Daylight Savings Time (DST) 2017 begins at 2:00 am on Sunday March 12th. Here are a few facts you may not know about this biannual change.
- Benjamin Franklin suggested the idea of daylight saving in a satirical essay in 1784. After being woken from sleep at 6 a.m. by the summer sun, Ben Franklin wrote that perhaps Parisians, simply by waking up earlier, could save the modern-day equivalent of $200 million through “the economy of using sunshine instead of candles.” As a result of this essay, Franklin is often given credit for “inventing” daylight saving time, even though he was only making a joke.
- World War I pushed Daylight Saving into law. During the war, Germany, Britain and eventually the U.S. adopted it in an effort to save coal. DST was abandoned once the war was over. It was reconsidered in the 1970s during the U.S. energy crisis to save energy in the winter months.
- DST might actually be an energy waster! Changing the clocks may save money on lighting, but the cost of heating and air conditioning tends to go up. That extra hour of daylight only saves money if people go outside and enjoy it.
- The effects of DST on society are both good and bad. DST affects people’s sleep habits and may cause increased risk of heart attack, stroke and illness. But it also corresponds to a decrease in crime.
- The candy industry lobbied for years to have the end date of DST moved from the last Sunday in October to sometime in November, so that there would be more daylight hours on Halloween night for Trick-or-Treaters.
So, love it or hate it, remember to “Spring Ahead on March 12th!