It's time to Spring ahead!


This coming Sunday, March 13 at 2:00 a.m., clocks will officially “spring forward” with the start of the 2016 Daylight Saving Time (DST).

This time change will emphasize that spring is off to an early start, along with the recent snow-melting temperatures. This year marks the 100th anniversary of DST.

The concept of adjusting time to take advantage of the longer summer days goes back to ancient times when civilizations would adjust their schedules. The Roman water clocks used different scales for different months of the year.

Germany was the first country to actually use DST where clocks were turned ahead one hour. That began on April 30, 1916. The United Kingdom and France, followed by other countries, quickly adopted the time change. The desire to save fuel by utilizing the earlier daylight hours during World War I was the reason this idea was so popular. After the War, DST was dropped and was not used again in Europe until World War II.

In Canada, several cities began using DST as early as 1908. The city of Thunder Bay, Ontario, began DST in July of that year. Regina, Saskatchewan began using it on April 23, 1914 and Winnipeg and Brandon, Manitoba started on April 24, 1916.

In the U.S.”Fast Time,”as it was called then, was introduced by President Woodrow Wilson as part of the war effort. It was repealed seven months there after. However, the cities of Pittsburgh, New York and Boston continued to use it.

Then, on February 9, 1942, year ‘round DST began and ended on Sept. 30, 1945. The zones were established then, called “ Eastern War Time”, “Central War Time”, ”Mountain War Time” and “Pacific War Time”. After the surrender of Japan in mid August, 1945, the zones were relabeled, “Peace Time”.

From then until The Uniform Time Act was passed in 1966, there was a lot of confusion about DST. The Act established the start of DST as the last Sunday in April changing back an hour the last Sunday in October. However, individual States could be exempt by passing a state ordinance.

Moving forward to 1974, there was a brief experiment to save energy after the 1973 Oil Embargo.  This experiment extended DST to 10 months in 1974 and by eight months in 1975. This proved to be unpopular as it was felt this created a dangerous situation for school children going to school in the dark.

The next revision came via the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that went into effect in 2007 and is the schedule we observe today. The seven-month period was extended to eight months starting on the second Sunday of March, reverting back to Standard Time the first Sunday of November.

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