Friday, March 10, 2023

Daylight Saving Time Returns - Year-round?


Photograph of the Grand Clock, mounted in classic Siena Marble (from Siena, Italy), above the entrance to the Theater of the Stars in the original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science / Buhl Science Center, America's fifth major planetarium and Pittsburgh's science and technology museum from 1939 to 1991. The Grand Clock continues in use in the historic Buhl Planetarium building, as part of the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. (Image Sources: City of Pittsburgh, Friends of the Zeiss)

By Glenn A. Walsh

Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

The annual change of the clocks to Daylight Saving Time occurs this weekend. Will this change be permanent, year-round, as one U.S. Senator prefers?

Daylight Saving Time in most of the United States, begins on Sunday Morning, 2023 March 12 at 2:00 local Standard Time, which automatically becomes 3:00 local Daylight Saving Time. Yes, this is the time when clocks “Spring Forward”. This is even though the season of Spring in Earth's Northern Hemisphere does not begin until the Vernal Equinox on Monday, 2023 March 20 at 5:24 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 21:24 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

Clocks “Fall Back” to local Standard time on Sunday Morning, 2023 November 5 at 2:00 local Daylight Saving Time, which automatically becomes 1:00 local Standard Time. Fall or Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere begins at the Autumnal Equinox on Saturday, 2023 September 23 at 2:50 a.m. EDT / 6:50 UTC.

Daylight Saving Time is now observed in all U.S. states except Arizona (as the Navajo Indian Reservation extends into Utah and New Mexico, Daylight Saving Time is observed; the Hopi Indian Reservation, completely within Arizona, does not observe Daylight Saving Time) and Hawaii. All U.S. insular territories with civilian government (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), which lie in the tropics (and hence, have more daylight year-round and less variation in daylight throughout the year), do not observe Daylight Saving Time. The District of Columbia does observe Daylight Saving Time.

In Canada, all provinces observe Daylight Saving Time except Saskatchewan (there are certain towns and / or limited areas in Saskatchewan which do observe Daylight Saving Time). In the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, and the territory of Nunavut, most of the jurisdiction observes Daylight Saving Time, except for certain towns and / or limited areas.

Mexico changed their clocks from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time on 2022 October 30, permanently! On 2022 October 26, the Mexican Senate approved a law that abolished Daylight Saving Time over the entire country. However, northern regions of Mexico, along the American border, are permitted to continue observing Daylight Saving Time, to be consistent with the American time zone across the border. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, President of Mexico, called Standard Time, "God's time".

Changing daily habits to take advantage of more daylight during the Summer months was first proposed by Pennsylvania's Benjamin Franklin in 1784, while he was a diplomat in Paris. In an anonymous letter that was published, he used satire to suggest that it would be better to use the sunlight of the morning rather than to waste candles in the evening. His essay, “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light,” written to the editor of The Journal of Paris, was actually penned partially in-jest; hence, nothing came of the idea. Although, it should be noted that he did not actually propose a plan similar to the Daylight Saving Time (note that there is no letter “s” at the end of the word “Saving”) we know today.

Robert Garland, a Pittsburgh industrialist (who ran a Pittsburgh factory, Garland Nuts and Rivets) and a member of the Pittsburgh City Council for 28 years (1911 to 1939), is considered the “Father of Daylight Saving” in America. He was also President of the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, as well chairing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's national “Special Committee on Daylight Saving.” He fought hard for the establishment of Summer Daylight Saving Time.

Daylight Saving Time allows for more daylight to exist in the evening hours, which is particularly useful for evening recreation. However, this also results in daylight starting later in the morning, which affects some commutes, particularly in northern states.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) has re-introduced a bill in the Senate to have the nation remain on Daylight Saving Time year-round (“The Sunshine Protection Act”). In a statement issued last week, U.S. Senator Rubio said, “This ritual of changing time twice a year is stupid.”

