We just celebrated All Saint’s Day and that means it’s almost time to set our clocks back!
Sunday morning, November 5th at 2am – or when you go to bed Saturday night – you’ll need to set the clock back an hour. 2am becomes 1am and you can guarantee you’ll be up early for church!
Every year around this time, people start talking about Daylight Savings Time. Is it good? Is it bad? Why do we keep doing this to ourselves every year? Do we get more or less sleep this week? Is there a better way?
Depending on who you talk to, there are dozens of theories about why we have Daylight Savings Time. No one is quite sure. And the prevailing reason most of us remember for the semi-annual time changes are now disputed by many historians.
The popular notion is that we adjusted the clocks so farmers would have more daylight hours to get their work done. When you consider our largely agrarian society when our country started, that kind of makes sense. But it’s not the whole story.
Some historians insist that going back thousands of years, ancient civilizations practiced a form of Daylight Savings Time, adjusting their daily schedules according to the sun. But that’s not exactly what we do here, is it?
Benjamin Franklin gets a fair amount of the blame. After all, he wrote that waking up closer to sunrise gave him more hours of daylight to illuminate his home in an essay entitled, “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” in 1784.
Or we could look to New Zealander George Vernon Hudson who in 1895 proposed a system similar to ours, but shifting two hours instead of one, in October and March.
Historians now point at William Willet in 1905. This British subject proposed changing clocks by 80 minutes a week, every Sunday for four weeks, in April and October. Americans, of course, thought this was way too much work.
During the early days of The War to End All Wars, Germany adopted the “Daylight Saving Project” in order to save energy, The UK very quickly after instituted “Summer Time.” In 1918, the practice came to America – and really frustrated the farmers.
As you might expect, farmers don’t set their schedule by the clock but by the sun. And in fact, shifting the time actually threw their whole sleeping and working schedule out of whack.
Daylight Savings Time was resurrected during World War II – by both sides! Perhaps everyone wanted to synchronize their watches for battle.
Most folks don’t know, though, that the time change didn’t actually become a law until decades later, during a somewhat different war. During the Cold War with the Soviet Union, Daylight Savings Time was promoted across the country as a way to defeat Communism by saving energy. The problem was, everyone did it differently.
In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, setting a national standard time, permanently superseding local times. It established Daylight Savings Time from the last Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October. In 2005, President Bush decreed an extension of Daylight Savings Time.
Hawaii and Arizona (except for the Navajo Nation) don’t observe Daylight Savings Time, nor do most US territories. The rest of the country is bound by the Uniform Time Act – or are they?
In 2018, Florida senator Marco Rubio introduced the Sunshine Protection Act, a bill intended to give the states back the freedom to set their own Daylight Savings Time or ignore it entirely. While it continues to pop up every year, so far, it has not become the law of the land.
Several states, including Florida, have passed state laws or referendums that allow them to cancel Daylight Savings Time if and when the Federal government relinquishes control. So far, though, the outlook for this type of change seems bleak.
But as a bonus for you here on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Daylight Savings Time means we can get to your home an hour earlier than we could last month to deliver our top notch, family friendly pest control solutions.
If you aren’t a customer of ours yet, there’s no better time to join our family of clients who rely on us to keep their homes free from pests. We can implement our most popular solution, Go Green Perimeter Plus within a few days of your initial contact and make sure you have peace of mind. For more details, or to find out what our commitment to green means, just give us a call!
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