For those that are a little tired of the recent snowstorms here is some good news - Winter is finally over at least, as far as the clocks are concerned. That's because this weekend most people in America, as well as, a number of other countries in the Northern Hemisphere will 'Spring Forward', by moving their clocks ahead by an hour. Also referred to as Daylight Saving or British Summer Time, this age-old tradition dates all the way back to World War One.
First suggested by Sir Benjamin Franklin in 1784, the idea was not considered seriously until 1907, when British resident William Willet pitched it as a way to save energy. However, it still took another nine years to convince British officials to make it a law. The United States followed two years later, but only enacted it for a short period of time as a mechanism to provide soldiers more daylight, during World War One. The law was repealed as soon as the war was over, only to be re-instated for another three years, from 1942-1945, for the second World War.
It was not until April 1966, that 'Daylight Saving' became a permanent fixture on the American calendar. This time, the law was passed as way to conserve energy and give farmers additional daylight hours to transport fresh produce to market. However, two States - Hawaii and American Samoa, as well as, some cities in Arizona, opted out.
Since then, Daylight Saving date has been moved up several times. Former President Ronald Reagan made the first change in 1986, by shifting it from the last weekend in April to the first weekend. His successor, George W. Bush, not only changed that to the second Sunday in March, but also, extended the 'Fall Back' date out an extra week in November. While it was all done under the guise of saving energy and helping farmers, it has effectively cut down the long dreary months of winter, by almost five weeks.
So be sure to keep up this great tradition by moving your clocks forward by an hour, before you go to bed on Saturday!