Remember…Daylight Savings Time again

Time is soon approaching for people across the United States to adjust their clocks for the end of Daylight Savings Time, and SHSU residents sound off on the necessity for the practice.

Daylights savings time comes to an end on the last Sunday in October, and Americans are expected to set their clocks back an hour. The idea is to adjust the time so that during the winter months when the days are shorter, it will not be dark in the afternoon and early evening.

Benjamin Franklin originally proposed the idea back in 1784 in his essay “An Economic Project.” The proposal was not taken seriously until more than a century later in 1907 when English builder William Willet proposed advancing the clocks ahead a quarter hour every Sunday in April and retarding them back the same every Sunday in September.

Professor of history Terry Bilhartz said the tradition of conserving energy dates back to the First World War, when Americans were asked to have Gasless Sundays to ration energy for the war effort. A law mandating a daylight savings time when into effect on May 19, 1918. American workers went to work technically one hour early to avoid remaining at work during the night hours and requiring more electricity and oils to operate.

“That’s when we embraced daylight savings time as a patriotic act to help the Allies,” Bilhartz said.

The law proved to be unpopular at time, mostly due to people both waking up and going to sleep at earlier times then we currently do. Congress repealed the law in 1919, and America remained without daylight savings time until World War II.

President Franklin Roosevelt again placed the nation on “War Time” during the Second World War for conservation of fuel, but from 1945 to 1966 there were no federal laws mandating daylight savings time, which allowed individual states to determine if they observed the tradition or not.

This created some problems in the television and transportation industries until 1966 when Congress created the Uniform Time Act, which established uniform daylight savings times in states based on their time zone. Following the Daylight Saving Time Energy Act, the Uniform Time Act was amended again in 1986 to our current system, which lasts from 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday in April until 2:00 a.m. on the last Sunday in October.

America is not the only nation that uses the tradition. Daylight savings time in most European countries begins at 1:00 a.m. Greenwich mean time on the last Sunday in March, and ends 1:00 a.m. on the last Sunday in October.

Despite Congress establishing the daylight savings time patterns for each time zone, individual states are under no obligation to observe the time shifting.

“It’s still state option,” Bilhartz said. “Lots of states don’t recognize it. Arizona does not recognize it, and neither does Indiana.”

Bilhartz added that the effect of daylight savings time on energy conservation differs from region to region.

“It is helpful in urban areas, but it isn’t so much in rural areas,” he said. “We don’t do it simply out of tradition. I believe data does show it does conserve energy overall, but not in all parts.”

Several groups all over the world protest the concept of daylight savings time, such as people who find the time change a nuisance or have sleeping disorder. Many Jewish groups in Israel feel it interferes with their reciting Slikhot prayers during the month of Enul.

Freshman Ruben Pernia is one student who does not mind the time change.

“I do think it’s necessary,” Pernia said. “It saves electricity. I the winter you save because when you advance one hour you gain light, and in the summer you’re able to use that light better.”

“Either way it saves money and it’s saves energy,” he added.

Leave a Reply