Briefly Stated: Daylight Savings Time ahead

March 11 is Daylight Savings Time with clocks being set one hour ahead, or smartphones doing it automatically, where night owls will grumble about waking up earlier and early birds will catch the worm faster. So why is there Daylight savings time?

Daylight savings time originates back in 1895 when New Zealand scientist George Vernon Hudson came up with the idea of aligning their hours to make the most use out of daylight, according to Evan Andrews in “History Stories: Why do we have daylight saving time?” It was first presented as a two-hour shift every October and March with clocks first being set back, and then forward. When he brought his idea to light it peaked interest but didn’t gain traction until in 1905.

British builder William Willett suggested that clocks be set forward about 20 minutes every Sunday in April and back about 20 minutes every September. British Member of Parliament Robert Pearce caught wind of this idea and presented a bill for it in 1908. It officially came into being in 1916 in the United Kingdom. Little did Willett know, that seven years prior do his death in 1915, Ontario, Canada had already started shifting their clocks by one hour in 1908.

Two years into World War I, Germany and Austria started setting their clocks back April 30, 1916 to cut down on fuel costs. A few weeks within that time, The United Kingdom, France and many other countries followed suit.

Today over 70 countries use Daylight Savings Time; however, forward and back dates vary from country to country, according to Date and Time’s article, “History of Daylight Saving Time (DST).”

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