Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of setting the clocks forward one hour from standard time during the summer months, and back again in the fall, in order to make better use of natural daylight.
Benjamin Franklin proposed the idea of changing sleeping schedules but not exactly the change in time.
It was William Willett in London who had an epiphany that the United Kingdom should move its clocks forward by 80 minutes between April and October so that more people could enjoy the plentiful sunlight. The Englishman published the 1907 brochure “The Waste of Daylight” and spent much of his fortune evangelizing with missionary zeal for the adoption of “summer time.” Although Willett died in 1915 at age 58 without ever seeing his idea come into practice.
It was First World War, when Germany implemented Daylight Saving on April 30, 1916 to conserve fuel. Weeks later, the United Kingdom followed suit and introduced “summer time.”
In Europe, Summer Time begins on the last Sunday in March and ends the last Sunday in October. In the EU, all time zones change at the same moment. This year it started on March 31, 2019 and will end on October 27, 2019. DST has been used for more than 100 years.
Throughout its long and fascinating history, daylight saving time has a remarkable impact on a wide variety of unexpected areas.
For example – In September 1999, the West Bank was on Daylight Saving Time while Israel had just switched back to standard time. West Bank terrorists prepared time bombs and smuggled them to their Israeli counterparts, who misunderstood the time on the bombs. As the bombs were being planted, they exploded–one hour too early–killing three terrorists instead of the intended victims–two busloads of people.
One more impact can be clearly seen in births and birthdays.
While twins born at 11:55 p.m. and 12:05 a.m. may have different birthdays, Daylight Saving Time can change birth order — on paper, anyway. During the time change in the fall, one baby could be born at 1:55 a.m. and the sibling born ten minutes later, at 1:05 a.m. In the spring, there is a gap when no babies are born at all: from 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.
In November 2007, Laura Cirioli of North Carolina gave birth to Peter at 1:32 a.m. and, 34 minutes later, to Allison. However, because Daylight Saving Time reverted to Standard Time at 2:00 a.m., Allison was born at 1:06 a.m. Such an alteration might conceivably affect the property and titles in that House.
Proponents say that DST saves energy because in the spring and summer months, more people may be outside in the evening and not using energy (in the form of artificial light) at home. Some simply relish long summer evenings full of outdoor barbecues, swims, and late sunsets.
Opponents say that any energy savings due to using less artificial light have been offset by an increased use of air-conditioning over the past few decades. They also argue that the drawbacks of springing ahead include increased sleep debt, lost productivity, and a rise in traffic accidents due to drowsy driving during the first few days after the spring time change. Sadly, those traffic accidents can even include cars and bus drivers hitting young students who are walking to their bus stops or standing at them during the dark, early morning hours in the late spring and early fall.
Many parents express concern that Daylight Saving Time results in early morning dangers, as children are less visible as they cross roads and wait for school buses in the darkness.
While the adoption of Daylight Saving Time is almost always rife with controversy, most of the world (except for countries around the Equator) has implemented DST at one point or another. Today, approximately 70 countries utilize Daylight Saving Time in at least a portion of the country.
Daylight Saving Time could soon be a thing of the past in Europe. On March 26, 2019, the European Parliament voted in favor of removing DST in the European Union (EU) permanently.
Under the new directive, each Member State will have to decide until April 2020 whether to remain permanently on “summer time” or to change their clocks back one final time to permanent standard time, also known as “winter time.”