A brief history of daylight saving time

A brief history of daylight saving time

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Daylight saving time ends this weekend. On Sunday at 2 a.m., we will “fall back” one hour, meaning we will gain an extra hour of sleep.

While most people are excited for an extra hour of sleep, the whole idea of changing time is not a well-liked idea. But why do we do it?

Well, you can all thank your friend Benjamin Franklin.

He first came up with the idea to reduce the cost of light after noticing that people were burning candles at night but sleeping past dawn. He thought that if we got up with the sun, we would save on candles.

But he never saw his idea come to life.

It wasn’t until World War I that the U.S. first implemented daylight saving time with the Standard Time Act of 1918 as a way to conserve fuel. Then in World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented a year-round version of daylight saving time, and it became commonly known as “war time.” It wasn’t until the Uniform Time Act of 1966 that a law was passed to make it official across the U.S.

But why do we fall back to standard time in the winter? Well, look at it this way.

Most parts of the U.S. only get about nine and a half hours of daylight in wintertime. If we didn't set our clocks back in the fall, sunrise wouldn't be until nearly 8 a.m. in the Pine Belt.

You'd be starting and ending your day in the dark.

Falling back to standard time keeps dawn a little closer to what we’re used to and helps us start our day in the light.

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