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Local Interest

Daylight Saving Time: Things you may not have known

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This Sunday morning at 2 a.m., clocks around the region will be adjusted to observe Daylight Saving Time.  You know when we do it, but do you know why?

Why do we take the time to move our clock forward and backwards throughout the year? It all goes back to 1784 when Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay, "An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light." He proposed that by adjusting the time on the clock, it would make use of the natural light, keeping costs of power down.

However, the idea failed to see the light of day (no pun intended) until 1883. It wasn't until the railroads implemented a standardized schedule for their trains. It was repealed and reinstated multiple times during the WWI and WWII times, but in 1966 congress passed the Uniform Time Act. This standardized the times that DST began and ended throughout the year.

So is this something that everyone uses? The answer: no.  Each state has the responsibility to decide whether they want to observe Daylight Saving Time. If they don't want to, they don't have to.  Two states within the U.S don't fully observe DST: Hawaii, and Arizona.

So why don't they follow it? For Arizona, it's all about the weather. According to a 1969 editorial in the Arizona Republic,

"[Data] clearly show that we must wait until about 9 p.m. DST to start any night-time activity such as drive-in movies, moonlight rides, convincing little children it’s bedtime, etc," the editorial stated. "And it’s still hot as blazes!"

Not all of Arizona isn't observing DST, however. The Navajo Indian Reservation observes DST, as that region is located within 4 different states.
Well, what about Hawaii? Simply put, they are close enough to the equator that they have virtually the same amount of light year round, so DST isn't needed!
Unfortunately, we Texans do observe DST which means that this Saturday night you will be getting one less hour of sleep. But hey, you're saving money, right?