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Daylight Savings Time Starts Sunday

At two o’clock in the morning on Sunday, clocks in the US will turn ahead one hour. This is called Daylight Savings Time (DST). Not everybody thinks it’s a good idea.

About 100 years ago, a man called George Hudson had the idea for DST. He said it would help have more light in the afternoons and evenings. People thought this might save energy because people wouldn’t need to use as many lights. Soon lots of countries were trying some kind of plan to save daylight.

Clock in Ohio turned forward for the first Daylight Saving Time in 1918
Clock in Ohio turned forward for the first Daylight Saving Time in 1918
(Source: Wikimedia Commons.)

Because of the way the earth tilts, the earth gets different amounts of daylight in the winter and the summer. The time that the sun comes up and goes down changes slowly as the seasons change. The changes are bigger toward the North Pole and the South Pole. Near the equator, the changes are small.

The idea is that by moving the clocks forward in the spring and backward in the fall, more light would fall in the afternoon, when people needed it. People who like DST think that many people are still asleep in the morning, so it doesn’t matter if it’s dark then. Businesses often like DST because people seem to like to shop more in the afternoon.

Poster for the first Daylight Savings Time in the US
Poster for the first Daylight Savings Time in the US
(Source: United Cigar Stores Company, via Wikimedia Commons.)

But many people don’t like Daylight Savings Time. They say it is confusing. When the time changes, people are not sure what the time really is, so they may arrive an hour earlier or an hour later than they should. Some people say that DST can be dangerous, especially for people who need to go to work or school early in the morning when it is still dark.

The congress in Florida this year, voted to have DST all year. If the idea becomes a law, it means that people in Florida will not have to set their clocks forward or backward anymore. Two other states, Arizona and Hawaii, also do not change their time twice a year.

Clocks move forward this Sunday at 2 am.
Clocks move forward this Sunday at 2 am.
(Source: Rei-artur, derivate work: MmichaelDr., via Wikimedia Commons.)

But for most Americans, remember that at two in the morning on Sunday (some people think of this as very late Saturday night), the time will suddenly be three o’clock. Many phones and computers can make this change on their own. But other clocks and watches will have to be changed by hand.



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