Spring Forward, Fall Back.
We know the routine well, but have you ever wondered why the United States uses Daylight Saving Time (DST)?
If you ask around, you’ll hear some interesting theories:
…so kids don’t have to catch the school bus in the dark?
…to save energy?
…to benefit farmers by giving them an extra hour of daylight?
Not even close.
Turns out this sleep-cycle menace to society has a long, tortured history.
It Took a World War to Enact Daylight Saving Time
While some lore might attribute Daylight Saving Time’s invention to Benjamin Franklin, it was actually Englishman William Willett who first campaigned for what he termed “summer time” so that more people would enjoy the earlier daylight between April and October.
Willett died in the midst of World War I in 1915 and one year later, England’s adversary, Germany, instituted what we know as Daylight Saving Time (note the grammatically correct saving, not savings) as a way to conserve electricity. Great Britain quickly followed suit. In March 1918, the United States joined in and passed the Standard Time Act in order to implement DST as a wartime measure.