6 Things You Didn’t Know About Daylight Saving Time

Here’s why we “spring forward” each year.

Daylight Saving Time is not recognized by all states. Several are thinking of changing this, but until then, why do we do this whole-time shift? It turns out its way more complicated than you may think. Here’s what you need to know about”falling back” and “springing forward”.

No, it wasn’t started to help farmers. In fact, according to National Geographic, farmers had a lobby that campaigned aggressively against Daylight Saving Time. That’s because it gave them one less hour in the sunlight to send their crops to market. To this day, many farmers don’t like it, especially because cows like to be milked on a schedule and moving the clocks disrupts that. Farmers in the U.S. lobbied successfully to stop Daylight Saving Time after World War I, and it wouldn’t go back into effect until the next world war.

It started in Europe. Time reports that in 1907, William Willet wrote a book called The Waste of Daylight, arguing for a Daylight Saving Time. “The sun shines upon the land for several hours each day while we are asleep”, he wrote, but there “remains onoy a brief spell of declining daylight in which to spend the short period of leisure at our disposal”. Willet lobbied Parliament for the changes, saying it would increase people’s enjoyment of sunlight and save money on fuel, but it wasn’t passed there until after his death.

People think it may help conserver energy. Between January 1974 and April 1975, the entire country went on Daylight Saving time year round to combat the energy crisis. It 2005 Congress passed a law that extended Daylight Saving Time by a month to keep energy costs down. But the Washington Post reports that a study found that it really only saves a tiny fraction of our electric bills at best, especially since if you stay indoors you are more likely to run your air conditioning.

It’s more recent than you think. Benjamin Franklin is credited with coming up with the idea in 1784 and Germany was the first country to try it out in 1916. President Woodrow Wilson first made it law in 1918, but it was repealed seven months later, the Chicago Tribune reports. President Franklin D. Roosevelt relaunched it in 1942, the time change wasn’t official until 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson signed a law to make the start and end dates uniform across the country.

Not everyone observes it. Arizona (except the Navajo Nation), Hawaii, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the NOrthern Marianas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands don’t recognize Daylight Saving Time. Parts of Indiana dint’ as well until it was adopted statewide in 2006. Several state legistlatures habve tried to abandon the time change in recent years. Around the world, only 70n countries actually observe it, according to CNN.

It might be bad for your health. According to The Atlantic, the time shift might be detrimental to people who suffer from a seasonal affective disorder, a depression that kicks in when the seasons change. That’s because it changes your sleep cycle, and it turns out that change could even be linked to higher risks of heart attack, car accidents, and even malfunctioning medical equipment.

Inspired by:
Abbotswood at Stonehenge Newsletter

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