Brief history of daylight saving time (DST). When does DST start in 2018?

When does DST begin?  Daylight saving time begins at 2:00 AM on Sunday, March 11th, 2018.

When does DST 2017 end?  Sunday, November 5th, 2017. More tidbits about DST.


When does time change forward to DST?


What is the Annual Duration of Daylight Saving Time?

Answer: We spend 65% of the year, or 238 days, in DST. The longest duration was 1,329 days during World War II. Going forward, barring future changes to DST by any state/federal legislative action, the duration of daylight saving will always be the same.

Time Change Calendar (through 2029)

The table below contains the start and end dates of daylight saving time each year through 2029.
Note: DST always begins and ends on a Sunday at 2:00 am local time.

YearDST StartDST End
2017March 12, 2:00 amNovember 5, 2:00 am
2018March 11, 2:00 amNovember 4, 2:00 am
2019March 10, 2:00 amNovember 3, 2:00 am
2020March 8, 2:00 amNovember 1, 2:00 am
2021March 14, 2:00 amNovember 7, 2:00 am
2022March 13, 2:00 amNovember 6, 2:00 am
2023March 12, 2:00 amNovember 5, 2:00 am
2024March 10, 2:00 amNovember 3, 2:00 am
2025March 9, 2:00 amNovember 2, 2:00 am
2026March 8, 2:00 amNovember 1, 2:00 am
2027March 14, 2:00 amNovember 7, 2:00 am
2028March 12, 2:00 amNovember 5, 2:00 am
2029March 11, 2:00 amNovember 4, 2:00 am

A Few Interesting Facts and Myths About Daylight Saving Time

1.  It’s saving, not “savings”.

2.  Bottling daylight most of the year.  In the United States, we spend about 65% of the year (~238 days) in daylight saving time.

3. Two states do not observe DST:  Hawaii and Arizona, except for the Navajo Nation.  A few others, including Indiana and Michigan, did not participate in the past but do now. Additionally, several U.S. territories do not observe daylight saving time (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands).

4.  How many countries around the world participate in DST?  82 countries (about 70% worldwide) observe daylight saving time.

Countries that participate in DST. Credit: TimeZonesBoy - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Countries that participate in DST. Credit: TimeZonesBoy – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0.

5. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 standardized the start and end dates of daylight saving time across the United States, ending the time chaos that resulted from multiple start and stop dates across the country. Before the act was enabled, states and local city governments determined if and when they would observe DST.  At one point, Iowa had 23 different start and end dates for daylight saving time, and passengers going from Steubenville, OH to Moundsville, WV would travel through seven time changes.  States that choose to remain on standard time year round are allowed to do so.

6. Daylight saving time in the United States was not implemented for the sake of farmers. Farmers rise with the sun not with the clock, and some consider daylight saving time to be an interruption to their normal routine.  Daylight saving was implemented as a means of energy conservation during the first and second world wars, to mitigate blackouts and allow for more cost-effective war-time production.

7. The United States was not the first country to utilize daylight saving time. Officially, Germany is recognized as the first country to formally implement DST.  Technically, it was first used in the United States in 1918 for strategic reasons in support of World War I, but it only lasted for seven months. It was not until 1942 that daylight saving was formally and permanently established in United States. On April 30, 1916, Germany became the first country to use daylight saving time as a means of conserving electricity. A few weeks later, the United Kingdom introduced what they called “summer time.”

8.  The annual duration of daylight saving has changed several times since its inception in the United States.  From 1987 through 2006, DST ran from the first week in April through the last week in October (~7 months).  The Energy Policy Act of 2005 amended the Uniform Time Act of 1966 by adding four weeks to DST effective in the spring of 2007.  The new policy moved the onset of DST from the first week of April to the second week of March and pushed end date from the last week in October to the first week of November.  Initially, the 1966 Uniform Time Act required all states to observe daylight saving time beginning on the last Sunday in April.  The Act was modified in 1986 to move the onset of DST from the last Sunday in April to the first Sunday (effective spring 1987). Prior to 1966, DST was used inconsistently and primarily during war time.

