This is a custom that first appeared in Germany. They became the first to introduce Daylight Savings Time when clocks were turned ahead 1 hour on April 30, 1913. Their rationale was to minimize the use of artificial lighting in order to save fuel for the war effort. The idea was quickly followed by the United Kingdom and many other countries, including France. Many countries reverted back to standard time after World War I, and it wasn’t until World War II that Daylight Savings Time made its return in most of Europe.
Here in the United States, Daylight Savings Time or “Fast Time” as it was called then, was first introduced in 1918 when President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law to support the war effort during World War I. The initiative was sparked by Robert Garland, a Pittsburgh industrialist who had encountered the idea in the UK. Today he is often called the “Father of Daylight Saving”. Only seven months, later the seasonal time change was repealed. However, some cities, including Pittsburgh, Boston, and New York, continued to use it until President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted year-round Daylight Savings Time in the United States in 1942.
The US Congress extended Daylight Savings Time to a period of ten months in 1974 and eight months in 1975, in hopes to save energy following the 1973 oil embargo. The trial period showed that Daylight Savings Time saved the energy equivalent of 10,000 barrels of oil each day, but Daylight Savings Time still proved to be controversial. Many complained that the dark winter mornings endangered the lives of children going to school.
Daylight Saving Time is now in use in over 70 countries worldwide and affects over a billion people every year. The beginning and end dates vary from one country to another. In 1996, the European Union standardized an EU-wide Daylight Savings Time schedule, which runs from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.
There is talk here in Florida of Daylight Savings Time becoming the year round time, an idea that I could really get behind. No matter, just remember if it applies n your local to move your clock ahead tonight.