I swear every time those wacky Daylight Savings changes come around I have to be reminded not once, not twice, but pretty much every day leading up to it. It’s just one of those things that slips my mind. And each year, pretty much like clockwork, I forget, and on that fateful Sunday following the switch I am either late or early. Never on time.
So as a public service to you (and to me) here is another reminder of when Daylight Savings 2011 will occur. Daylight Savings Time (or DST) starts on the second Sunday in March and it ends on the first Sunday in November. This years it lands on November 6th and that is when we all need to change our clocks back one hour (the official start time is 2 a.m. on Sunday morning).
Also, I can’t help but wonder why we do it in the first place. Earlier this year I did a bit a research and found out about the origins:
First, some credit Benjamin Franklin as having invented Daylight Savings Time as a way to conserve candles. But his “proposal” was actually a piece of satire he wrote about those partying Parisians.
Daylight Savings Time was actually first introduced in 1895 by a guy named George Vernon Hudson from New Zealand. He was an entomologist and wanted more daylight hours in which to collect bugs. And in England in 1905 the English builder and sportsman William Willet proposed the change because he wanted more time to play golf. Both men had papers published about changing the clocks back and got a whole lot of attention. But it took a while before the practice was actually adopted.
Germany and its World War 1 allies were the first to utilize daylight savings time back in 1916 and it was done as a way to conserve coal during wartime. Soon the United Kingdom and a large part of Europe jumped on the daylight savings bandwagon. Here is the good old U.S. of A, we started using Daylight Savings Time in 1918.
In its inception, Daylight Saving Time was basically a way to have more leisure time to enjoy the summer sun and to hunt bugs like Hudson or play golf like Willet and has nothing to do with farming as many of us think. But one reason why many countries do support the practice is as a way to conserve energy. As for farmers, it turns out that Daylight Savings time is actually more inconvenient for them. There is a much distributed quote that says, “Farmers, who must wake with the sun no matter what time their clock says, are greatly inconvenienced by having to change their schedule in order to sell their crops to people who observe Daylight Saving Time.”