"Fall Back" with Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, November 6 at 2:00 AM. Be sure to set back all your clocks one hour and enjoy the extra hour of sleep.

Why Daylight Saving Time?

According to the New York Times, “the reason the United States and many other countries, mostly in the West, shift to daylight saving time is contentious and confusing, and some of the more popular explanations are not grounded in reality. (It isn’t for farmers, as you may have learned in school.) The general concept is to move an hour of sunlight from the early morning, when many would sleep through it, to the evening, when you could most likely do more with the light.”

Historians have traced the notion back to Benjamin Franklin, who realized he was sleeping through some daylight hours while visiting Paris in the 18th century. He suggested French officials shoot cannons at sunrise to jolt people out of bed, optimizing the amount of hours they spent awake when it’s light out. That way, they could cut down on using candles to light their homes while awake, Mr. Prerau said.

But the first idea to move the clock hands came from William Willett, who unsuccessfully proposed it to the British Parliament in 1908. Germany, however, seeking cost savings during World War I, heard the idea and enacted it in 1915. Three weeks later, the British followed, and other world powers were close behind, including the United States in 1918.