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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Here Comes Daylight Saving Time!

Here Comes Daylight Saving Time!

Love it or hate it, it’s that time of year again, when we turn our clocks an hour ahead, and lose an hour of sleep.

Sunday, March 9, at 2:00 a.m. is the official beginning of Daylight Saving Time in most areas of the U.S.

If it seems to you like this day used to come later in the year, you’re right. Prior to 2007, when the Energy Act of 2005 took effect, we used to “spring forward” during the first week of April and “fall back” during the final weekend of October. Now, we begin Daylight Saving Time on the second Sunday in March and end it during the first week of November.

In our 2007 edition, we published a campaign called How Much Daylight are We Really Saving? In it, we questioned both the former and new DST dates and proposed a new system we thought would work better.

According to U.S. law, states can choose whether or not to observe DST. At present, Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation) and Hawaii, plus a few other U.S. territories, are the only places in the U.S. that do not observe DST and stay on standard time all year long. Indiana did not vote to observe DST until April of 2006. Prior to that, some counties in the state did observe it while others didn’t, which caused a lot of confusion, particularly since Indiana is already split into two time zones already.

At least 40 countries worldwide observe Daylight Saving Time, including most of Canada, though the majority of Saskatchewan and parts of northeastern British Columbia don’t participate.

How you feel about Daylight Saving Time probably depends on whether you are an early riser or a night owl. Obviously, changing the number on a clock doesn’t actually add any time onto our days. That point was eloquently made in this old joke:

“When told the reason for daylight savings time the Old Indian said, ‘Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.'”

However, adding an hour of daylight onto the end of the day, after most of us have gotten out of work, can feel like a gift after a long winter of dark evenings. As the warmer spring weather arrives, nothing could be nicer than having more time in the evening to enjoy it.

Ben Franklin is often credited for inventing the idea of Daylight Saving Time, due to this partially tongue-in-cheek letter. However, Franklin seemed to understand the point of view of the Old Indian in the joke above. Rather than changing the clocks, he simply advised us to change our schedules to better align with nature.

14 comments

1 elen { 03.09.14 at 8:23 am }

Standard Time is 4 months, DST is 8. So that makes DST the new Standard Time and Nov-Feb clock hours is simply, Winter.

Also, DST was temporarily repealed due to opposition from dairy farmers (cows don’t pay attention to clocks), but was permanently imposed since WWII.

It is not always true that workers have more time in the evening to enjoy DST. Some (telephone cable line/drop box repair, for ex.) have to work outside until 9 p.m.

2 Rose { 03.08.14 at 3:41 pm }

I confess I like DST, but it starts too early in the year and lasts too long in the Fall. Love those long Spring and Summer evenings. But really dislike the dark mornings in the early and late of the year!

3 Debbie Hemphill { 03.05.14 at 9:55 pm }

I Hate it. We just need to stay on normal no daylight savings time.

4 Richard Sutton { 03.05.14 at 9:37 pm }

I can remember back in in I think 1974 we went into daylight saving time in Dec. At 8 in the morning when children was walking to school it was still dark.

5 Jack { 03.05.14 at 7:38 pm }

Why don’t they just move it a half hour and leave it that way! The only ones that are happy about daylight savings time are the battery companies!

6 Bkzama { 03.05.14 at 4:19 pm }

I agree with John. I think it should be the other way around so we have more daylight in the winter.

7 Sharon { 03.05.14 at 3:19 pm }

I agree it’s bad idea too :(

8 Eva { 03.05.14 at 1:19 pm }

John, most certainly NOT the same! Just ask those affected by the increase in traffic accidents and heart attacks that are well documented in the weeks after a time change. Stupidest idea ever.

9 john westrick { 03.05.14 at 12:59 pm }

louis if you go to bed at 10 pm and get up at 5am it the same no matter where your clock is set

10 Tom { 03.05.14 at 12:43 pm }

Absolutely ridiculous to turn clocks back and forth.

11 John { 03.05.14 at 11:52 am }

It always seemed to me that its butt backwards. In the winter time is when we need the extra hour of daylight, as its dark by around 4:30 to 5:00 PM, especially when its cloudy, just before the Christmas holidays. That extra hour of daylight would be very helpful, especially on the farm where I feed after dark each evening, as I work a day job also….In the summer, there’s more daylight than I need, as one must go to bed before dark if you require a full night’s sleep. But anyway, I can live with it…don’t like it…never will, but just leave it up to our famous good ole government to foul up a situation, as most times common sense does not prevail there anyway….Just my opinion….Have a great day!

12 Iris { 03.05.14 at 10:58 am }

HATE it! I loved living in states where they didn’t have Daylight Savings Time like Arizona….It was super not having to change the clocks and life went by just like any other day. I do miss AZ. This winter,hoping to see a little more of AZ or if not AZ at the very least, FL!

13 Stacey { 03.05.14 at 10:23 am }

Love it! While the logic of adjusting one’s schedule holds, the only practical way to effect reaping the benefits of longer daylight hours is to have an official directive for it so that we are operating as such in tandem. No boss is going to give you a pass because of a strongly-held belief in observing ‘alternate hours’. As for waking earlier because of the time of the sunrise, that’s why man created room darkening curtains.

14 Lois { 03.05.14 at 8:42 am }

I hate it and wish it would return to ‘normal’. It seems nice to get that extra hour of sleep during the winter but in summer, while you do have the extra daylight in the evenings, it’s actually tricking you into staying up later and getting less sleep because you’re getting up an hour earlier! Hard on this old body!

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