HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT/Gray News) - We're less than two weeks away from the beginning of daytime saving time.
You will need to set your clock forward one hour before you go to bed on Saturday, March 7th or be up at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 8th to do it then.
Mathematically, that Sunday is the shortest day of the year at just 23 hours. But you’ll get the hour back this fall, unless the rule changes. You can read more about that effort going on in the Kentucky legislature here.
Some people say they don’t mind the time shift. After all, it results in an extra hour of sleep later in the year.
Opponents, however, don’t really see the need for it anymore. But to understand why they feel it’s useless to them, it’s important to understand why daylight saving started.
Maybe you’ve been told it started to give farmers more time to work. Well, that’s false.
Whoever told you that, you should tell them it was enacted in 1916 to help the German war effort.
The modern version of daylight saving time was used to conserve coal in World War I. This was originally so it would stay light longer, and people would need less heat during the war.
Energy consumption has evolved so much in the last 100 years, it almost eliminates the argument that DST still helps with energy consumption. Even so, aside from the initial disruption of sleep patterns, complaints about DST being useless or outdated tend to disappear within the first week of the time change.
History shows whatever effect DST had on the German war effort wasn’t enough to help them win The Great War.
Even so, the other parties of the war followed suit, and the United States adopted it in 1918. But it still wasn’t a universal practice.
We used it again from 1942-45 during World War II. But from then until 1966, cities and states were free to do as they pleased.
The Uniform Time Act, which allowed for an opt-out provision, standardized daylight saving time. But not everyone will be springing forward this weekend, or falling back in November:
-- Two U.S. states: Arizona doesn’t for the very practical reason that when summer temperatures soar in the desert, they’d actually prefer it get dark and cool off earlier. (Interestingly, Navajo lands in Arizona do observe daylight saving time.) Hawaii also refrains, because it is so far south it doesn’t really have all that much of an effect anyway.
-- U.S. territories: None of America’s island territories observe the time change. Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands all decline for the same reason as Hawaii: The closer you are to the equator, the less seasons impact the length of your day. It just doesn’t do anything for them.
-- Two Mexican states: The border state of Sonora is exempted so it can stay aligned with Arizona. Quintana Roo, where Cancun is located, permanently moved its time zone ahead an hour three years ago to give its popular beach resorts more daylight.
-- Parts of Canada: There are a handful of small exceptions, and one large one. The western province of Saskatchewan, which sits above Montana and North Dakota, lies on the part of the continent that typically observes Mountain Standard Time. The province, however, adopts Central Standard Time for itself year-round, nullifying daylight saving time.
-- Most of the Caribbean: Cuba, the Bahamas and Bermuda are generally exceptions, in that they do observe DST. Haiti also observed it last year and is expected to again this year, but didn’t in 2016 and before 2012.
-- Most of Africa, the Middle East and Asia: While much of Europe utilizes the time change, very little of the rest of the world does. Some notable exceptions who do include Iran, Israel and Syria.
-- The entire southern hemisphere: A few countries, mostly in South America, do observe daylight saving time. But remember, their seasons are the opposite of ours. So in the countries that change clocks in the coming days, they’ll be gaining an hour of sleep for the “fall back” version
States that came around: In the past, Alaska, Michigan and Indiana did not observe the time change. All now do.