Daylight Saving Time Ends and Standard Time Begins…
It’s that time again! At 2AM Sunday, November 6th, Daylight Saving Time officially ends and we turn our clocks back an hour to standard time. This shift moves an hour of daylight to the morning from the evening for most of the United States…Hawaii and most of Arizona do not observe daylight saving time, so clocks there won’t be changed.
Standard vs. Daylight Saving Time
Standard time is also known as winter time or normal time in some countries. The standard time of a region is the local time used outside of the Daylight Saving Time (DST) period. Did you know that more than 60% of the countries in the world use standard time all year long? The remaining countries use DST during the summer months, generally setting clocks forward one hour from standard time.
The periods of standard time and DST are not equally long. The standard time period is often shorter than the DST period. In 2007, the rules for DST changed for the first time in more than 20 years – DST is 238 days (about 8 months of the year) and standard time is 127 days (about 4 months of the year). European countries are on DST seven months of the year and spend five months of the year on standard time.
History of Keeping Time
Throughout history, people measured time based on the position of the sun, noon was when the sun was highest in the sky. Sundials were used well into the Middle Ages, when mechanical clocks began to appear. Cities would set their town clock by measuring the position of the sun, but every city would be on a slightly different time.
Britain was the first country to set the time throughout a region to one standard. Railways cared most about the inconsistencies, and they forced a uniform time on the country.
On November 18, 1883, standard time in time zones was introduced in the United States and Canada by the railroads. Before this date, the time of day was a local matter, and most cities used some form of local solar time maintained by a well-known clock (on a church steeple, for example). The new time system was not immediately accepted, and it was many years before it was actually used by Americans.
Standard time in time zones was legally established by United States law with The Standard Time Act of 1918, enacted on March 19. Congress adopted time zones based on those that were set up by the railroads. Today, the responsibility to make any changes in the time zones or time laws belongs to Department of Transportation.