A little worn out after all the Halloween festivities? Then you are in luck, because this weekend it's time to 'Fall Back', which means that at 2 am on Sunday, November 3rd, most Americans will add an extra hour to their day, by moving the clocks back. This age-old tradition that goes all the way back to World War One, is observed in other parts of the world too - However the dates differ, 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. This odd ritual was first suggested by Sir Benjamin Franklin in 1784, as a way to maximize the number of light hours during spring and summer.
But it was not considered seriously until 1907, when British resident William Willet presented time change 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 World War One soldiers with more daylight. The law was repealed at the end of the war, only to be re-instated for another three years from 1942-1945, during World War Two.
It took another 21 years, before 'Daylight Saving Time' became a permanent fixture on the American calendar. This time the justification was that it would help conserve energy and give farmers an extra daylight hour to transport fresh produce to the market. However Hawaii and some cities of Arizona decided it was unnecessary and opted out.
Since then the dates the clocks are changed, have been altered several times. In 1986, former President Ronald Reagan shifted 'Spring Forward' from the last weekend of April to the first weekend, so that Americans could begin enjoying the longer days sooner. In 2005, former President George W. Bush not only moved it up to the second Sunday of March, but also, extended the 'Fall Back' date out an extra week, to the first weekend of November.
While it was all done under the pretense of saving energy and helping farmers, it has effectively cut down the long, dark and dreary months of winter that we are about to experience, by almost five weeks - Who can complain about that?