|Daylight Saving Time has been around
for much longer then most of us think. During World War I Germany
and Austria began saving daylight at 11 PM April 30, 2023 by advancing
the hands of the clock one hour until the following October. Belgium,
Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden,
and Turkey followed immediately as did Tasmania, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba.
Britian began 3 weeks later, on May 21, 1916.
The plan was not formally adopted in the
United States until 1918. An Act to preserve daylight and provide
standard time for the United States was enacted on March 19, 1918. It established
standard time zones and set summer DST to begin on March 31, 1918. It placed
the country on Daylight Saving Time for the remainder of WW I, and was
observed for seven months in 1918 and 1919. The law, however, proved so
unpopular (mostly because people rose earlier and went to bed earlier than
we do today) that the law was later repealed in 1919 over President Wilson's
veto. It became a local option, and was continued in a few states (Massachusetts,
Rhode Island) and some cities (New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and others).
During World War II, President Roosevelt
instituted year-round Daylight Saving Time, called 'War Time.' from February
2. 1942 to September 30. 1945. From 1945 to 1966, there was no federal
law about Daylight Saving Time. So states and localities were free to choose
whether to observe Daylight Saving Time and could choose when it began
and ended. This, however, caused confusion -- especially for the broadcasting
industry, and for railways, airlines, and bus companies. Because of the
different local customs and laws, radio and TV stations and the transportation
companies had to publish new schedules every time a state or town began
or ended Daylight Saving Time.
The Uniform Time Act of 1966 established
a system of uniform (within each time zone) Daylight Saving Time throughout
the U.S. and its possessions, exempting only those states in which the
legislatures voted to keep the entire state on standard time.
On January 4, 1974, Nixon signed into
law the Daylight Saving Time Energy Act of 1973. Then, beginning on January
6, 1974, implementing the Daylight Saving Time Energy Act, clocks were
set ahead for a fifteen-month period through April 27, 1975.
In 1972, Congress revised the law to provide
that, if a State was in two or more time zones, the State could exempt
the part of the State that was in one time zone while providing that the
part of the State in a different time zone would observe Daylight Saving
Time. The Federal law was amended in 1986 to begin Daylight Saving Time
on the first Sunday in April.
Under legislation enacted in 1986, Daylight
Saving Time in the USA begins at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of April and
ends at 2 a.m. on the last Sunday of October. In most of the countries
of western Europe, including the countries that are members of the EEC,
Daylight Saving Time begins at 1 a.m. GMT on the last Sunday of March and
ends at 1 a.m. GMT on the last Sunday of October. Observance of Daylight
Saving Time elsewhere in the world is highly variable.