News Column

Fall Back and Farewell to Daylight Saving Time

Nov. 4, 2012

Mark McGuire

fall back, daylight saving time

Nov. 04--Spring ahead and fall back: Daylight saving time ended at 2 a.m. Sunday, when clocks should have been turned back one hour. (Feel free to do so now. We'll wait.) Here are some DST facts you should know:

1. Let's start with the name: It's daylight saving time, not daylight savings time -- even though the latter with the extra "s" is the preferred Google

search.

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2. As an envoy to France, Benjamin Franklin -- he of "Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise" axiom -- proposed that people arise earlier in the day to take advantage of more sunlight.

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3. It was actually George Vernon Hudson, a New Zealand entomologist, who first proposed daylight saving time, in 1895. An Englishman named William Willett independently proposed the idea in 1907. It made it to the halls of British government, but did not go anywhere right away. Change came about the way change often does: Through war.

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4. In World War I the Germans and their allies adopted daylight saving time, in 1916, calling it Sommerzeit. The British and many allies followed suit. Russia waited until 1917.

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5. The United States adopted daylight saving time in 1918.

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6. Two states do not observe daylight saving time: Arizona and Hawaii.

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7. Many countries near or south of the equator do not observe DST, not seeing the need. Many countries in Asia also do not go along. Kazakhstan, for example, dropped DST in 2005. Negative health effects were cited.

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8. Studies exist that link an increase in heart attacks when DST goes into effect, and a decrease when it ends.

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9. In 2005, President Bush signed the Energy Policy Act, extending daylight saving time by four weeks. There is still a debate whether DST actually saves energy.

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10. The Saturday night/Sunday morning when DST ends is a big night for bars, especially ones that close at 2 a.m., which can say "we're closed/we're back open" the instant the clocks change.

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(c)2012 Times Union (Albany, N.Y.)

Visit Times Union (Albany, N.Y.) at www.timesunion.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services



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