This Sunday, November 3rd, it’s time to turn the clocks back an hour to observe Daylight Saving Time.  At 2am, Michigan time officially becomes 1am.   So when do you choose to set the clocks back?

It’s certainly not as much of an issue as it used to be.   Most clocks these days are some kind of computer, and automatically make the adjustment, right at 2am.

Some people traditionally do it when they go to bed on Saturday night, so it’s all done when they wake up.  We have a big wall clock in the living room, just to the right of the TV.  I wait until Sunday night, and then set it back, choosing to get my extra hour then.

Why do we do this?   Do we need it?   State Rep. Michele Hoitenga (R) from Manton introduced a bill last March to eliminate daylight saving time in Michigan.  It went nowhere.  Whether you like it or hate it, it’s here.  The problem is that when you live on the edge of a time zone, any change seems more extreme.

Maybe we should say there are three things you can’t avoid in life:  Death, taxes, and the time change.

History Timeline of Daylight Saving Time

1784 Original idea attributed to Benjamin Franklin, when in Paris in 1784.  He suggested, sort of tongue-in-cheek, that Parisians change their sleep schedules to save money on candles and lamp oil.

1905 Englishman William Willett had the epiphany that Britain should move it’s clocks forward by 80 minutes from April to October.  He pushed Parliament to adopt “Summer Time”,  but like the bill in Michigan last Spring, it went nowhere.

1916   Daylight Saving Time was first implemented in 1916 by Germany and England.

1918   The United States and State of Michigan first observed Daylight Saving Time in March of 1918. Contrary to popular belief, farmers hated it.

1919  Farmers and others were able to get a national repeal of Daylight Saving Time, but that just led to states and localities observing whatever time zone they chose

1942  Due to World War II, DST was once again implemented (year round) as an energy saving measure, referred to as “war time.”

1945 After the war, it was left up to states and localities until the Uniform Time Act of 1966.  In 1965, there were 23 different pairs of start and end dates in Iowa alone.   St. Paul, Minnesota, even began daylight saving two weeks before its twin city, Minneapolis.  Bus riders could see 7 time changes in a 35 mile trip in some areas.  Critics called this “A Chaos of Clocks.”

1966 Congress passes the Uniform Time Act, which standardized daylight saving time from the last Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October, although states had the option of remaining on standard time year-round.  After that, Michigan went back and forth, as statutes were adopted and referendums were invoked.  As a result, Michigan had DST in 1967 and 1968.  After voters weighed in in 1968, Michigan did not observe DST in 1969, 1970, 1971, or 1972.

1986 A law set the dates of the 1st  Sunday in April and last Sunday in October.

2007 Energy Policy Act of 2005 changed dates to the 2nd Sunday in March and 1st  Sunday in November.    The idea was to save energy, and ensure more daylight for Trick-or-Treaters.


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