This Friday’s Flashback post is all about time. The powers that be have long debated whether we should tinker with the clock – pushing our observed time ahead or not. Daylight Saving Time is meant to essentially transfer an hour of daylight from early morning to the hours when more people are out and about, purportedly to save energy and help reduce traffic accidents.
Although the concept of Daylight Saving Time has been around for more than a hundred years (the first mention of it was by Benjamin Franklin in a 1784 essay titled “An Economical Project”), it was primarily utilized in World War I and II, and then didn’t make a more consistent appearance again until 1966. At that time, due to too many different times being followed by various states, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which stated that Daylight Saving Time would begin on the last Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of October.
After the “energy crisis” of 1973, the government approved the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Conservation Act, which put the United States on Daylight Saving Time for the fifteen-month period between January 1974 and April 1975. Many of who were schoolchildren during that time, will undoubtedly remember the little glow stickers schools handed out for kids to put on their lunchboxes, backpacks and clothing since it was darker during the morning wait for the bus.
More recently, in 2007, the federal government’s Energy Policy Act extended Daylight Saving Time to begin earlier, on the second Sunday of March, and end later, on the first Sunday of November. For many of us in the Northeast, adding that extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day when we’re all returning home from work, is something we all look forward to. In Maine in December, the sun sets around 4:30 p.m. – making the commute home under the night sky a pretty depressing prospect. However, many others would debate that it causes the morning commute to be equally dark, especially for children waiting for the school bus.
Like bears and other hibernating creatures, perhaps the early afternoon darkness indicates we should come home and curl up in a cozy comforter and just go to sleep (something we at Cuddledown certainly can get behind!), rather than stay up watching TV, or being glued to our computer screens working, but unfortunately that’s not the way the world works. So for now at least, we’ll look forward (or not) to turning our clocks ahead this weekend (remember “Spring Ahead”) and gaining that precious hour of light!
Let us know what you think – Daylight Saving Time – keep it, or trash it?