How Daylight Saving Time Got Started

WASHINGTON - Daylight Saving Time (DST) forces us to switch our clocks forwards and backwards each year. Some like it. Others hate it. How did it get its start?

Daylight Saving Time first became popular two years into World War I in the year 1916, when Germany and Austria mandated the time change in order to minimize the use of artificial light and to save fuel for the war. Other countries quickly followed this action.

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In the United States, the concept of daylight saving was adopted in The Standard Time Act of 1918 , also known as the Calder Act. This was the first U.S. federal law implementing both Standard time and Daylight saving time, and allowed the Interstate Commerce Commission to define time zones. Part of the act was repealed one year later, and from there it was up to smaller, local jurisdictions to decide whether or not to observe the two different time periods. 

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Through the last century, numerous changes have been made to the U.S. use of time zones, standard time and daylight saving time. In World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented a year-round DST that was commonly known as "War Time".


Fast forward to the year 2017, and not everyone uses DST. In fact, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 allowed states to 'opt out' of the time change. Arizona and Hawaii do not use DST, as well as other U.S. territories. For the rest of us, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday of March and ends at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of November. 

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Don't forget to "Fall Back" this Saturday night -- Standard Time begins this Sunday at 2:00 a.m.!

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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