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Daylight saving ends Sunday

Turn back time tonight and get an extra hour of sleep.

By Rich_Maloof Nov 3, 2012 3:51PM

It’s time to fall back. Clocks in every time zone should be reset from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m. in Sunday’s wee hours, affording an extra hour of sleep for all but the hardiest night owls, who instead get an extra hour of insomnia.

In case you’re tossing and turning about daylight saving time (DST), here’s why we adjust our clocks twice a year.

Photo: Getty ImagesNote that there’s no “s” on the end of daylight saving — after all, it’s not a coupon. However, the practice of resetting clocks was in a very real way based on saving money.

Ben Franklin is widely credited for being the first to have the bright idea. As an American delegate in Paris, Franklin in 1784 reasoned that the late-rising French could save a great deal of money in candles if daylight could last just one hour longer for half the year. His concept revolved around the simple logic that people should sleep while it’s dark and work while it’s light. We have no say over the tilt of Earth’s axis, which lengthens and shortens the hours of daylight through the seasons, but we can easily adjust the human inventions of time and clocks.

The United States had an on-again, off-again relationship with DST, first adopting it in 1918 as part of the Standard Time Act establishing time zones. The likes of shopkeepers and tourism boards favored it for extending daily hours of business, while farmers, postmen and others felt it was disruptive, and probably wondered why everyone else couldn’t haul themselves out of bed a little earlier. The government insisted on some consensus during World War I and World War II, when DST helped conserve electricity.

Modern DST practice is based on the Uniform Time Act of 1966, which wrote DST into law but allowed a loophole for any jurisdictions that didn’t want to sign on. Hawaii and Arizona are the only U.S. states that don’t currently observe DST. Hawaii’s nearness to the equator makes for a negligible difference in daylight hours from one season to the next, and anyone who’s been to Arizona on a blistering July day knows why the state declined to extend work hours under the scorching sun. Adding to the logistical headache of being out of synch with other Mountain Time keepers, though, is the fact that the Navajo Nation, which occupies a huge portion of northeastern Arizona, does indeed observe daylight saving. Suffice to say, if you’re scheduling any plans in Arizona from across state lines, call ahead.

Photo: Getty Images

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86Comments
Sep 3, 2013 4:58PM
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why isn't the date mentioned in the whole DAM article ????
Nov 5, 2012 2:44PM
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HISTORY LESSON: For anyone who thinks I don't know anything about farming, I want to let you know that, if it hadn't rained on the day of my birth, I would have been born in a cotton field. My family were share croppers. My Dad was a farmer his whole life as were all my ancestors on birth sides of the family. I started picking cotton when I was 5 years old and practically lived in a cotton patch until my Dad got too old to farm and my brothers had all left home for loftier persuits. There was no one left to help harvest the crop but my parents, my younger sister and me and that's the reason my Dad retired from farming when I graduated from high school. He couldn't stand to see the mess the cotton picking machines made in his fields. (He was always fastidious about having a "clean" cotton field) and didn't like to see cotton laying on the ground. He actually had me and my sister going behind the cotton pickter to pick up what was left on the ground.) My mother finally convinced him to retire from farming. That was in 1964 and he had been a cotton farmer all his 66 years. My ancestors on both sides were farmers as far back as there has been an America.They were farmers when they came from Ireland and Scotland. (I'm also a genealogist) I have researched my family (all lines) as far back as 12th century Scotland and England. I know who, where and what I came from. I, also, know about farming, raising hogs and cattle, pulling corn and raising turnips, beets, okra, peas and bell peppers  for the Winter Garden. We, also,  raised geese and ducks. We lived with no indoor plumbing and heated our home with wood and coal. We didn't have a indoor plumbing or a bathroom until I was 16 years old.

I lived back in the day when people raised kids to work in the fields because there were no cotton pickers or corn picker. A tractor was a novel thing in some places. When I was a small child my Dad plowed the fields with mules pulling the farm equipment. I never knew what a tractor was until I was 8 years old.

I'm writing this just so some of you know that some of us older folks (I'm 66 and next to the youngest in my family) know what it was like to be farmers back in the day when nobody had all the fancy machines and equipment you have today. Our Landlord had a tractor but a lot of the work was done by hand or by mules.  We went to the field before the dew even got off the cotton and most of the time we would be soaked until the sun got up enough to dry our clothes. Our summers were spent working in the fields. Schools were shut down in October and November so the families who farmed could utilize the labor of their children to pick cotton by hand. I know most of you won't remember that but you will if you are from the South and around my age or a bit older.

Nov 4, 2012 6:56PM
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Interesting  history at how daylight saving times gotten started, something I never knew about.
Nov 4, 2012 6:02PM
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It's no big deal.  So why even worry about it?  It is what it is!

Nov 4, 2012 4:17PM
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amen!   I've never understood the purpose?????  It is stupid and the majority don't want it and the majority should win!!!  Let's have a vote on it!!!!
Nov 4, 2012 4:11PM
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One of the benefits this measure has relates to school children waiting for their school bus before 7:00 in the morning. At that time of day it is still dark and quite cold as any winter morning must be. From a window you can see the little bundles of joy standing by the mail boxes and loaded with their book bags, school projects, etc. If we did not put the clocks back one hour, those kids would be very uncomfortable and their parents quite worried, not to mention that the kids would be more expossed to some crime or accident happening in the dark.  We old timers can easily make the change; the only bother for me is to actually set the clock back, although for the last few years I have not even done that...
Nov 4, 2012 4:07PM
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Dear Government,
 You can't change time so STOP IT.  Leave it one way or the other.  I'd almost vote for anyone that pledge to stop daily saving time. So just stop it.

thank you
EvilSanta ............. hohoho

Nov 4, 2012 4:05PM
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I already forgot about it. I woke up thinking it was about 9AM, but my phone told me otherwise. Either way, it's time for some bacon and eggs!
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