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Had a long tiring week? Then you are in luck, for this weekend is 'Fall Back', which means that on Sunday, November 7th, North Americans will add an extra hour to their day, by moving the clocks back. This age-old tradition that dates all the way back to World War One, is observed in other parts of the world too - However, the date differs, with most changing their clocks about a month earlier.
'Fall Back' is simply the reversal of Daylight Saving Time or Spring Forward which occurs on the second Sunday of March and entails moving the clocks an hour ahead. The odd ritual which is followed by many countries in the world was first suggested by Sir Benjamin Franklin in 1784, to maximize the number of light hours in the spring and summer months.
However, it was not considered seriously until 1907, when British resident William Willet pitched it as a way to save energy. It took another nine years before it became a law in Britain. United States followed two years later, but only enacted it for a short period of time as a mechanism to provide soldiers more light during World War One. The law was repealed as soon as the war was done, only to be re-instated for another three years, from 1942-1945 during World War 2.
It took another 21 years, before 'Daylight Saving Time' became a permanent fixture on the American calendar. This time, the law was passed as way to conserve energy and allow farmers additional daylight hours to transport fresh produce to market. However three States - Hawaii, American Samoa and some cities of Arizona, opted out.
Since then, the date the change occurs has been altered several times. Former President Ronald Reagan made the first change in 1986, by shifting 'Spring Forward' from the last weekend in April to the first weekend, so that everyone could begin enjoying a longer day sooner. In 2005, George W. Bush not only changed that to the second Sunday in March, but also, extended the 'Fall Back' date out an extra week, to the first weekend in November. While it was all done under the guise of saving energy and helping farmers, it effectively cut down the long dark and dreary months of winter that we are about to go through, by almost five weeks - And all we can say to that is YAY!