Spring forward on Sunday, March 12th at 2:00am

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Initiated by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, the idea of changing sleep schedules came to mind during a “rude awakening” caused by the summer sun at 6:00 am in Paris.  He also estimated that approximately 64 million lbs of wax could be saved over a six month period if people woke up with the sun in spring.

Fast forward 120 years to 1905, William Willet of the United Kingdom had the epiphany that clocks should be moved forward 80 minutes so more people would be able to enjoy the abundance of sunlight. He felt so passionately that he used the majority of his fortune lobbying for reform, but never saw the fruits of his labor.

The first country to implement Daylight Saving Time (DST) was Germany in 1916. Germany embraced DST in an effort to reduce energy consumption during World War I. Willet may have been disturbed to know that Britain’s wartime enemy followed his initiative instead of his homeland.

In the United States DST was first implemented in March, 1918 as a wartime measure. Over the next couple of decades, America endured “a chaos of the clocks.” The ability of local governments to make the clock switch at any day of the year caused confusion for business and travel activities. The 1966 enactment of the Uniform Time Act standardized DST with federal guidance, but still gave states the opportunity to participate or opt out if they met certain conditions. Currently, Hawaii and most of Arizona does not follow DST.

Regardless if you like DST or not, don’t forget to spring forward on Sunday, March 12th at 2:00am.

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