He had introduced the bill last year, and the U.S. Senate approved the bill by unanimous consent. The U.S. House of Representatives refused to take-up the proposal, and the measure died at the end of the congressional session in December.

Last year, House members did not believe they should act quickly on such a consequential item. According to a November statement by then-House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-New Jersey), House members were divided on whether to stay on Standard Time year-round, or to go to Daylight Saving Time year-round. "We don't want to make a hasty change and then have it reversed several years later after public opinion turns against it — which is exactly what happened in the early 1970s," U.S. Representative Pallone said.

This would not be the first time year-round Daylight Saving Time would be tried. After first use during World War I, Daylight Saving Time was resurrected as “War Time” during World War II (in effect 1942 February 9 through 1945 September 30) to save energy during the War, the same reason it was instituted during the First World War.

To reduce energy consumption during the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973, year-round Daylight Saving Time was established by the U.S. Congress in the United States from 1974 January 6 to 1975 October 26. However, many mothers were quite upset that this meant that their children had to travel to school during the dark, early-morning hours in the Winter months. Thousands of these mothers (including the author's mother, Eleanor A. Walsh) wrote letters to their representatives in Congress complaining about this.

After receiving thousands of letters from angry mothers, in October of 1974 Congress amended the law to return to Standard Time from 1974 October 27 until 1975 February 23 when Daylight Saving Time resumed. And, when the trial period ended on 1975 October 26, year-round Daylight Saving Time also ended, and the normal Summer Daylight Saving Time resumed.

Today's dispute in Congress seems to be between northern and southern states. For a state such as Florida, in the Deep South, year-round Daylight Saving Time can be quite advantageous. This is particularly true for retired senior citizens and the theme parks and vacation resorts in the Sunshine State.

However, as mentioned earlier, year-round Daylight Saving Time is a major problem in northern states in the middle of Winter, when sunrise can come as late 8:30 in the morning, after many schools have already commenced for the day.

Nearly everyone complains about the twice-a-year need to change the clocks. Over the years, saving energy has been the primary reason this semi-annual ritual is continued. However, with the technology of the 21st century, is Daylight Saving Time really needed to save energy?

Another solution to end the semi-annual ritual of changing the clocks, of course, would be to return to Standard Time permanently. If scientific studies show that Daylight Saving Time no longer saves a substantial amount of energy in the 21st century, returning to Standard Time may make a lot of sense.

However, entertainment and recreation interests, which make additional money when Daylight Saving Time is in effect as people stay-out later in the evenings, would be against the elimination of Daylight Saving Time.

So, it seems the dispute between permanent Standard Time and permanent Daylight Saving Time will continue for the foreseeable future. And, in the meantime, we will need to continue changing our clocks twice-a-year.

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Daylight Saving Time: Link >>>

U.S. Daylight Saving Time: Link >>>

Standard Time: Link >>> 

Standard Time Act of 1918: Link >>>

Uniform Time Act of 1966: Link >>> 

 Related Blog-Posts ---

""Spring-Forward" Sun. / How Long Will DST Continue?" Fri., 2022 March 11.

Link >>>

"Centennial: U.S. Daylight Saving Time Commences." Sat., 2018 March 31.

Link >>>


"Centennial: Official Enactment of U.S. Time Zones & Daylight Saving Time."

 Mon., 2018 March 19.

Link >>>

"Some States to Abandon Daylight Saving Time ?" Sun., 2016 March 13.

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss          

               Friday, 2023 March 10.

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Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator                                                               (For more than 50 years! - Since Monday Morning, 1972 June 12):
Link >>>
Electronic Mail: < >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: Link >>>
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: Link >>>
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), America's fifth major planetarium and Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania, the fourth of only five libraries where both construction and endowment funded by famous industrialist & philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh: Link >>>  Buhl Observatory: Link >>>
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago: Link >>>
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear: Link >>>
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries: Link >>>

* Other Walsh-Authored Blog & Web-Sites: Link >>>


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