By: Shianna Pennington
This year, the date to set our clocks forward is March 12, at 2 in the morning. So that means when the clock strikes 2, the time will actually jump to 3 in the morning. The main purpose for Daylight Savings is to make better use of daylight. We change our clocks during the spring and summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening, and the fall months we move it back so there is more daylight in the morning than the evening.
Daylight Savings is manmade; it isn’t something set out by nature. Benjamin Franklin first brought about the idea jokingly in an essay called “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” in 1784. New Zealand scientist George Vernon Hudson presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society in 1895 where there was interest in the idea, but it was never followed through. Then in 1905, British William Willett suggested setting the clocks ahead 20 minutes on each of the four Sundays in April and switching them back by the same amount on each of the four Sundays in September. A bill was introduced to the House of Commons in 1908 and the first Daylight Saving Bill was drafted in 1909, but there were so many that opposed it, mainly from farmers, that it was never made a law. Willett died in 1915, the year before the United Kingdom started using DST.
Daylight Saving time is now in use in over 70 countries worldwide and affects over a billion people every year. Benefits of it include having more daylight in the evenings in the summer, which everyone enjoys, saves energy by not having to have lights on for as long in the evenings, and reduces accidents because people aren’t driving in the dark as much.