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Daylight Savings Time Begins

October 28, 2009 - Amy Witschey
This Sunday, at 2 a.m., Daylight Savings Time officially ends. That means you need to turn back your clocks one hour to get back on Standard Time. You can do it at 2 a.m. if you so desire, but most people make the switch before they go to bed Saturday night—usually before 2 a.m. for most of us.

Of course some clocks, like those on computers and cable boxes, will make the change automatically. One spring when the clocks changed I happened to be watching television at the time and wondered what would happen with the cable box and the on-television guide. I watched with anticipation. It must have been uneventful, sort of like the change to the year 2000, because now I can’t even remember how it happened.

As for how Daylight Savings Time came about, it was standardized by the government in 1966, however not all states are required to change with the season. DST is a way to create more daylight in the evening, when most people are awake and active. There are debates about how effective it is at accomplishing various benefits like saving energy, increasing sales, and getting kids more active.

All I know is that I like it. I appreciate more daylight in the evening and the earlier sunset makes me more than a little melancholy. I hate to see DST end.

But I know others, those of you who are up early, appreciate more daylight in the morning. I know a woman who recently put her children on the school bus and told them, “Goodnight, have a good evening!”, joking about how they must board the bus in darkness.

We all have our own reasons to like or dislike the time change. Whatever our opinion, it doesn’t really matter. If we want to be on time for appointments after Saturday night we had better move the hands of our clocks back an hour (or really you should move them forward 11 hours, clocks don’t like to move backward).

As a side note: When looking up the history of the time change, I found it interesting that the time zones in North America were established in 1883 by the United States railroad industry. They needed a way to standardize departure/arrival schedules. It took 25 years for Congress to officially rubber-stamp the system and place its oversight under the care of the Interstate Commerce Commission.


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