So you lost an hour on Sunday morning, and it might leave you a little grumpy. With the fast-paced world as it is, one hour less can make a big difference in your tightly-planned schedule. However, on March 9 LiveScience.com reported some fun facts that might make you feel better about your lost sleep.
1. Benjamin Franklin wasn’t only the discoverer of electricity, he was also the inventor of Daylight Savings Time. In 1874, Franklin was the U.S. ambassador to Paris, and he wrote a letter suggesting that “the sun gives light as soon as it rises” and that Parisians were wasteful with their night-owl habits.
2. Daylight Savings Time officially began in 1916 when the Germans, in the middle of World War I, realized that they could save energy by switching the clocks. England’s Parliament had rejected such a measure since 1909, but followed the Germans a month later. In the United States, DST began in 1918, when the US entered the war, but it was repealed once the war ended.
3. The United States instituted DST again during World War II, one month after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. When the war ended, it was again repealed, although some states and cities chose to maintain the time change. This resulted in utter chaos as neighboring districts were followed different times. Suburbs could be in different time zones than the cities they surrounded.
4. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 normalized the time change across the country. It decreed that states did not have to comply with the time change, but that if they did, the entire state must comply; cities and towns could not make the decision individually. The federal government chose which would be the “spring forward” and the “fall back” days.
5. Congress has changed the hours of DST three times since 1966; once in 1970, during the energy crisis; once in 1980, when it began to encompass April; and finally in 2007.
In addition to saving energy, Daylight Savings time means fewer cars on the road in the dark during winter, and more after-work daylight for people who work.
Russia found, however, that DST in midwinter means the sun rising at 10:00 AM in Moscow, and 11:00 in St. Petersburg. People there don’t like waking up and spending half their morning in the dark, so the decision there may soon reversed.