizona (except for the Navajo, who do observe daylight saving time on tribal lands), Hawaii, and the overseas territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 established the system of uniform daylight saving time throughout the US.

The Florida, Washington, California, and Oregon legislatures have all passed bills to enact permanent DST, but the bills require Congressional approval in order to take effect. Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island have also introduced proposals or commissions to that effect. Although 26 states have considered making DST permanent, unless Congress changes federal law, states cannot implement permanent DST—states can only opt out of DST, not standard time.


Fall Back!



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