Daylight Savings Time

Areas which have Daylight Savings Time (DST) change their time during a specific period, moving the time one hour later or earlier for a certain number of months. This is done in the spring and fall. Some areas don't observe DST, so their time stays the same all year. This is called their standard time. DST is used to allow more hours of daylight at different periods of the year and to conserve energy.

Daylight Savings Time was first used in 1908 in Ontario, Canada, at Thunder Bay. By 1916, the province of Manitoba in Canada had adopted the system by law. The countries of Germany and Austria turned their clocks ahead on April 30, 1916. This happened during World War I so that they could save on artificial lighting. A few weeks later, France, the United Kingdom and some other countries adopted the idea. After the war, however, they went back to the former way of handling time.

In 1895, George Vernon Hudson, an Australian, presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society. He proposed that the clocks be turned two hours forward in October and two hours back in March. No results came from this idea at that time.

In 1905, William Willett, a British Builder, suggested setting the clocks 20 minutes ahead on each of the four Sundays in April and 20 minutes back on the four Sundays in October. In February 1908, Robert Pearce, who had heard of Mr. Willett's idea, brought a bill before the English House of Commons, part of the British Parliament. The bill was put before the entire Parliament several times but never was made into a law. The farmers had objections to the time change. The United Kingdom began using DST in 1916. However, William Willett had died in 1915.

Some people have given credit to Benjamin Franklin for introducing the idea of Daylight Savings Time. He had spent a lot of time in France. One day in 1784, he wrote a letter to the editor to the Journal of Paris. It was called 'An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light.' He thought people could save on candle usage by getting up earlier. It was meant as a joke!

Ancient peoples used some of the same practices. Romans used water clocks, along with other devices, to tell time. They changed the scales of the water clocks for different months of the year to adjust to solar time.

Daylight Savings Time is used in over 70 countries in the world today. In the United States, on the second Sunday in March, clocks are set forward one hour. On the first Sunday in November, clocks are set back to Standard Time. The United States first used DST in 1918, but it was officially established by the Uniform Time Act of 1966.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 allows any state or U. S. territory to choose not to observe DST if it so desires. Arizona decided to keep its clocks on Mountain Standard Time all year. Only the Navaho nation, which is a part of Arizona, changes to DST. It does this to be in line with parts of its territory which are in Utah and New Mexico. Hawaii, Puerto Rico, U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam also do not observe DST. In 2006, the state of Indiana, which previously had not participated in DST, voted to join the program.

The United States is made up of four time zones. Thus, each zone changes at a different hour. Pacific Standard Time is three hours earlier than Eastern Standard Time, so its clocks change three hours later than those in the EST zone. In Europe, every country changes its time at the same point but at a different local time.




A: Idaho
B: Florida
C: Arizona
D: Indiana

A: Three
B: Four
C: Two
D: Five

A: Indiana
B: Manitoba
C: Ontario
D: Maine

A: 2005
B: 1895
C: 1918
D: 1916

A: January
B: June
C: September
D: March

A: Guam
B: Puerto Rico
C: Australia
D: Hawaii








To link to this Daylight Savings Time page, copy the following code to your site:


Educational Videos