9. Benjamin Franklin did not “invent” daylight saving time.  In his 1784 essay, An Economical Project, he jokingly asserted that Parisians could economize their candle usage by falling out of bed a bit earlier in the day.  He suggested economic advantages of evening sunlight utilization in lieu of expensive candles and oil lamps.  His proposal was not to actually adjust time itself; rather, he suggested that people adjust their sleep schedules in order to benefit from the free, natural lighting provided by longer solar days (hours of sunlight) during the warm season. He closed, “I say it is impossible that so sensible a people, under such circumstances, should have lived so long by the smoky, unwholesome, and enormously expensive light of candles, if they had really known, that they might have had as much pure light of the sun for nothing.”

Daylight Saving Time = War Time

The first table below demonstrates the sporadic use of daylight saving time by the Federal Government during the 1st and 2nd world wars to conserve electricity for war production.  It was first used in the United States in 1918, then again on a much more urgent scale starting in 1942.  In fact, in 1942, President Roosevelt urged the term “war time” be used in lieu of “daylight saving time”.  As shown in the newspaper clippings, “war time” was indeed used, even in reference to specific time zones (e.g., “eastern war time”, “central war time”, etc.).  DST/War time was implemented by act of Congress in January 1942 following the nation’s entry into World War II the previous month.  Daylight saving time for World War II ran for 1,329 days, beginning on February 2, 1942 and ending on September 30, 1945.

Office of Production Management’s forecast of annual savings from DST/war time energy conservation. From the Wisconsin State Jounal, 1/20/42.

 

Example of “war time” used when referencing a time zone. From the News-Palladium in Benton Harbor, MI 4/14/42

 

“Officially known as ‘war time'” From the Creston (Iowa) News, 2/6/42.

 

Energy Conservation for both World Wars

YearStart DST (aka: "War Time")End DST (aka: "War Time")Duration DST (#days)
191831-Mar27-Oct210
191930-Mar26-Oct210
1942 - 1945Began Mon, Feb 9, 1942, 2:00 am; lasted 3.5 years 30-Sep-19451329

 

DST 1966 to Present…

YearDST StartDST End#days
196624-Apr30-Oct189
196730-Apr29-Oct182
196828-Apr27-Oct182
196927-Apr26-Oct182
197026-Apr25-Oct182
197125-Apr31-Oct189
197230-Apr29-Oct182
197329-Apr28-Oct182
19746-Jan27-Oct294
197523-Feb26-Oct245
197625-Apr31-Oct189
197724-Apr30-Oct189
197830-Apr29-Oct182
197929-Apr28-Oct182
198027-Apr26-Oct182
198126-Apr25-Oct182
198225-Apr31-Oct189
198324-Apr30-Oct189
198429-Apr28-Oct182
198528-Apr27-Oct182
198627-Apr26-Oct182
19875-Apr25-Oct203
19883-Apr30-Oct210
19892-Apr29-Oct210
19901-Apr28-Oct210
19917-Apr27-Oct203
19925-Apr25-Oct203
19934-Apr31-Oct210
19943-Apr30-Oct210
19952-Apr29-Oct210
19967-Apr27-Oct203
19976-Apr26-Oct203
19985-Apr25-Oct203
19994-Apr31-Oct210
20002-Apr29-Oct210
20011-Apr28-Oct210
20027-Apr27-Oct203
20036-Apr26-Oct203
20044-Apr31-Oct210
20053-Apr30-Oct210
20062-Apr29-Oct210
200711-Mar4-Nov238
20089-Mar2-Nov238
20098-Mar1-Nov238
201014-Mar7-Nov238
201113-Mar6-Nov238
201211-Mar4-Nov238
201310-Mar3-Nov238
20149-Mar2-Nov238
20158-Mar1-Nov238
201613-Mar6-Nov238

 

 

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