Today is the beginning of "Daylight Savings Time" in the USA.
Did you know that the USA is not the only country to use DST?
Did you know that the USA was not the first place where DST was put into practice?
The concept of Daylight Savings Time was first presented in 1895 in a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society by a New Zealand scientist, George Vernon Hudson and British builder, William Willett. They proposed a 2 hour shift forward in October and a 2 hour shift back in March. Today, in the USA, we "Spring Forward and Fall Back". It was a good idea at the time, but nobody put it into practice, until...
On July 1, 1908, the residents of Port Arthur, Ontario (now known as Thunder Bay), turned their clocks forward by 1 hour to start the world's first DST period to help out the farmers.. By 1916 they cities of Regina in Saskatchewan, Winnipeg and Brandon in Manitoba had put DST into use.
Daylight Savings Time became so popular that on April 30th, 1916 all the clocks in the German Empire and its ally Austria turned their clocks forward by one hour. They were in the middle of World War I and artificial lighting had to be minimized to save fuel for the war effort. It only took a few weeks for the United Kingdom, France and many other countries to begrudgingly admit that the Germans were on to something good, for them to follow suit a turn their clocks forward too. I honestly think they just wanted to synchronize with Germany's clocks because after the WWI, most countries just reverted back to standard time... until the next World War raised it's ugly head.
In 1942, when World War II was in its full swing, President Franklin D. Roosevelt reintroduced DST, instituting year-round DST in the United States and referring to it as "War Time." This "War Time" lasted from February 9, 1942 until September 30, 1945.
Now you can imagine that with all of the USA's different time-zones, there was widespread confusion once we fell back into "Peace Time," especially for the transportation and broadcasting industries. What a mish-mosh of rules for every time zone and when DST was used. That's why the Uniform Time Act of 1966 was established. The law provided a framework for a nation-wide, synchronized DST schedule, starting on the last Sunday of April and ending on the last Sunday of October. This law also granted states the ability to opt out of DST.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 gives every state or territory the right to opt out of using DST. In the contiguous United States, only Arizona currently exercises that right. Clocks there remain on "Mountain Standard Time" all year round. The only exception is the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona, which follows DST to stay in sync with parts of its territory extending into Utah and New Mexico, both of which observe DST.
Outside of mainland USA, are Hawaii, and all of the country's external territories, such as
Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands, none of which follow Daylight Savings Time.